Could Pausing the News Increase Joy and Reduce Anxiety?

Contrary to popular belief this article isn’t being written only to upset my mother who is an avid news watcher and also someone who will happily give you a doomsday report whenever you don’t ask for it. That being said, I will be the first one to admit that people don’t like hearing the message I’m about to share, but I’m going to give it to you anyway. If you are stressed, if you are full of anxiety, if you are in fear of the world then please, for the love of God, turn off the news. Let me tell you why.

You are creating a world that isn’t your actual reality

If you have ever spent a good chunk of your time talking about all the horrible things going on in the world and how scary and awful it is, then I need you to pause and listen up for a second, ok?

How many beautiful, opportunities that have been right in front of your face, might have you missed out on just while going on and on about how horrible the world is.

The truth is, the more focus we put toward the beautiful, wonderful things of the world, the more likely that is what we are going to create more of.

You can’t create a colorful photo if you are only painting with greys.

Today, could I encourage you to just actually look at your life. Your real life. I know it might not be all that great. We all have bad days. We all go through hard times. But, please, for the love of Pete, give some of your attention to the beautiful things that are surrounding you. Maybe these journal prompts will help.

Did someone hold the door for you? And your purse wasn’t immediately snatched? Whoa!

Stranger smile at you on the street? Could they just be smiling and not have some deep, dark hidden agenda?

Your kids gave you a hug after school? Even if they just want a cookie, who cares, you got a hug and you have cookies in your house. Can I come over?

Yes, there is no escaping the fact that every day there will be bad things taking place in our world, but you have the option to welcome them into your reality or not.

TMI (Too Much Information)

In our modern world, we are constantly being bombarded by news stories about hurricanes, fires, murders, trafficking, you name it. Then maybe, just to give us a slight glimmer of hope, they’ll toss in a puppy saving a cat or some shit. Like that is what you’re going to think about as you drift off to sleep. As if.

This information overload according to an article called, Are We Consuming Too Much Information? Typical side effects of information overload (that we are all living in) can cause symptoms such as:

  • Brain fog
  • Decreased decision-making capabilities
  • Reduced willpower
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of focus
  • Critical thinking becomes impared

Having a constant, steady stream of news articles, people’s opinions, and all-around negative feeds is taking a major toll on our happiness and our relationships with one another.

Is watching the news bad for you? You might feel smarter, but chances are it's making you feel more depressed. How to create healthy habits.

Trust no one. Die alone.

As we suck in all of these details about the badness and wrongdoings of the world, we begin to look at the world through smog-colored glasses. We see people as evil…I mean seriously, how many times have you heard someone say, “I hate people.”

What people? All people?

Are you basing a large chunk of this comment based off stories you heard on the internet?

Maybe you’re basing it off the people who have done you wrong in life. If that’s the case…I get that. It’s hard to let go of the shitty things people say or do to us. But the thing is, if I continued to give all of those people my time and attention, then I would have missed out on so many golden opportunities to surround myself with people who are pretty freaking amazing. Not to mention that I would have given someone who hurt me all of my time and attention!?

At the end of the day, focusing on our quality of relationships is the absolute best thing we can do for ourselves and the world at large. A popular study in happiness that was conducted found that the biggest key to creating a life of lasting happiness is love. Loving connections with our fellow human beings. Friendships, romantic relationships, you name it.

You might have your close little circle of people that you love, but I promise you, if you are harboring a heart of fear, resentment, or even anger toward the rest of the world, you are hindering your relationships with those you hold dearest.

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How to go luke-warm turkey on the news

If you were to turn off the news, shut it out as much as possible, first of all, you wouldn’t be able to. It would find you. It always finds you.

I can’t even pretend that it is possible to go cold turkey on the news, because it is everywhere…so we’re going to do our best to just be lukewarm.

Consider drastically reducing your doomsday consumption in the following ways:

  • Not turning on the news
  • Not diving into doom and gloom articles on Facebook
  • Ignoring the end-of-days headlines when you check your email
  • Scrolling past social media posts that want to push the agenda that this is a terrible world

This will take some getting used to, especially if you are in the habit of going to this stuff first thing in the morning. My favorite way to cut out a good chunk of the over-consumption is to delete social media apps from my phone. That way, when I go to scroll, the option isn’t even there.

You will still be informed.

I cannot tell you the number of times that someone has called me ignorant for not watching the news. I have read about 40 books in the last 12 months, binge-watched nothing, and yet, I’m being called ignorant.

I don’t ever want to pretend that I am happy to shut my eyes to the problems of the world. I know there are major problems taking place every single day. And like I said, thanks to this technologically advanced society we live in, I am always bombarded with information. I don’t ever actually miss out on major events. I just don’t choose to welcome every single devastating event into my life.

I mean, it’s crazy to me that people wake up thinking, “Oh, I really need to catch up on the latest murders, storms, devastations, and deaths today! That sounds like a really great way to start my day! What could go wrong?!”

You can’t help if you’re in the fetal position

If information overload hinders our ability to not only make decisions but actually take action, wouldn’t it be fair to say that the less information we consume the more likely we are to take bold, loving, intelligent action on the issues that matter most to us?

I think that seems accurate.

So maybe that means, that rather than just being informed about all of the issues so you can hold up your end of the doomsday conversation at the lunch table, you should find the topic of interest that is closest to your heart and get hyper-informed about what you can do to actually make a difference in that area.

Might I also suggest, not just helping the current situation, but rather diving deeper into the underlying cause?

For example, there are devastating forest fires ripping through all parts of the world right now. You can send money to Red Cross, that’s a good start. However, what if you really dived into what is causing all of these fires to take place?

Taking action to work toward lasting change in an area of our world that you feel needs the most attention is going to do so much more good in your heart, home, and community than constantly reading news articles ever will.

So what’s the challenge?

Can you completely turn off the news for an entire month? Stop interacting with or reading articles that you see on social media that make you feel sad, mad or frustrated with the world. If you believe there is enough fear, frutration and anger in the world as it is, then why add to it by welcoming thes emotions into your life?

What you can do instead:

  • Watch a funny movie or show that you love
  • Turn on an audiobook or informative YouTube video
  • Edit and update the photos on your phone
  • Go for a walk with some good music
  • Read an informative book with your morning coffee (maybe steer clear of topics like Hitler, or 9/11 mmk?)

You’ve got a lot of light to shine on this world, and I’d be willing to bet that it will shine so much brighter if you just give this part of your day a pause for just 30 days. Feel up to the task? Tag me on Instagram and let me know you’re all in!

Want to connect more with a better version of you?

Maybe you aren’t sure of what topics matter the most to you, or you aren’t even really sure who “you” are. There is so much love and light to be found in just learning how to better connect with your intuition and inner guidance system. I know it sounds corny, but I promise, it’s powerful stuff. If you love the idea of learning more, check out my free training, The Consciousness Connection.

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Is watching the news bad for you? You might feel smarter, but chances are it's making you feel more depressed. How to create healthy habits.