There is so much pain and suffering in the world, and it takes a toll on each of us. As I posted about before, my heart breaks when I hear of tragedy, and I’m sure yours does too. It really depresses my day.
The problem is that the shock value of a story is what makes the news. People can’t help but become enthralled by information about the latest shooting or natural disaster or kidnapping. Even as we’re horrified, we’re still watching, which means the news stations will keep playing it.
I don’t even have television and I feel the effects. I had downloaded a couple news apps which would alert me to “breaking news.” This included everything from President Obama giving an important speech to a terror attack in Libya to the death of Prince. Mostly, it was negative. And it popped up throughout my life, as a constant reminder that the world is broken.
It turns out, hearing all the bad news that the media throws at us makes a significant difference in our lives. I found many articles on this exact situation, but one that stood out to me was this one. Not only does seeing or hearing negative news in the morning affect your effectiveness at work, it actually made people report their day as less happy 6 to 8 hours later.
Stop and let that sink in. It affects you all day long.
Before I even learned these facts, I had noticed that the bad news was stressing me out, so I made a quick 10 second change in my life. I deleted my news apps.
Instead, I receive the free “Daily Briefing” by the New York Times in my email. It’s a short newsletter that comes on weekdays and gives the most important news, and the best part is that since it comes once a day to my inbox, I don’t get interrupted throughout the day with bad news. Plus, it includes interesting, fun news and I don’t feel depressed after reading it. You can sign up here if it’s something you’re interested in. I’ve really enjoyed it for the few months I’ve been getting it.
The bottom line is this:
To increase your happiness all day, stop drowning yourself in bad news.
I think it has already made a difference for me.
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