Does watching the news make you happy?

I have a friend who texted me recently that she’s not enjoying her work anymore. She wasn’t sure why, and wondered if she needed to find a new job. I offered her some advice and sent her here to read my story, and how I came to discover what I should be doing with my life right now. I thought the exercise I did might be a helpful for her, too.
 
She also downloaded my 5 Ways to Live a Happier Life. A couple days later she texted me again and told me she had an “aha!” moment while reading it. She realized that in her new home she kept the news on while she was working, as background noise. She started to wonder if all the negativity she was hearing consciously and subconsciously was affecting her and the enjoyment she received from her work. 
 
Does watching the news make you happy? That seems like a silly question, doesn’t it? We’ve normalized the news so much, that we don’t even truly think about what it is and how it affects us. We simply feel its our responsibility to be informed. We know the news is going to be mostly bad, and we shake our heads at the state of the world. We get outraged, anxious, sad, and worried. Yet we continue to watch.
 
It doesn’t matter what news station you are watching, you are only getting what that station wants to share with you. You are not getting all the news, nor are you hearing the full stories. The news is sensationalized, downplayed, or not told at all. On top of that, everyone interprets the “facts” that are reported how they want to, and sees what they want to see. And what may seem good for one, can certainly not feel that way for another.
 
I’m not here to challenge the news lovers in the world. I’m here to help those who are deeply affected by it in negative ways. And for those people, I challenge you to stop watching the news. I’m not saying be uninformed completely. But how you choose to receive the news, and the amount of news you consume, matters.
 
Try it for a week and see what happens. At the end of the week ask yourself how you feel as a result of not having watched. Did it lessen your worry? Did it help your mood? Did it change your conversations? Did it change how you reacted to others in your life? What did you do with that time instead? Here’s the most important question – did you miss anything important that had a direct affect on you? For most of us, most of the time, the answer is probably not.
 
Decide that you’ll only watch the news when it’s critical that you do. Otherwise, turn it off. What could happen is a return of your joy and happiness.
 
In love and light ~Janet

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3 comments
Janet Sage says April 10, 2019

I published this blog post yesterday. Today I happened to listen to a podcast featuring Shawn Achor (author of “The Happiness Advantage”) as part of Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. Starting at the 9:30 minute mark, he starts talking about how our brains are bombarded by negative information when we listen to the news. He, too, doesn’t recommend an “ostrich approach,” but “decreasing the noise” instead. He then sites research he conducted with Arianna Huffington that concluded that 3 minutes of watching negative news in the morning affects your day immediately, and even 6-8 hours later, you are 27% more likely to report a negative day. Thanks, Shawn, for the research tidbit that validates the idea that limiting our exposure to the news can affect us in positive ways.

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Jannet says April 10, 2019

Anything you do in the morning tends to dictate how your day will go. No more negatively. Just positivity. That’s why I love working out in the morning. Gets the body moving and I feel great! Thanks for you post!!!! 😊

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    Janet Sage says April 10, 2019

    Oh, I agree 100%! Thanks for adding that! 🙂

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