How good and bad news affect your health and happiness

How good and bad news affect your health and happiness

If, like me, you find the news sometimes detracts from your happiness, or if it makes you downright miserable, then I’m pretty sure you’ll find this article about how both good and bad news affects our health and happiness well worth the read…

October 26, 2016Posted by Helaina Hovitz

Guest Editorial: Jodie Jackson, MSc in Positive Psychology.

There are thousands of events happening daily, and only a select few are considered ‘newsworthy.’

Chances are, most of those are depressing, upsetting, or, at the very least, foreboding—and multiple studies show that it can have a severe impact on both our mental and physical health. I set out to find out what would happen if we focused on the positive instead, and what I found may surprise you.

In my work with the Constructive Journalism Project, I found that positive news can indeed have a positively enormously impact on your health and your state of mind, and that’s a scientific fact. That’s why we need more of it: never before have our minds had so much influence on our happiness as now, when we live in an information-based world with an increasingly virtual existence.

What led me here in the first place was my experience as a regular, everyday news consumer.

I found that my opinions and beliefs about the world around me were becoming cynical, mistrusting and even paranoid at times due to the media’s relentless focus on problems, and continuous depiction of humanity at its worst. The realization that the news produced such a strong emotional experience led me to pursue a master’s degree in positive psychology.

My initial understanding behind the psychological impact of the news world was in line with the findings of Shana Gadarian, Associate Professor at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University, who has studied extensively the affects on political reporting on peoples’ mental health, publishing those studies in The Washington Post.

I was not surprised to learn that Mary McNaughton-Cassill, a professor at University of Texas–San Antonio, also conducted research about the relationship between news consumption and anxiety, and concluded that that negative news leads to increased levels of helplessness, hopelessness, depression, isolation, anxiety, contempt and hostility towards others, desensitization to the information presented and eventual disengagement…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE