Bad news travels fast. The good news takes the scenic route.Doug Larson
Earlier we used to say- “No news is good news” but not anymore. Negative news sells. These days, more people will choose to watch the criminal trial of a celebrity rather than the biography of a truly great human being. A newspaper with a headline revealing the latest tragedy will sell more copies than one announcing the latest scientific breakthrough. So it’s much more important now to wean your news addiction.
The real problem is that it is easy to get addicted to reading and watching negative news. I know so many people who begin their days by reading or listening news. They are addicted to the news. But is it worth it? I wonder why people start their day with so much negativity. Why do they choose to start their day by catching up on the latest crimes, accidents and scandals on the late-night news?
Negative Effects of News
By doing so, you are affecting your mental as well a physical well being. It is better to wean your news addiction. Some of the negative effects of excessive exposure to news are discussed below:
1. Increases Pessimism
News make us pay more attention to all the worst things happening around us as most of the time, news channels are interested in focussing on the negative side of everything. They don’t think twice before breaking any negative news out.
For example, a medicine that is “95% effective” in treating a disease sounds more promising to us than one which “fails 5% of the time”. The outcome is the same but what do you think would be more appealing to news channels?
2. Infiltrate Our Dreams
I know, it sounds weird but there’s growing evidence that the news might even infiltrate our dreams. There is a strong link between dreams and exposure to events on television. So it is not advisable by psychologists to see anything traumatic before you hit the sack.
3. Makes Us Stressed
According to several researchers, the more news coverage a person is exposed to, the more likely they are to develop symptoms such as stress and anxiety.
News channels these days have the “talent” to increase your heart rate and blood pressure because even when they’re reporting on already traumatic incidents, they often can’t resist adding an extra frisson of tension, just like an amateur loves seasoning the cuisines with spices while dabbling in cooking.
Start Being Selective
I am not against newspapers or television by any means. As a matter of fact, I find excellent information in many newspapers and have learned much from intelligent TV programs. My point is simply to become more selective in the news you expose your mind to. Be more deliberate in the way you read your newspaper and in the way you watch your television.
Before you start reading the morning paper, have a purpose in mind. Use it as an information tool to serve you and to make you wiser rather than as a pass time.
Go on a News-Fast
One of the best ways to wean yourself from the “news addiction” is to go on a seven – days news fast. Vow not to read even one negative story in the newspaper or watch even one negative news report on television for the next week.
You will notice two things:
- You will not miss out on much information. You will still hear about the most important stories of the day from the conversations in your office and at home.
- You will feel much more peaceful and serene.
And the cherry on top would be, more time to do the things that will truly improve the quality of your life.
So the next time you find yourself checking the headlines for the hundredth time that day, or anxiously scrolling through your social media feed, just remember: the news might be influencing you more than you bargained for.
News is to the mind what sugar is to the body.Rolf Dobelli