(Wisdom from Peter Diamandis with additional contributions from Kim Butler)
You might tend to think that when bad things happen in the world, we get a lot of negative news as a result. Then, perhaps, when good things happen, the news cycle will improve. But have you noticed… the news is (almost) ALWAYS negative?
What is the impact of this negative bias? What draws our attention towards this kind of news, and what result does it have on our lives, our health and our prosperity? More importantly, what other options are available?
Today, we are sharing a recent blog post from Peter Diamandis on this very topic. It’s lightly edited as indicated with our own thoughts inserted.
Peter Diamandis is an influential entrepreneur, author and thought leader. He is perhaps best known as a futurist and entrepreneur best known for being the founder of the X Prize Foundation, co-founder and executive chairman of Singularity University and coauthor of New York Times best-sellers such as Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think.
I (Kim) have had an opportunity to attend his Abundance 360 program for several years. Peter’s books, events and thinking have been influential in my life and work. In addition to the opportunity to meet and hear from many other business and thought leaders, Peter has helped me think about the future—and the future of business, health, and technology—in new ways.
And as you’ll see, someone like Peter Diamandis doesn’t have time for “the news as usual”! His thoughts, as he shared in a recent blog post:
Do You Trust Your News Source?
In the past, I’ve jokingly called CNN the “Crisis News Network”… or the “Constantly Negative News” network. (Sorry, I don’t have anything cute for FOX.)
But these days, the acronym works more than ever.
As I’ve discussed in recent blogs, we are in the midst of two pandemics: (1) A viral (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic; and (2) a pandemic of fear.
On the rise is our constant bombardment by red banners reading, “DEATH TOLL RISING.”
Yet every day, countless stories of entrepreneurial ingenuity, generous community support, and scientific breakthroughs go unnoticed.
This is a blog (post) about:
(1) Why is there always so much negative news?
(2) The importance of monitoring what news you let into your mind… and
(3) How to get GOOD news, for a change! (Ed.)
Let’s dive in…
Why is there always so much negative news?
Humanity evolved in the savannas of Africa over the last 5 million years, surrounded by a world of severe and immediate danger.
To deal with this constant presence of danger, our brains evolved an ancient piece of the temporal lobe called the amygdala, which scans everything we see and hear for signs of danger. And when it senses danger, it puts us on *red alert.*
Because of our amygdalas, we pay 10x more attention to negative news than to positive news.
And for that reason, every news source is putting out 10x more negative stories than positive. It’s purely a matter of marketing… capturing our attention = ad revenue.
“If it bleeds, it leads” is the saying. Since every TV news show’s job is to deliver your eyes to their advertisers, the negative stories reign. And we remain glued to the programming.
Do this experiment: Pick up your newspaper (if you receive one, I don’t) and compare the number of negative to positive stories, it’s at least 10-to-1.
Your Mindset Matters: And it’s impacted by what you watch….
The average American adult spends nearly 6 hours each day watching TV — about 30% of waking hours. Yet few pause to consider how this massive input impacts our outlook. Leaving TV news on in the background is a recipe for disaster.
A study of 180 undergraduate students, for instance, found that anxiety and total mood disturbance increased after watching just 15-minute news segments. What’s more, those levels remained elevated unless students explicitly engaged in relaxation exercises following the viewing period.
Or take a 2017 study by the American Psychological Association, which found that over half of Americans feel news consumption causes them stress, leading to sleep deprivation and increased anxiety.
What you let into your mind influences your thoughts, conversations, and feelings, driving fear and anxiety for many. These emotional states are associated with increased levels of cortisol, commonly known as the “stress hormone,” which often causes inflammation and reduces the immune system’s efficacy.
And the last thing anyone needs right now is a compromised immune system. Reducing your news consumption might be just as important as your daily Vitamin C dose.
Why is the media not assembling panels of health experts to share strategies for improving health and strengthening the immune system? Shouldn’t THAT be the leading story right now? “Washing hands” and social distancing are the only solutions presented. Wouldn’t it also be valuable for more people to learn about the protective qualities of vitamins such as A, C, D, and Zinc or the anti-viral properties of elderberry, garlic, or oil of oregano? We think so! From Healthline, here are 15 supplements proven to boost your immune system and 15 herbs with anti-viral activity.
Then there’s the power of our thoughts to improve our health. Gratitude can lower blood pressure and improve immune function, among other proven benefits. This article from UC Davis on “Gratitude is Good Medicine” is news you can use!
We are not suggesting that you disregard the cautions from public health experts. However, we are CERTAIN that healthy food, natural supplements, fresh air, exercise, and gratitude will do you more good than negative news!—Kim.
Where and how can you get relevant news?
(1) Take a news diet / limit how much you consume: Just as we manage our physical health with nutritional and caloric diets, consider managing your mental health with a news diet.
Do you really need to have the TV on constantly in the background? How about limiting your News consumption to no more than 30 minutes per day?
With apps like “Moment” or “Forest,” you can track the amount of time you spend on News and Social Media platforms. After quantifying your usage patterns, set concrete goals and record your emotional improvement.
Loretta Breuning, author of Habits of a Happy Brain, recommends setting a block of time each day — typically at lunch or before dinner (and definitely not before bed) — to consume your news if you must.
(2) Choose focused sources: Google Alerts proactively searches the web for specific terms you’ve requested, sending content directly to your email. You can customize these terms and the frequency with which you receive notifications. Or try Apple News, which offers customization in the channels you wish to follow.
Most importantly, focus more on positive content with sources like Postive.News or The Optimist Daily. You can even create Facebook or WhatsApp groups with friends geared towards sharing positive content. Or, you can join FutureLoop, a free service that searches for news with a ‘positive sentiment’ that is ‘future-oriented.’ (See our suggestions below for more good news!—Ed.)
In the midst of a pandemic, many of us are focusing on physical well-being. But don’t forget the importance of your mental intake and the impact it can have on your body.
Do not let a constant stream of negative news overwhelm you, and make a concerted effort TODAY to break the cycle.
—by Peter Diamandis, original article published on the Diamandis Tech Blog.
My Favorite News Sources!
You may wish to know what’s happening in the world, but perhaps without the constant drama, negativity and fear-mongering!
Fortunately, there are alternatives that are uplifting, inspiring, and not filled with partisan politics! My (Kim’s) favorite news sources include:
The above 2 are the only news sources I read and only 5 days a week. Any reading time on the weekend is reserved for free-day books (nothing business) or inspirational/spiritual material. (Some of my recommended books can be found at my Amazon Influencer page.)
Additional sources for positive news and inspiration include:
- Some Good News, John Krasinski’s new series on YouTube. (Demonstrating the hunger for positive programming, the show garnered over 2 million subscribers in its first month and the latest episode featured such special guests as Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson!)
Finally, if you’d like to know the positive news about the pandemic, don’t miss TheGoodNewsCoronavirus.com. An extraordinary change of tone from the usual news, this website pulls together news you’ll want to hear, such as:
- Inspiring examples of people helping others in countless ways.
- Success stories of cities and countries eradicating the virus.
- Promising advances being made by scientists—including research with llamas!
- The numbers (only) of those who have healed, not deaths or infections.
- And an extraordinary video from poet Tomas Roberts about “The Great Realisation” which presents a bigger, hopeful view of the current challenges.
Keeping your finances focused on solutions.
The financial news can be just as dire as the pandemic reporting. At Partners for Prosperity, Inc., we like to focus on positive solutions and the things you can control!
If you are tired of stock market risks and volatility, we invite you to explore your options. We work with some of the oldest, most solid financial institutions that have provided guarantees and paid dividends for more than 150 years. If you would like positive solutions and greater financial certainty during these uncertain times, contact us to schedule an appointment today!