4 Ways to Detox from Negative Media.
I use mindless scrolling and news browsing as a way to shut my brain off. When I took those “breaks” away I felt great at first. New ideas, new things to do and experience. Then it became too much. I felt the overwhelming pressure that I have become terrible at managing. 10x worse because I eliminated my quiet time.
Do you have friends who tend to have negative public debates or arguments with other people on their posts or share news events that tend to be negative? You could weigh the pros and cons of unsubscribing or muting their feed or can consider connecting with more groups or friends who generate more positive information to balance the newsfeed.
I cry less. My mind is free from the splurge of daily negativity that I digest from what I read, hear and see on the news and my mood improves. I have found myself crying more and more as I get older at the things I witness in the news. I feel like a helpless by-stander, gawping like a rubbernecker on a motorway crash. Perhaps your empathy increases as you get older? Tell me I’m not the only one?! I feel less angry. I think that the way news is presented has evolved over the years, from mere information to producing news reports that sensationalise stories to increase ratings, to agitate and dismay. I no longer feel angry at a particular group or people. I feel calmer and more peaceful. I feel more centred and more positive about life. No longer fearful and world weary. I feel closer to God and I have a clearer mind. What we see, hear, and speak opens doors to unwanted spiritual activity. Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Eyes are the windows to the soul?.” Well, it's true. It is very important to evaluate what we watch. Things that we see, if not careful, can manifest in our hearts and minds and eventually turn into actions. I feel less weighed down by the world. No longer burdened. It doesn’t impact my knowledge . Most news junkies you speak to will say that you have to be constantly abreast of the news to be on top of everything. I found that after my two week break I quickly catch up with the most salient and important news that mattered to me and my job. It becomes clear that after all those years of news-watching amounted to virtually nothing in terms of improvement to my quality of life, lasting knowledge, or my ability to help others. I become more knowledgeable, not informed. I read more books and watch fun and inspiring films. I notice my surroundings more , rather than being glued to my phone or tablet. I sleep better and my dreams are different. I lose weight . My nutritionist puts it’s down to my reduced cortisol levels, as cortisol is the body's main stress hormone, released into your body when your brain perceives a situation as threatening. Apparently our bodies can misinterpret daily stressors as sources of true danger, and release cortisol into our bloodstream and high cortisol levels can cause increased appetite, and also promote excess fat storage in the abdominal area. So after two stress free weeks, my clothes fit better.
There’s a growing movement of people who are avoiding the constant treadmill of news and opting for a ‘news-detox’.
Secondly, we pay more attention to negative information ("attention bias") . This is why, for example, after you leave a work performance review, even if 95% of the feedback delivered may have been generally positive, your mind continues to focus and churn on the 5% negative feedback on areas of improvement. One study found that when people were given the choice to listen to negative or positive feedback, they were more willing to listen to negative feedback about themselves and listened to it for a significantly longer period of time.
If you feel more stressed or down after watching the news/ digital media, then try a short 15-minute progressive relaxation exercise to detox. This can be done either seated or reclined.
This led me to researching the art of happiness, which frankly, didn’t help. Fixating on achieving your happiness makes it impossible to reach your happiness. Why? Because the pursuit of happiness is an endless pursuit, setting you up for disappointment. You always think you need better. At least everyone tells you that you do.