Watching News Makes You Sick

evening news,

Have you stopped watching the evening news? A great number of people in America have decided not to watch the news anymore due to news fatigue. There are a variety of reasons given by people for not watching the news, but you shouldn’t stop. Choose to watch the news in order to stay informed about what is happening in our world, just do it in a different way. One of the biggest challenges we face in modern times is finding a way to maintain inner peace while staying informed about world events. It is important to remember that, as with everything, we have a choice in the way we respond to this constant parade of catastrophes and fears.

Some people choose not to listen to the daily news and live in a state of fear, anger, and isolation. Others feel powerless as they witness the fractures and violence in our world. Bringing these daily disasters into their daily lives can have a deep impact on some individuals’ minds and souls, interfering with the quality of their lives. Fortunately, just as we can all choose anger, fear, helplessness, and distress, we can also choose serenity, compassion, commitment, and wisdom.

The End is Not Near

Since humans have been able to speak, we have been proclaiming that the end of the world is right around the corner. Every 10 years or so, one of Nostradamus’s predictions surfaces, signaling that it is time for us all to dive under our beds. Years ago the Y2K frenzy and the Rapture theory created a multi-million dollar industry in books, seminars, and supplies to prepare us for the end of the world. Armageddon peddlers play on people’s fears based on the idea of the “in group,” the “out group,” and the “chosen ones.” Fear is traded as a commodity and exploited as a political strategy. It’s unsettling that a select few have created this mythical frenzy and cashed in on fortunes through manipulating the human psyche.

Still, whatever our particular political viewpoint, we all seem to be in agreement that these are serious times. Whether it is the scarcity of drinkable water, the melting of the polar icecaps, or the constant threat of terrorism, the overall response is: “What’s the world coming to?” The stakes have never seemed so high, and it feels as though our country—and our world—is at a crossroads. Now more than ever it is important that we remain mindful of which road we are choosing to walk down in the everyday choices that make up the fabric of our lives.

No One’s Left Behind

How can you keep current events from dampening your spirits? How can you watch the news without being trapped in a web of doom?

Begin by watching the news objectively, by becoming aware of catchphrases, listening for charged words, and watch for the manipulation of language. Discern whether the news is based in reality or sensationalism. Assess your news “habits”: do you listen to the news actively, or passively? Do you choose your news sources with awareness? What emotions do you feel as you listen to the news? What are your thoughts? You can develop your own mindfulness practices that will soon be second nature and keep you from being negatively affected by the news.

Don’t Be a Victim of  The News Fatigue

Gather the facts from different sources. When you hear of a horrible accident or a violent crime, practice compassion for all the people involved—the victims, the police and emergency personnel, even the perpetrators who will be held responsible for their actions. If you pray, put the people concerned in the news story on your prayer list, or spend a few moments mindfully sending them healing thoughts

Instead of being victimized by events on the evening news, choose to tap into your power to become a person interested in helping the victims in some way. An old axiom goes: “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Whether it’s the welfare of our animal friends, the health of our forests, or a deeper level of communication with our fellow humans around the globe, listen to your heart and it will tell you a path to take.

Amidst all the noise of the modern media, make time to listen to that still, quiet voice within you. Mindfully choose the way you interpret the evening news. Living mindfully means becoming aware of what creates passion within you, and then putting your energy into that specific area. Don’t become distracted or defeated. When you do nothing to improve the situation or help others it contributes to your feelings of powerlessness. Instead, focus on a project, no matter how small, that warms your heart and makes the world a better place. It could be as simple as visiting an elderly neighbor or as challenging as running for office. When you participate in the world around you, you become part of the solution that heals the plague of apathy in our country.