Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you just feel bad? You can’t even put your finger on it, but for some reason, you’re just not as happy as you typically are. There’s nothing really wrong, but somehow life just doesn’t feel right. Have you ever been there? I have and I suppose most of us can have those moments.
Recently I was having a conversation with someone who was experiencing something similar. As we were chatting about nothing in particular, he eventually admitted to me, “I just feel out of sorts.” He couldn’t explain it, he just knew something wasn’t right.
We drilled down a little bit more trying to pinpoint what the reason could be for his disposition. As we continued to talk one thing became clear…the news around him was discouraging him. And the more we talked, the more I learned that this individual watched the news…a lot of news.
Stop Watching The News
I have fond memories of staying up with my parents, with a pot of coffee to watch the 11pm news. It was something we did almost nightly. (Back then I could still go right to sleep even after coffee).
But you want to know something? I think it’s a bad habit to get into. And here’s why…IT’S DEPRESSING!
Do you ever felt better after watching the news? Do you ever feel inspired or motivated after watching the news? I doubt it. In fact a Huffington Post study shows that just 3 minutes of negative news (is there any other kind?) in the morning increases our chances of having a bad day by 27%. (Another reason to protect your morning routine for things that will set you up for success.)
5 Reasons To Stop Watching The News
1) It makes you feel worse not better
I just mentioned this above but it’s worth mentioning again. Consistent exposure to news can have a negative impact on our emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. If you don’t believe me, take a few minutes after your next news show to evaluate how you actually feel.
2) News is a money-making business
Money, (ie advertising) is what keeps news on the air. The focus will always be on what’s in their best interests, not yours. Sure businesses want customers but who do you think these news sources are really answering to?
3) We don’t get news we get a version of the news
It seems to me that there has been a huge shift from sharing news to crafting the news. Many news outlets have a political bent so we will hear things that typically support that political camp but will not hear things that might potentially oppose that view. We rarely will be getting the whole story…only their version of the story. So people will will gravitate to a particular station based on their own worldview and political opinions.
I just read a new phrase relating to news… it’s called ‘media-splain’. Which basically means that news sources work extra hard to spin stories toward their political, philosophical position.
Thats’ what we get now. Not the story but their take on it and what they want us to hear/ and not hear about it.
News agencies simply are not objective. They don’t tell stories, they (re)write them.
4) The news could be fake
Maybe fake news has always been a problem, but it seems to be a real problem today. It’s hard for me to imagine the effort and motivation it takes to actually intentionally report false statements and outright lies but this takes news reporting to a whole new level. Perhaps our social media channels are most guilty of this but much of what we read or see today needs to be back-checked now.
5) Negative news leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless
Have you ever asked yourself why you watch the news? Most of what we see is negative…negative stories…and to what end? Is there a call to action? Maybe. But most often, it’s just information. Information that doesn’t do anything productive…it may entertain, it may even inform…but once the TV is off, what good will it produce?
I just took a 5-minute break to check out the latest news in my area. Here’s what I saw…
- Truck fire started by homemade bomb
- Mother charged with felony-murder after of leaving baby in car while getting hair done
- Two people stabbed during assault
- Motorcyclist suffers broken arm making a u-turn
- Puppy found in garbage can; rescued and receiving treatment
- Woman found dead. Son charged with murder.
In 5 minutes!!!
Lets see…fires, bombs, death, accidents, murder…oh yeah and a rescued puppy. What do you think the long-lasting impact is of taking this stuff in, day after day after day? What toll is this taking on our mental and emotional health?
These situations are very sad and tragic, but does it help for me to hear about them?
This emphasis on negative news is only punctuated by the common strategy of ending a news segment with a feel-good story. It’s almost like, the station knows that the viewer have probably had all they can take of sad, disturbing images and stories, so they insert a piece about a lost dog being found or a stolen purse being returned to it’s owner or police officers playing ball with neighbourhood kids.
We all love a good story like these, sure; but weighed against the litany of negative stories we have to wade through first, I’d say they hardly balance out.
What Can You Do Instead
If you think that your viewing habits are having a negative impact, here are two suggestions that may help.
Clear Your Mind
Take News Detox
Detoxing our bodies can be a great way to improve our physical health; detoxing our minds can be just as helpful to our emotional health. Take a day or better a week off from watching news. Monitor how you’re feeling. I just know that you will eventually feel better emotionally, you’re demeanour will improve and you might just minimize those moments where you “just don’t feel right.”
Feed Your Mind
Instead of news, real or fake, why not read a book or blog (sorry if that seems self-serving) that not only informs you but inspires and encourages you. The Bible says, “Be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” For me that begins with reading the Bible each morning.
Maybe that’s not your style. But if you want to change your life, change what you feed your mind.
Just one small change can have a huge impact on your well-being.
Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Your life not where you want it to be? Life coaching can help. Contact me to arrange a free 45-minute discovery call. Let’s talk.