This post was published on May 21, 2021 by

Stop Watching the News – English for Psychology

Stop Watching the News – English for Psychology with illustrated vocabulary flashcards, selected text as authentic context, and a video podcast

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Listening practice

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It hurts your mental health

The top story and headlines of the day are usually one of three things. A death, a disaster, or a scandal. Something negative that influences you to feel anxiety, sadness, or anger.

Now of course, some people enjoy seeing all the drama. Even I’m tempted to watch just because of that.

But after you’re done hearing the anchors gossip to you, you’re going to be in some kind of emotional state that isn’t positive.

When you’re not in a positive state, you’re less likely to be productive with your time. Whatever violent images or sad stories you just heard are going to stay on your mind.

Researchers have looked into how constantly consuming this kind of information affects us. Unfortunately, the more you’re consuming it, the more stress, anxiety, and depression you’re feeling.


You’ll Be Happier

“If it bleeds, it leads” is a famous catchphrase in journalism.

This means that the biggest dramas, catastrophes and tragedies get the most coverage.

It’s a rule adopted throughout the media because bad news garners the most attention. Good news is bad for ratings.

So, in order to grab and keep as much as attention as possible, many news reports will embellish the negativity to make it as outrageous as they can get away with.

A lot of people might notice they feel less happy after watching the news (even after the token light-hearted positive story at the end). As such, they probably know they’d be happier if they quit watching it.


The news is depressing

Many news outlets try to throw in a few positive or cute stories every now and then, but I’d estimate that the ratio of negative to positive stories for the vast majority of them is at least 9:1.

So every time you watch or read the news, you’re feeding yourself an overwhelming amount of negativity which infects your thoughts.

Napoleon Hill wrote about the power of our thoughts in Think and Grow Rich:

Our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts which we hold in our minds, and, by means with which no man is familiar, these “magnets” attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts.

In other words, the predominant thoughts you allow into your mind actually affect your reality.

Knowing this, I’m not sure why anyone would subject themselves to all the negativity in the traditional news media.

Not when optimism is such a crucial ingredient to success in life and business.

If you really want your news fix, ditch the negative stuff and subscribe to some positive news sources instead.


Successful People Focus on Creating the Future

The news is always history. Even when it is breaking news, it has already past. It is important to focus on “doing” and “creating”. Of course, history has its place, and can help to predict the future, but too much focus can leave you in the dust.

Here’s one example of someone working on creating the future today!

Elon Musk

Most of us have already heard of this guy. You can’t leave him out. He is creating the future today. As one of the co-founders of PayPal, Elon Musk embarked on a journey to game change the auto industry with his Electric Car Company, Tesla Motors. If you didn’t already know, electric cars are old news. The original electric cars were invented in the 1800’s. Over the years there were many attempts to make this power source a reality in motor vehicles. The most successful attempt to date is Tesla. Ground Breaking, yes! What’s more important is the decision to release their intellectual property to the public. You read that correctly. An incredible attempt at accelerating us into the future.


About Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl

Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl is an English and Persian instructor, researcher, inventor, author, blogger, SEO expert, website developer, and the creator of LELB Society. He's got a PhD in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Study our guest posting guidelines for authors.

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