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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Resolution #19: No News Is Good News

 "Garbage in, garbage out".  --computer programmer saying
             Got Fear?
If not, check out the nightly news. 
Better yet, turn it off.  Skip the news headlines and read the comics.  Not forever, necessarily.  Take a fast from the news for a day or a few.  Maybe you don't need to know about that horrible thing that happened in that place you never heard of before today.  It doesn't mean you don't care-- but if you aren't going to do anything about it, or more likely, you can't-- well, maybe you really don't need it in your head.  Perhaps you have enough suffering going on in your own personal day.  Or maybe even today is going pretty well and you are feeling good.  Let well enough alone for a change.  Take a little fast from human misery and disaster.  This might include forgoing television crime dramas as well.

Hungarian researcher Attila Szabo found that students watching 15 minutes of newscast had sustained negative changes in mood, affect and anxiety.  These could be mediated with 15 minutes of relaxation practice, but my guess is that few of us counter the time we spend reading horrific headlines or watching violent imagery with intentional relaxation exercises.  The news can give us distorted perceptions of risk to our safety.  Did you know that crime in every category went DOWN in recent years?  That more people in the US will die from peanuts than terrorism over a given period of time? 

So give it a break.  Give yourself a break.  Take some time off from bad news, crime shows, cry-in-your-beer songs and tearjerker movies.  Life's hard enough, huh?

Additional resources: 
ODE:  "the magazine for intelligent optimists"
YES! Magazine:  Powerful Ideas, Practical Options
Daily Good:  News that Inspires website

Today's feel great video:

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