Balancing Staying Informed with Staying Positive

Bad news travels at the speed of light; good news travels like molasses. — Tracy Morgan

 

The news lately has been troubling, and staying positive and focused on our goals can be challenging. Everyday it seems like there’s something new to derail us.

Although it seems self-centered and superficial to worry about our own positive energy while others are suffering, it doesn’t help anyone else, or ourselves, to lose sight of what we believe in and what we want to accomplish because of what’s happening in the world. And we should help others how and where we can by volunteering, donating, writing to our elected officials, etc. The point of this post, though, is to suggest ideas on how we can remain positive and on-track with our goals in light of all that.

With that said, here are a few things to try to stay positive when most news is so negative:

 

1. Read, don’t watch the news. The visuals seem to have a greater impact on our emotional state, so stay current by reading, not watching. Do you really need to watch a video that shows you what happened or will reading the story give you the information you need?

2. Stop reading or watching news that irritates you, but doesn’t provide necessary or additional information. It’s tempting to keep reading in disbelief that someone could act, say, or do something but, like picking a scab, it doesn’t do you any good.

3. Don’t allow notifications from news outlets, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Control when and how you receive your news and other information so you can stay on course emotionally (and with whatever you’re trying to accomplish).

4. Try as best you can to focus on where you want the situation to be, rather than on the current state of things. For example, Elon Musk wants to rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid; focusing on that rather than stories about the slow aid to the people there will help keep you positive. A nice bonus is if you believe in the power of metaphysics, you’re helping those suffering by visualizing a positive outcome for them, rather than dwelling on the negative.

5. Take a few extra moments to fact check what you’ve read, especially if it seems particularly outrageous. Snopes.com is a great starting point. Remember that just because you read it on the internet, it doesn’t make it so.

6. Seek out positive news. Every tragedy has its heroes, and focusing on those stories will help you remember all the good about humans. Celebrate our heroes and their deeds!

The Good News Network is a great source of positive news (goodnewsnetwork.org).

7. Un-follow friends whose posts regularly aggravate you. You can check out their page and scan for relevant information about their lives, but skip the annoying parts, if you’re going to be meeting up with them or talking with them.

8. Take whatever action you can, no matter how small, to help. Donate $10. Tweet to your government leadership to make your voice heard. Volunteer in your own community to make a difference close to home. Empower yourself to help in whatever small way you can and you’ll feel less helpless and more positive.

9. Limit how much news you consume. It’s not possible to stay current on everything, so pick and choose what is most important to you, then ignore the rest. Read enough to be informed, but not so much that you’re inundated. Think of it as a buffet — you can’t possibly eat everything, so choose carefully.

Do you have any practical tips on how to balance staying informed, helping others, and staying positive? Please share them below.


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