I perpetually scan headlines, realizing the intent of the writer is to get me to read an article. If the writer is good, I will read or listen to the information deemed as newsworthy. Most of us don’t realize that everyone disseminating newsworthy information has an agenda. The agenda may agree with yours – or, it may not. If it does, then it reinforces your belief system. If it doesn’t, then the typical response is anger, disbelief, doubt, distrust, skepticism, incredulity, etc. This is the critical moment when we allow our attitude to change from positive or neutral to negative. Why do we allow it to happen? Most of us don’t realize that it happens because we’ve become so accustomed or acclimated to responding to everything we see or hear.
Eliminate negativity from your life, if you want to be happier than you are right now. It’s actually pretty easy to do. Reflect on a few occasions when you became angry, upset or skeptical about something – when your attitude changed. Was it the news, a friend, a family member, a co-worker, or something else? These instances compile a small list of stressors in your life that automatically change your attitude. Purge or reduce your dependence on news programs (television, radio, magazine, the Internet, etc.) or any other stressor. Realize that what you hear has been crafted to illicit a response to the information portrayed. That one step will eliminate 80 percent of all negativity in your life.
I gave up watching television news in the mid-1980s. I decided the media was not reporting news, but interpreting it for me and giving me their rendition – opinion newsreaders at best. Additionally, there was the overwhelming concentration on negativity. A constant barrage of negativity is going to affect us negatively. I can scan a bunch of headlines in a few minutes, and generally never read the articles. Occasionally, I will download an article and read the first paragraph and skim the rest. I don’t get past the third or fourth paragraph most of the time. I know what is being said, but I’m not accepting any negative slant being presented.
I keep abreast of current events on a daily basis, but I do my best not to allow the reporting of those events to influence me negatively. If we have certain people in our lives who always dwell on the negative, realize what they are doing and try to minimize your time with them. Worst case, just tell them that you are not interested in the subject presented –– move on.