The Happy News
A while ago I made an active decision to stop watching the news on TV. Whilst it’s really important to me to stay abreast of the world’s comings and goings in order to be informed, I also wanted to protect my wellbeing. I had noticed that watching the news on a daily basis made me feel upset and worried and left me feeling powerless, knowing I couldn’t put it all right.
It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and it has definitely led to me feeling calmer, happier and less anxious as a result.
It doesn’t mean that I have stuck my head in the sand and am oblivious to the outside world. I still keep myself informed by reading well written journalism that is as factual and as integrous as I can find, although it seems to me that even some of the broadsheet press has become more sensational and polarised in recent times. Lately, however, I have surprised myself by reading the FT, for its neutral, honest, straightforward, well written and well researched journalism, which I have found most refreshing.
However, my most exciting discovery has been a completely different kind of newspaper; one that is on another spectrum altogether. It is called “The Happy News” by Emily Coxhead and it’s tagline reads: “A newspaper to celebrate all that’s good in the world. The Happy Newspaper is a platform to share positive news and wonderful people.” Instead of feeling sad, cynical or concerned after reading it, I feel uplifted and happy and am left with a warm glow. It fills me with utter joy.
What I love about reading this newspaper is the focus on all the good things that people are doing in the world, and when you actually stop to look, there is an awful lot of it.
There is so much emphasis on the negative, which means that the news that is reported is completely out of proportion to reality. As the saying goes, "no news is good news".
Whilst It is important to understand and learn about the terrible things that happen, so that society can address the injustices, I nevertheless believe we need more proportionally representative reporting on both the good and bad stuff going on in the world.
As human beings, we tend to be drawn towards drama, sensation and catastrophes. Our brains have a negativity bias, which is part of our genetic make-up and is there to protect us from harm. As cavemen, we needed to focus on the negative in order to stay alive, by looking out for danger. To some extent we need to do the same today in our modern world, but I wonder whether this constant vigilance is doing more harm than good, particularly with 24/7 news and the part that social media plays. The belief that the world is mostly bad and unsafe can be a self-fulfilling prophecy and only leads to greater anxiety, fear and despair.
I wonder whether, by compensating for our negativity bias and looking for the good in the world, that this could actually become our truth. After all, it’s where we focus our attention that creates our reality. This doesn't mean we ignore or turn a blind eye to the bad stuff, but it might just mean that we feel more inspired, uplifted and joyful, and have a more realistic view of what the world is really like.
The Happy News demonstrates that the vast majority of people are inherently good, kind and courageous, showcasing the hundreds of everyday heroes, whom we all know, love and have in our lives. Its numerous goodwill stories highlight the many wonderful things that millions of people are doing every day around the globe.
So, if you'd like to hear about some of the good stuff that's happening in the world, then sign up for “The Happy News” and at the very least, it will make you smile over your Cornflakes.
* Thank you to my dear friend Victoria Usher at Ginger May for introducing me to “The Happy News”, as well as to many other wonderful people and things in this world. She definitely makes the world a happier place.
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I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions or would like to explore how coaching might be able to help you with mum guilt and being kind to yourself, just get in touch. I'm very happy to have a chat.
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