If you want to be more positive, you should watch what you watch. That’s the simple the conclusion that I came to after spending 100s of hours researching happiness.
When people say that “the eyes are the windows to the soul,” they usually mean that you can tell a lot about a person just by looking into their eyes. What some people forget is that windows let light travel in both directions. Our eyes tell the world about us. But, they also tell us about the world.
The problem is that the information that our eyes see is not always accurate – especially in today’s “always connected” world.
TV channels and websites broadcast a constant stream of sensationalized news. They maximize their ratings by cherry-picking only the most shocking, tragic and violent stories. As a result, our minds form the opinion that the world is much more dangerous than it actually is. And, once visual information enters our minds, it is almost impossible to remove.
If we want to have a move balanced and positive view of the world, it is more effective to control what we see.
Think about the latest news show that you watched. What stories do you remember? Do you think that the world that is presented in the media is
The first step to forming a more positive view of the world around us is to become conscious of how we consume information. Take a look around you. How many electronic devices do you have in your house? Do you have a television? How much do you watch it?
The average American watches between 4 and 5 hours of television every single day. And, that doesn’t even count the time that we spend watching our computer screens, listening to the radio or reading the newspaper.
When so much of our day is spent passively consuming what the media wants us to see, is it any wonder that we feel anxious, depressed and nervous?
Watching one hour less of TV per day will have a huge impact on your happiness, especially if you use this time to engage with the world in a positive way.
How do you feel about the amount of time that you spend watching TV and surfing the Internet?
The best way to reduce the amount of negative information that we consume is to turn off our electronic devices and get out into the world. But, for most people, turning off the TV for good is not an option. So, the next best thing is to force ourselves to be conscious consumers of information.
Don’t watch the TV passively. Whenever you see a “shocking” story in the news, ask yourself whether it really represents the world around you. Many people are afraid of flying because they see images of plane crashes in the news. The truth is that flying is one of the safest ways to travel.
Don’t be afraid to look up the facts. If you hear that “Alzheimer’s is reaching epidemic proportions,” check the facts yourself. You might find that the risks are not as bad as you fear. More importantly, you might discover some ways that you can tip the odds in your favor with exercise, diet and other lifestyle choices.
Can you think of a news story that you saw recently that scared you? Is there a way that you could check the statistics yourself?
Another way to counter the negative impressions that bombard us every day is to actively look for good news. Spend some time every day reading positive and life-affirming stories. The Sixty and Me community dedicated to positivity and happiness. But, there are many others.
The Daily Good is a website that is committed to delivering inspiring and positive stories from around the world. Huffington Post’s “Good News” channel is also an excellent source for news that will bring a smile to your face.
Have you found any other sources of positive news? Do you have any tips regarding how to be more positive? Why not share them with the community?
Technology has brought us so many amazing opportunities to connect with the world around us. But, in some ways, it has become too easy to access information without really thinking about what we are watching.
Do we really need to watch 4 to 5 hours of TV a day? Or, would some of this time be better spent explore our passions, enjoying our families or improving our minds and bodies?
When we watch TV or surf the Internet, does it need to be a passive process? Or, should every new story be a starting point for our own exploration of the world?
If our eyes really are the windows to our souls, don’t forget to keep your rose-colored glasses handy.
Visit a happiness-focused website every day to add a daily dose of positivity to your life. Every time you see a negative new story, ask yourself whether it is accurate and representative of what is going on in the world. Chances are that it isn’t.
Do you feel like you watch too much news, too little or just the right amount? What have you done recently to increase your happiness? Let’s have a chat!