Brexit, bombings, global warming, if the border closes how do we get avocados? The crazy weather. It’s time to take a break. Just looking at the headlines on google news or the start of any network news show will reveal the diet of gloom and doom that the media is providing us. It gets to me!! I’ve even felt this in the past when I would go away for a few days- away from the televisions and the phones and the tablets and the laptops. Now, I do not even need to go away to feel the heavy reality that is fed to us on a daily basis! Bad news brings us down. The daily reminder of how awful life is clouds our view. Not instantly though, it is like the constant drip of water that over years wears away huge limestone boulders. After a while we can begin to feel guilty about not feeling bad...
How can we feel good and cheerful and carefree when there are people suffering everywhere? How can I celebrate at all since there are people dying every second of every day somewhere in the world. When the TV cameras get such graphic shots (to keep up the ratings) that you can almost smell the blood as another corpse is hauled from the wreckage of a boat or a demolished building thousands of miles away – in real time, at the very moment you are watching it! We forget about fun, and playfulness. How can we feel such feelings when we read about babies being bombed on the other side of our shrinking blue marble. We begin accepting that life is, indeed, hell. How can we not when we see it; when full color close-ups are hurled at us. Always the focus on what is not working. The result of years of conditioning ourselves through using the media to focus on what is NOT working in the world is that we also begin focussing on what is not working in our own lives. We start zooming in on the problems and difficulties. And ignoring or down-playing the pleasant moments and the successes.
Our carefully developed pessimistic attitude is on the lookout for evidence to support itself. How does bad news help? Apart from making the media suppliers wealthier and helping the journalists get awards – how does this endless supply of bad news help anyone? Live Aid and Farm Aid helped raise lots of money – a long time ago. Subsequent campaigns helped and continue to help in smaller ways. They are worthy and deserve support and are successful because they exploit the media. But the media itself rarely helps – they just use unhappy situations to further their own aims.
So do you truly need your daily dose of bad news? Years ago I decided that I did not. This does not mean I live in a self imposed box. I just limit my exposure to it. You may chose otherwise and decide that you do need to be 'kept informed'. Fine, that is your choice…. But here's a suggestion… Take a day off from the gloom! If it's really important to you to continue being 'realistic' here's a suggestion: how about allowing yourself a day off occasionally? How about taking a Rest Day once a month? Or even once a week? A day when you will focus… …on the good news? … on what IS working in your life – instead of what is not working? …on what you are happy about instead of what you are dissatisfied with? .. on what you DO like about the people you encounter – instead of what you do not like? Begin by deciding to insulate yourself from the media for your Rest Day.
Experiment to discover if you can get by without your daily dose of news about horrors, famines, floods, murders, earthquakes, or diseases, plane crashes, etc. See if it is possible to cope without viewing, or reading or hearing about the carnage on the roads, the political scandals or international tensions. It'll be tough – but you can do it – after all it's only for a day (smile!).
Let's hear about your experiments with limiting the bad news?