Limit watching the news and you'll be happier for it.
Back in 1929 when the stock market crashed, we didn’t have CNN or FOX or news on the Internet. Our grandparents (or great grandparents in some cases) didn’t get over-fed the news 24-7. They got a newspaper once a day (maybe) and they listened to the radio (maybe).
Because of this age of information we can be (if we choose) bombarded with bad news because the access is as close as our finger on the clicker or the mouse on our computer or the thumb on our phone. It’s one thing to be aware of what is going on in the world, our country and our community, but it’s quite another to watch the reruns and regurgitated opinions of “the experts” as they re-hash the re-runs while we click to another channel to watch the news covered from a different camera angle.
The GOOD NEWS is that to the media, the only newsworthy material is what is negative AND sensational. Dog Bites Man, is not “news.” Man Bites Dog (and don’t forget to put music behind the story) is. (I learned that from my journalist husband.) It is the extraordinary that makes “the news.” So most everything you see on the news is unusual and extraordinary. IT IS NOT THE NORM. But we in our naivety (or stupidity) allow our sweet minds to watch what happened not once but on the hour until the next day when the next batch of bad news is ready. How many times do you have to watch the bank robber caught on tape? Isn’t once enough?
We cause ourselves needless suffering
I know we’re human and most of us are naturally curious about bad news. We slow traffic by rubber-necking our way past an accident on the freeway. We perk at the prospect of some juicy gossip about a co-worker or neighbor. We swoon to discover the nasty truth about some celebrity, but there is a price to pay for the bad press we love. We suffer needlessly.
My dear friends, you suffer when you allow your clicker finger to surf the myriad of camera angles on Wall Street. You suffer when you indulge in phone conversations that carry news of someone’s layoff or divorce. You suffer when you allow the people outside your immediate family to affect your attitude at the dinner table. You suffer when you let the fears of others scare you. You have such power to stop the suffering and you can stop it right now, right in your home and with your family. Just stop it!
Here’s my warning: We can start being really scared when we see the guy on the six o’clock news proclaim, “A child was born at Cramdon Memorial today with two arms, two legs, all its fingers and toes AND a beating heart.” When the bad news stops it'll mean it isn’t the norm! When the good news which is mostly what is happening in our world starts getting reported, THEN is when we need to get a gun and find a cave.Here is my report from the great Pacific Northwest.
Woodland, Washington. The leaves on the maple trees are just beginning to display their brilliant green glory. A family of quail are back after a long winter absence. The humming birds are back too. Gravity has not let us down for one second. I can hear my heart beating and the air I so greatly appreciate is still free here in the state of Washington. Everyone in my immediate family has a working voice, feet, hands, lungs, eyes, ears, taste buds, stomach, skin, teeth, hair and nose and to my knowledge all other body parts are working well. The sun came up this morning and the birds are singing their little beaks off! All is well on this beautiful spring day.
PS A good substitute for the news is a book to read that makes you happy. If you purchase the Happiness File, you can start with the month of April in the book and start building a system that considers the pursuit of happiness to be a daily activity.
Here's another blog about happiness. https://blog.housefairy.org/8-happiness-sappers-to-avoid-now