No news is good news
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Caroline Le Vine
18th January, 20150 Comments
In a lecture on positive psychology, it was said that people who don‘t listen to or watch the news frequently are less likely to be depressed or unhappy than people who do. There isn‘t room here to unpack the arguments about causal and correlational links (and you‘ll probably be glad of that) but it‘s an interesting idea. There can be little doubt that the vast majority of the headlines concern awful events occurring around the world.
Should we just switch off, then, and block out the unpleasantness?
If we did that, we‘d be uninformed about current affairs and in no position to comment or act upon things that we feel deserve a response of some kind; we‘d become disengaged. But when the picture of the world is so unrelentingly dismal, we can start to feel enraged and impotent; hopeless. It‘s easy then fail to register hope, joy and strength in ourselves and others. We‘re beleaguered on two fronts: the outside world is grim and so are we - there‘s nothing we can do about it.
So a little balance may be useful. Some people take time to notice the good things around and within them and some of those people write them down; in a notebook or on scraps of paper that they put into a jar so that they can watch the stock of good things grow. Some people acknowledge that there is darkness in the world and try to bring a little light into their own corner of it to alleviate their own suffering and that of others. Some just choose to switch off the news, say, once or twice a week and do something else instead - read a good book, meditate, walk, ring a friend and so on. These acts of recharging our emotional batteries allow us to be more resilient and can even bestow upon us the energy to engage more powerfully in a bid to make a difference.
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