Take a News Fast

I don’t often have the television on during the day. I love the peace and quiet and the intermittent sounds of nature wafting through the open windows. Some friends of mine have the news on all the time. They’re afraid they might miss out on something of importance. I figure if it’s that important, like a meteorite striking the earth, or an alien invasion, someone will call, or text me. If not then , so what ? I’ll end up becoming part of a rock formation that someone in the future will find. If there is a future!
Let’s face it, the world is filled with murder and mayhem, but it has always been. Social media has made it possible to get the news as it’s happening. In fact anyone with a smart-phone can take a picture and send it to a TV station. Everyone has become a newscaster. We can be aware of a restaurant in Bejing being held up if we so choose. The question is does knowing all this information serve us? It probably does if you’re working for the CIA or the FBI. Otherwise I think that “less is more”!
What a lot of individuals are not aware of is that a constant bombardment of negative information begins to erode our ability to handle stress. It also gives us the feeling that the world is a dangerous place and there are many more villains than decent folks. Our minds and bodies react to a situation whether we are personally involved or we are simply the witness.
Their are millions of individuals who suffer from insomnia. Could part of the reason be that they may be watching a newscast riddled with negative news or a movie filled with violence. Neither of those choices allows the mind/body to get into the quiet space it needs to relax and fall asleep. The message it’s getting is “ Let’s prepare for disaster”! So your system gets prepared to “fight or flee”. It’s very hard to get to sleep when your body stiffens up as if you were embarking on rigamortis. If you’re a real news junkie, you’re probably in this state all day long.
Some time ago Dr. Andrew Weil recommended that people take a “news fast”. I think that’s a great idea. Try it for one day if you really think you’re going to have a problem. If you can get past the first day, try a few more. Believe me, when I tell you that you will feel more relaxed without the assault of negative information. Try listening to some beautiful music, read a book, or perhaps you can sit and do nothing even if it’s for a little while. I am becoming more entranced with the art of doing nothing. In fact I believe that doing nothing will help you to do a lot of “something”.

6 Replies to “Take a News Fast”

  1. I discovered how addicted I was when the Boston Marathon bombings happened. Like so many, I was riveted to the TV. It was a 2 am revelation. The young woman on the screen: “This is So-and-so [don’t remember; not important] reporting live from XXX [wherever she was]. The breaking news is that we have nothing to report.” Slap in the face reality that I was addicted. On 4/28/2013, I divorced my TV provider and have never looked back. Love being unplugged. One of the best side effects? No more food cravings (dang commercials). No more pressure to “buy more”. (Are BOGOs really a bargain? Maybe not.) Totally agree, Loretta, about doing nothings. When we have our batteries plugged in to a recharger, they are doing nothing except getting ready to power us us when needed.

  2. Once again, Loretta, you are right on! At age 75, I declare my resignation from needing to know everything in case I can save the world. I will now focus on what I can do to make my immediate environment peaceful and beautiful. And if everyone did that, all that violence and terror would cease anyway.

  3. in case you read this, the news is not helpful in giving us a lever to pull to make things better. i.m.o. news should be encouraging and empower us by being informed.
    no surprise it is presented to have the opposite effect, look who runs the media now. :
    Can we reinvent the way we present the news? Aim the arrow?
    the importance of knowing the facts is to learn from the mistakes of others and change things to positively affect future outcomes.
    we need the media to tell us the truth now more than ever.

I always encourage feedback. Love to hear your thoughts!

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