How Today's Media Leaves You Anxious and Fearful
If You’re Struggling to Stay Positive In Your Life and In Your Business, Changing the Channel Could be Your Answer.
By JAIME ELLITHORPE
Have you ever noticed how sad, upset or angry you feel after catching up on the news?
If you haven’t noticed, observe your reactions next time you tune in. Make a conscious effort to assess how your body feels.
Do you feel tight in your shoulders or upper back? What about a knot or churning in your stomach?
Does your mind race as you ask yourself, “How could anybody do that?” or “What is this world coming to?”
These (and any other bad-feelings) are normal reactions to disasters and violence. But here’s something you may not know: news organizations are making you feel this way on purpose!
When I was in journalism school, we had a saying in the news room: “If it bleeds, it leads.”
Have you ever heard of “sensationalistic” journalism? If not, think Jerry Springer meets the local apartment fire…
“Today’s media is in the business of selling news. How do they sell? They sell by evoking emotion, and the fastest way to get someone fired up and paying attention is to make them feel bad.”
Effectively selling the news is about evoking emotion in any way possible so you pay attention. When this emotional vacuum’s successfully created, you’re now vulnerable to advertising and thinking like the news organization, aka, agenda pushing.
These subliminal messages can really affect you, but you hardly notice it.
How? Let’s connect what we’ve just learned about the media and how it relates to your life and business.
How Their Stories Become Your New Reality
Our brains are like giant magnets, able to attract information, either positive or negative. As your brain interprets information, your subconscious mind backs up or reaffirm the stories you tell yourself.
These truths become your reality, and you make decisions based in this space. Your new reality affects all areas of your life, good and bad.
You have the ability to feed your reality with either positive or good-feeling thoughts, or negative or bad-feeling thoughts.
If you’re constantly ingesting news content about: wars, famines, disease, death etc., this becomes your dominant reality, and you continue to strengthen your negative thinking.
Before you know it, you’re angry at the government, livid with law-enforcement, and fearful about the next disaster.
What’s worse is you’re exposed to this all day, every day with modern technology. Feeling good is almost impossible!
I know it’s a bit unrealistic to seal yourself completely off from the world, but you can limit how much time you spend in negativity.
You can do this by becoming aware of the negative messages you expose yourself to and limiting your focus on them.
Your New "Media Happiness" Game Plan
When you’re consuming the news, sometimes it’s hard to tell in that exact moment what’s getting to you and what’s not.
It’s really all about personal interpretation, but if something’s upsetting you or generally making you feel bad, it’s an indicator it’s not in alignment with you and what you value.
Simply just limiting yourself with the time you spend consuming media is a good first step to feeling better. Here’s how to get started:
Block out a 15 minute chunk of your day for catching up on the news.
Don’t look at it again until the next day. Limit your media to one TV station, newspaper or radio talk show. Choose to read only headlines.
Do what works for you, but focus on feeling good!
You may end up eliminating other communications like emails, social posts, and magazines. Remember negativity can come in all forms.
Are You Ready for the Ultimate Challenge?
If you’re ready to take the ultimate challenge, go on a “news diet” for 30 days.
Purposely ignore news-related media during this time and re-evaluate how you feel. If you feel better, you may want to keep this on-going.
As a recovering journalist, I find myself centered and more at peace after I eliminated about all the news from my life. (And I thought I wanted to do that for a living, sha!)
But in all seriousness..
The best strategy for ultimate happiness in life and in business is feeling good, and cutting back (or even eliminating media from your life altogether) may be the one thing that gets you there the fastest!
I hope this helps, and let me know what you think in the comments below.