What do you see when you click on a news website or turn on the local TV news broadcast?
Crime? War? Rapes? Missing children? Political mudslinging? Death and disease? Environmental disasters?
Kind of grim, right? Doesn’t exactly fill your heart with happiness and light.
Here’s another question for you: Is the world mostly good or mostly bad?
The answer is what you believe.
It’s true. Just as people aren’t one-dimensional, there are many aspects, viewpoints, and truths in the world around us.
If you want to find happiness in your relationship with the world, you must pick and choose what parts of the world you want to bring into your life.
This is a big part of Step 2 of the Life Editing Process, Delete Bad Influences. You have the power to delete those negative news stories from your life.
This should be obvious to anyone trying to improve her happiness, but often it’s not: don’t watch the news.
Did you get that? Here it is one more time: Don’t watch the news!
I’m astounded by how many people regularly scroll through news websites or their Facebook feeds when they have a few free minutes. Or turn on the TV news as soon as they get home from work. Or flip through the newspaper in the office break room while getting a coffee refill.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean you should be ignorant of what’s going on in the world. Obviously, you should keep up with select current events.
A few years ago, I noticed that my news addiction was really harming me emotionally. I used to read stories on a popular news website ALL DAY LONG. And then I’d come home and watch my favorite news anchor give a recap of the stories I’d been following all day.
But I slowly realized that the news never changed.
How often do you see a story about a missing child? Several times a week if not every day.
And how do those reports of missing children end? With a tearful family reunion and the bad guy getting hauled off to prison?
They almost always end the same way.
The news groups follow the story for a few days until the child’s remains are found…in a car trunk…buried the woods…in a suitcase…washed up on the riverbank…
One week I counted 5 missing children stories, and all of them ended with the death of the child.
Why was I torturing myself like this?
Like millions of other people, I was caught up in the hope that there would be a miracle, and in some cases (I’m ashamed to admit), I was obsessed with knowing all the gruesome details.
It made me sick: the media’s coverage of these atrocities and my own fascination with them.
The news never changed…but I was the one who was changing. And I didn’t like the pessimistic person I was becoming.
So I stopped watching the news.
I didn’t need to be reminded about what I knew was going on every day. What I needed to do was recommit to a life of kindness and love.
I often suggest that my clients stop following the news and instead redirect their energy into other pursuits. It doesn’t mean being ignorant, but rather being selective about the energy you invite into your life.
Try a news break for a week and see how you feel. I think you’ll feel happier when your mind isn’t subjected to all that negativity.
This post focuses on Step 2 of the Life Editing Process, Delete Bad Influences. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.
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