Do you need more good news in your life?
Does the daily news get you down?
Do you watch or read a lot of it? Too much, maybe?
If you want a change, it seems you have two choices:
Consume less bad news and/or seek out more good news.Does the daily news get you down? Here are some great sources of good news! Click To Tweet
Are you addicted?
I know people who watch several hours of news and commentary each evening. And it seems (based on personal observation) that the ones who do are often depressed and anxious. Or maybe they check social media several times a day — half the time hoping, and the other half dreading, that something has happened while they weren’t watching.
This short Psychology Today article explains why overexposure to disturbing news can keep you in a constant state of fear and alert, affect your sleep, and even make you physically ill:
Meanwhile, have you seen this quote before?
“My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.”
(It’s from a cartoon by David Sipress. Here’s the cartoon and an article he wrote about it. The article is very political, but also very interesting. The cartoon dates from the Clinton administration and has applications in all political eras.)
There are times when I sure can relate to that sentiment! You too? The quote goes back decades, so it’s not like anything has changed in that regard. Whether it’s world, national, or local, the news tends to be bad. In fact, it’s been mostly bad news, most of the time, since the dawn of television.
Now I’m thinking of newspaper stories I find on Newspapers.com in the course of my genealogy research. And the book by Paulette Jiles, which was made into a Tom Hanks movie, News of the World. It features a Civil War veteran who travels on horseback from town to town reading newspaper stories to local residents for an admission fee of ten cents. Old newspapers included plenty of bad news, like when several of my relatives were killed or injured in a train wreck in 1876 Cincinnati (honestly, it seems like a lot of folks were killed or injured in train wrecks, or on train tracks, back then), but also stories like who visited whom from out of town — genealogy gold! Here’s one about my own 8th birthday party in Cayuga Indiana, which I found in Mom’s Boxes. But I digress.
Here are my suggestions:
Consume less bad news
Sounds simple, but I know it can be difficult for those who are “addicted”. I can’t tell you how much is “too much”. But I can tell you that sometimes it’s just that you’re in the habit of turning on the TV at dinner time and neglecting to turn it off until bedtime. If you are a TV-on-in-the-background person — and if you’re stuck in a rut, as per Julie Bestry, Paper Doll Says: Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut — Take Big Leaps — it’s easier to consume bad news than not to.
So, a degree of mindfulness and intention are required to control your exposure to bad news. You can either consciously turn the TV on for less time each day; watch something else during some of those hours (ala Guilt-Free TV); and/or you can seek out more good news.
Seek out more good news
Again, the premise is simple: Good news helps balance out bad news.
And, again, it takes an effort to find good news.
During the COVID lockdown a lot of my internet friends and I were enjoying SomeGoodNews with John Krasinski, which was a short-lived but welcome reprieve. (Hard to believe there were only nine episodes!)
Mostly animal-related good news:
Lately I am following @thatgoodnewsgirl on TikTok. “I’m Jenn and I post something positive every day.” Look for her on other social media platforms as well. Her news is largely — but not exclusively — about animals. And who doesn’t love a good, heartwarming, cute animal story?
Which reminds me of @weratedogs’ Top 5 Dogs of the Week, which I also see on TikTok. The episode I just linked to ranged from the winner of the annual Cincinnati Running of the Wieners (all purebred or mixed breed dachshunds, all in hot dog bun costumes), to Ivar, the dog who has rescued 27 people from the flooding destruction in Libya. WeRateDogs sells merch and donates a percentage of the proceeds to sponsor shelter dogs with medical needs.
I also like Odd Couples by The Dodo, a Facebook page about interspecies animal friendships. Awww!
Other types of good news:
If animal news isn’t your cup of tea — what’s wrong with you? — here are a few more:
I’ve long seen social media posts from Upworthy, so maybe you have too? They “share the best of humanity with the world” and “spread joy through positive storytelling.”
The Optimist Daily — A newsletter curated from a repository of good news from around the world. “Our mission is to provide a daily dose of optimism in the form of solutions-focused, good news that you can enjoy and share with those you care for.” Topics include environment, science, business, politics, education, health and lifestyle.
Good News Network — “An antidote to the barrage of negativity experienced in the mainstream media.” From Wikipedia: “Its purpose is to share positive and encouraging stories, as well as breakthroughs in technology and health.” Take your pick of website, app, social media, book, podcast, and email newsletter.
One thing always leads to another when writing a blog post: I wasn’t thinking of this until just now, but I guess High Five Friday, my weekly Facebook thread, could be considered good news to those who participate. I, for one, find that reading about others’ accomplishments makes me feel uplifted and inspired!
Shout out to Julie Stobbe, who suggested creating a “Happiness Stop Doing List” in her contribution to the most recent Productivity & Organizing Blog Carnival (POBC). Each month my Canadian website caregiver and designer, Janet Barclay, curates a collection of blog posts on a different theme. Julie didn’t have “stop watching bad news” on her list (I added it in a comment), but it nonetheless triggered the idea for this blog post, as well as a number of other things going on lately in conversations I’ve had. The whole September POBC issue — The Stop Doing List — is great! (Note that the image aptly depicts a choice between balance and burnout.) I loved seeing how each blogger approached the topic from a different angle. (My contribution was Just say no. Here’s how and why.)
Do you suffer from too much bad news?
Do you have a source of good news that you’d like to share with us in the comments?
Might you try one of the sources I have listed?
- Hazel Thornton is an author, genealogist, and retired home and office organizer.
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- Copyright 2023 by Hazel Thornton, Organized for Life and Beyond