Taking in News Without Absorbing Negativity

As business, marketing and PR executives, it is imperative that we stay tuned to the latest happenings in the world. Unfortunately this news, whether found via your local TV station or through social media channels, can be depressing. Looping, sensationalized and negative reports of worldwide suffering has the potential to drain even the most callous soul.

An article in Psychology Today, The Psychological Effects of TV News, shares research that negative news broadcasts make you sadder, more anxious and can “exacerbate your own personal worries and anxieties.” Sound appealing?

This begs the question – how do we balance knowledge with maintaining positive energy and healthy thoughts?

The Huffington Post’s The Third Metric shares four tips to avoid this depressing fate in it’s recent post How To Follow The News Without Plunging Into A Bottomless Pit Of Despair. They are:

  • Just turn it off
  • Be empathetic, but not to the point of paralysis
  • Change your habits
  • Learn what works for you

With these tips in mind, I will share what works for me.

  • Take action

When something touches my heart, I try to make a difference in some way. I may donate time or money. If nothing else, a few minutes practicing lovingkindness meditation for the suffering. Check out Sharon Salzberg’s CD on the practice here.

  • Limit exposure

I find that limiting news too close to bedtime is wise for me. I prefer to prime my mind with positive thoughts as a habit to maintain a joyful attitude.

  • Create mental strength through healthy lifestyle choices

I make the conscience choice to exercise, eat healthy food, meditate, explore hobbies that bring me joy and surround myself with positive people. These choices impact my ability to build strength from within. With this strength, I am better equipped to withstand exposure to difficult situations.

  • Choose my thoughts

A mini practice I do when I need to mentally clear a negative thought is to visualize a bubble of white light that carries positive energy throughout my body. This practice resets my thinking. Create your own ritual to reset your mind.

What do you do to stay informed without sacrificing your positive outlook?