I begin my day with a mug of high-quality freshly brewed tea and reading a few pages in a good book. Most people begin theirs with coffee and the news. Many a t-shirt has a logo announcing that the day really doesn’t begin before that first hit of caffeine. I understand that principle. I’m not, by nature, a morning person. I like the ritual of having my cup of hot tea before I engage in conversation or activity. For many people that daily ritual accompanies the morning newspaper, TV or radio. Can’t begin the day without being informed of current affairs in the world and in our country. And for most people, they can’t finish their day without a repeat of the same daily ritual….watching or listening to the news.
I’ve read a lot about today’s journalistic efforts to supply entertainment to an eager audience. It sickens me to realize how gullible we are as a society and how much we crave being entertained. I know a lot of very intelligent people who buy into the entertainment provided by local and national news networks and believe it to be gospel. I also know many people who feel they simply must stay informed as a responsible citizen.
Inc magazine wrote recently about an article in the Harvard Review by a team of psychologists whose research showed …
People who watch just three minutes of negative news in the morning have a whopping 27 percent greater likelihood of reporting their day as unhappy or depressing six to eight hours later.
They further report that watching the news can have a negative effect on work performance and that “the majority of news stories showcase problems in our world that we can do little or nothing about.”
And here is something interesting from this report…. “….when we’re optimistic — in a positive state — our brain thinks it has more resources to solve problems and come up with solutions, so it actually lets in more opportunities.” Hard to stay optimistic when we are continually bombarded with bad news.
I don’t listen to the news. It is a rare day I would ever turn on the TV, radio or pick up a newspaper (are there still some out there?) to be “informed”. I don’t have to. I hear it from everyone around me. And it’s mostly gloom and doom. And, like the research article said, I can do little about what is happening in the world, the country or even the state I live in. I don’t have a problem with FOMO (fear of missing out) if I don’t stay informed of who raped, pillaged, lied or corrupted.
You’ve heard it a million times….we all have choices. I love, and often use, the quotation by Barbara Bush who stated,
“Your success as a family, our success as a nation, depends not on what happens in the White House…but what happens inside your house.”
What influences your mood for the day? I love that Dan includes a “Good News” section to his weekly podcasts and gets so many affirmations from others who think this is a refreshing way to look at life. He also hears from listeners who have stopped listening to the daily news and are astounded at how much it has increased productivity and mood change.
It’s unfortunate we live in a world of gloom and doom. But I choose to take seriously what Barbara Bush stated and concentrate on what I can do to enhance the beauty and success around me in my own home, neighborhood and community.
Are you willing to go on a news fast? I’d love to hear what that does for you!