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True Story: What To Do When You Can’t Escape All The Negativity Surrounding You

By Finder blogger: Andrea McKenna

 

Bad news getting you down

It’s hard these days to turn on the news and the crazy-bad things that are going on in the world. Worse yet is when you see negative stories all over your Facebook and Twitter feeds.

You can certainly try to ignore it, and it may be healthier to do so sometimes, but it’s still there.

And let’s face it; many of us are tempted to click on the murder story to see what happened. That’s human nature, and relates to a concept called Negative Bias, which is maintaining the basic instinct to be prepared for danger and stay safe. It may seem a long way from negative stories, but fear keeps us alive. (Did anyone see the animated film, “The Croods”? The father of the caveman-era family always talks about this.)

So even though you don’t want bad things to happen, we still think maybe they could and being educated about the ills of the world can in some weird way make us more prepared.

Damn, that’s depressing.

 

So, how about finding positive news?

I did a little survey of my Facebook friends to see how they manage all the negative news they are bombarded with every day. They had some cool answers and gave some good tips of where to find the positive stuff!

Having said that, one of the more cynical sides of wanting to see more positive news is digesting the sensational stuff. Yeah, yeah, some of these things are sappy but really? Really? You want to be cynical? Isn’t it still better than murder-death-kill?

Here’s one about a photo shoot a police officer did with a little girl he saved from choking. Watch it here!

Overall, people tell me they want to see more balanced news and we are not always getting that. But if it’s good news you are looking for, here are a few places to find it:

1. Funny shows

On YouTube, English comedian Russell Howard’s Good News show has several episodes with fun stories (some NSFW), including TV bloopers and his own commentary on news of the day. (I found this by literally searching for “positive news 2016” on YouTube!)

In the same vein is U.S.-based The Daily Show, which appears on Comedy Central here in Singapore and is now hosted by a South African comedian, Trevor Noah. Making light of even bad news is the goal and it delivers, thanks to John Stewart’s original formula.

One of my personal favorites is The Noose, a Singapore-based fake news show that makes fun of issues here in Singapore, including great impersonations of the varied backgrounds here. It’s all pretty light including how a celebrity couple should name their child MediaCorp because that is where the couple met here. LOL, love it! (You might even see some of the actors around town!)

2. Magazines

My friend who ministers to sick children and their families at a major Chicago hospital referred me to Yes! Magazine, which says it gives the perspective of positive people working for positive change in the world.

Stories talk about the biggest world problems– not just that the problems exist—but also how to solve them.  

3. Websites

An attorney friend of mine referred me to Happy News, which bills itself as “Real news. Compelling stories. Always positive.”

Check that out for a daily dose of sunshine! Its site includes a daily happy quote, like this from legendary actress Bette Davis: “You will never be happier than you expect. To change your happiness, change your expectation.”

 

Whichever way you choose, overall, we know from psychologists that positive spins and humor often help people be happier and more resilient. Yes, glass half full is healthier than glass half empty.

Another way to go is just to not watch the news. An American friend and I both ignore TV and print news for the most part, though sometimes we see stuff online that we don’t want to see. 

We both suffer from depression so we really get triggered and therefore choose not to be exposed to negative stories at all.

For my friend, she was an inner-city public school social worker who feared every day of hearing about shootings at her school or crime and violence towards her at-risk students. Eventually, that happened. So it was very traumatic for her. She eventually left that field of work and still does not watch the news.

Others also recommend reducing exposure to negativity, which is also a Buddhist principle.

My friends I spoke with use that method in particular for their young children. That’s not keeping the truth from them, but rather reducing impact until they are mentally mature enough to handle it. And that, my friends, is parenting.

Whatever you decide is right for you is, well, right for you. So try to focus your attention on what works best.

And let me leave you with the fabulous Monty Python saying, “Always look on the bright side of life.”

 

About Andrea McKenna

Andrea McKenna Brankin is journalist and author from the United States who lives a full life with bipolar disorder. Her book, Bipolar Phoenix, is awaiting a publishing contract. She is also currently a volunteer at the DaySpring Residential Treatment Centre for teen girls in Singapore, providing befriending-family support, therapeutic writing and rugby coaching.

 

Related articles:

How to Get Help for Mental Illness in Singapore

10 Things All Happy Couples Do That You Should Too

Feeling Overwhelmed By Your New Expat Life In Singapore? You’re Not Alone!

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