My News Experiment & Why I’m Banning Most News from My Life

I experimented a bit over the past few days to see how immersing myself into news would affect my mood and my ability make bold decisions. This comes after making the decision over the past couple of months to stop reading about the latest tragedies, world conflicts, monetary woes and politics. During that period, I was quite productive and happy — I saw the world as a place of opportunity and beauty.

Getting off of my no-news diet and delving into the wild world of news for the past few days has really helped me reaffirm my position that it’s not so good for my outlook. Here are some of the things I’ve noticed.

  • Politics – I’ve read about everything from what’s happening in congress – to the theories and Ideas presented by Presidential hopefuls – to conflicts in the middle east. The result = I find myself irritated and angered over many issues that I have no control over. I’ve wanted to get in arguments with those who don’t see things the way I see them. It hasn’t helped me one bit to be a more loving person. I was much happier – more accepting and hopeful when I decided to stop reading about the political games that are waged each day. I am going to continue my ban on reading about politics – and will not do it even when the election is in full swing.
  • Tragedy – I decided to educate myself on what happened to Caylee Anthony. To be honest, I didn’t follow the trial or even know about it, so I dug in. I read much of the testimony, went over the timeline, listened to some of the interviews that detectives held with Casey and more. This experience filled my mind with darkness. I was frustrated by Casey misleading police and freaked out by her ability tell a lie without flinching. I was saddened when watching news clips of Americans holding signs, spitting and yelling outside the courtroom.The whole thing is troubling to me – firstly the media pulled millions of people in and made many of them more concerned over Casey Anthony’s life than their own daily lives. That is a lot of wasted time, energy and emotion. I didn’t miss a thing by not knowing about it or focusing my attention on the case. Because of this experiment, I’ve made a vow to continue turning the channel when stories of tragedy pop up. I’m going to focus on my immediate world rather than obsess on other people’s realities.
  • Star news – In my search, I also caught up on the latest in Hollywood news. There are lots of divorces, disputes, stars battling the law, etc. My mind began to spin when I read about one star planning a $20 million wedding. It’s nice and all – but I just kept thinking about the real world and everyday people who are struggling and couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated. This experience also instilled in me that reading about stars diverts me from my own reality and causes me to wish I had more and sometimes makes my head spin.  For these reasons, I’m continuing my ban on needing to know more about stars.
This experiment has affected me for a couple of days. I’m a bit moodier and slightly depressed – keep thinking about Casey Anthony’s release from jail and wanting to know what truly happened. Also I have been contemplating politicians and political positions that frustrate me to no end.
Just a few days ago before I took on this experiment, I was filled with possibility, excitement for life and now I’m a bit off my game. So here’s what I’m going to do to from here on out…
  • Continue my ban on news and focus on the here and now.
  • Delete my news apps from my iPad.
  • Fill my mind with possibility — good books, happy movies, inspiring shows…and things that make me laugh.
  • Eliminate divisive political discussions from my daily life. For me & the poor people I argue with, these conversations are energy killers.
  • Get out and get some exercise – enjoy the beauty of the day – celebrate the moment
I’m convinced that bold behavior and choices can only be made when the mind is fresh – uncluttered and free. This is why I suggest staying away from things that dampen our moods, cause frustration or distract us from our here and now.
– Jen Engevik

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