24 Nov Are you addicted to bad news? If you want to be happier you need to stop!
Happiness isn’t about ignoring bad things.
But happiness is about focusing more on what’s going well.
And just as, if not more importantly, happiness is about learning how to control the focus of your mind…
via FastCompany by Jory Mackay-Rescuetime
Turn on the news these days and you’d be forgiven for thinking the world is about to end. From politics to climate change to the economy, negative and bad news surrounds us everywhere we go.
The problem isn’t just that there are terrible things happening around the world. But also that our brains are simply wired to pay more attention to unpleasant news. Psychologists call this the “negativity bias” and have found that it’s one of the first things we develop as children.
And while this bias may have helped our ancestors pay attention to potentially life-threatening situations, today it’s getting in the way of our happiness, well-being, and even our productivity.
WHY READING OR WATCHING BAD NEWS FIRST THING IN THE MORNING IS SO BAD FOR YOU
There’s a couple of issues at play here. The first is the problem of when we consume news.
A study by researchers Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan along with Thrive founder Arianna Huffington found that just three minutes of negative news in the morning (versus more uplifting content) can ruin your mood for the rest of the day.
Next is the problem with consuming bad news itself. According to data scientist Kalev Leetaru–who used a technique called “sentiment mining” to assess the emotional tone of articles published in the New York Times from 1945 to 2005, as well as an archive of translated articles from 130 other countries–the news has gotten progressively gloomier since the 1970s.
Far from being better informed, heavy news consumers end up miscalibrated and irrational due to a cognitive bias called the Availability Heuristic. This bias explains that people estimate the probability of an event or the frequency of a kind of thing by the ease with which instances come to mind.
It’s why people rank tornadoes (which kill around 50 people a year) as a more common cause of death than asthma (which kills closer to 4,000).
TO COMBAT THE NEGATIVE NEWS CYCLE, SLOW DOWN AND PICK YOUR BATTLES
Everyone wants to feel informed. Yet too much exposure to the news–especially negative news–can seriously impact our mood and ability to be rational and logical. So what do we do?
…keep reading the full & original article HERE