And the reasons why it is not part of my daily routine any longer.
A glimpse at the headlines
It seems like the world is facing an era of doom. From wars to diseases to climate change. I would estimate that a good 90% of the news is based on chaos, corruption, terror and suffering. It is what sells best. Just take a quick look at most of the best-selling headlines. "Drunk driver kills six germans", "Iran threatens military response", "Australia bushfires may burn for months"...
Damn, if that isn't the worst start of the day? And this ever day?
When I step into the metro on my daily work-routine, I can't help but notice that hardly anyone smiles. Everyone seems grumpy and angry and frustrated already at 7am. Or just grumpy for having to wake up so early (which I completely understand). But how is it that children tend to already laugh and smile and play? How is it that children often seem to forget how hard it was to get out of bed and live the moment with joy?
Surely, there are many reasons. For one, they really don't have to worry about their existence (although I read that losing a teddy bear for a baby can be as traumatizing as losing a job for an adult). Surely their lives are a lot simpler and they are not confronted with the "harsh realities" of life as much as we "adults" are. But wouldn't it also help if we started our already-so-challenging days with something a bit more...positive?
Psychological effects of bad news
Bad news travels...fast. In fact you only need to google a bit and you will find countless reports on studies that have been made on psychology and negative words. And interestingly enough, they all point to pretty much the same thing: we tend to have an innate and collective eye for the bad. We react faster to bad news (my guess is that it in part activates the reptile part of our brains as it is registered as a "threat"). I'm sure that the reality is much more complex than this and thought the reasons intrigue and fascinate me, I am more worried about the effects this has on the individual and on society as a whole.
A negative mindset creates a negative person. Chronic negativity makes you more illness-prone, mentally unstable, it creates stress and decreases your lifespan. That is a fact. But what about your surrounding? I read some time ago that collective thoughts have incredible power. In fact, it has been proven that collective meditation lowers crime rates and violence on the surrounding society (google "Maharaishi Effect") as well on the individual. The effect of collective thought on the surrounding society shows that we are not only connected somehow in a non-material way. But we seem to be able to spread peace and love by just feeling and thinking them!
Positive vibes for the World, please!
By all means, I'm all for staying educated and expanding horizons. I do believe in staying informed and broadening perspectives. And reading or watching the news and engaging in conversations on current events are a fantastic way of doing this. I'm also not saying that we should ignore what is happening around the world, stay in our pink bubble and stay actionless against the environmental and social injustices around us.
However, I strongly recommend to choose your sources wisely - remember that it often displays what it wants you to believe or know - and to not overdo it. We need more positivity, hope, light about how things are being done right. Reading the negative headlines at the start of every morning is not only unmotivating but it spreads negativaty in a world that is in dire need for more positive vibes.
Instead, wake up and listen to your favorite music. Dance and sing in the shower and prepare your coffee with love. Step out, breathe in the fresh air and say "Thank You" for this new day you get to live. Be excited about new challenges and opportunites. And if you are having a horrible time (because of a loss, death, break-up, choleric boss is back from vacation...), then breathe in strength and patience. And know that this time too, will pass.
So whatever we do, whatever we read or experience, let's not forget to consider the beauty of life on earth. To consider the amazing souls on this planet who are working to make the world a better place. Let's honor ourselves and eachother by starting and ending the day with positivity. The bad news can wait.