© 2021 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved. http://www.kebba.com
Some days, it’s easy to get too much news. Local news tells us how many people had pandemic issues, home invasions, drive-by shootings, violent attacks, house fires and financial violence by fraud. National news tells us how bad the backgrounds of key candidates are, how bad pandemic issues are, how many lost their homes in natural disasters, and how unbalanced the national budget is. International news tells us countless stories of unrest, pandemic, famine, oppression, and war in many countries. How do you feel after taking in a half hour of this? Probably not joyful and energized. Don’t you feel stressed, concerned, possibly discouraged?
According to 2020 stats, the average American watches about 3.2 hours of TV per day. Twenty-two percent are regularly watching cable news and 35% never watch cable news. More people are watching streaming news services. Or simply tuning out.
So how much bad news are you taking in? And how stressed is it making you feel? Dr. Andrew Weil is a famed integrative medical doctor and author. He recommends, for overall stress reduction, that we all take a “media break” or “news fast” as much as possible, for week. Dr. Weil says research shows that emotional content of news can bring moods down and increase sadness and depression. Why not try a news fast, and find out how you feel?
You can also use good news to lift your spirits and metabolism. I once got a cluster example of this effect. On August 11, 2011, the Arizona Republic ran a 3-sentence news item, enticingly entitled “Navy Destroyer is Now Serving as Artificial Reef”. I got very excited about this. I love good news, and here was a story of both repurposing a giant structure and helping the world’s degrading reefs and related biosystems. My face broke into a huge smile, my head bent closer to the paper, and my heart was racing. The article reported the 563-foot destroyer was now sunk “in a spot in the Del-Jersey-Land reef created by Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey.” (Hey, if you were the Navy, where would you store a huge ship that could no longer serve afloat?) Since I spent my public school years in Delaware, I was pleasantly jolted to hear there was now a tri-state effort to rebuild the reefs and protect the coasts. I copied the whole 3-sentence article into email and sent it to my mother and my sister, who also spent a lot of time in Delaware.
There ensued a merry exchange. My sister started searching “artificial reef photos” and came up with some extremely beautiful scenes. [You can put “artificial reef photos” in your favorite search bar and see some stunning examples.] I kept thinking about the metal-eating bacteria that are breaking down the Titanic hull. Experts have said we need to study the Titanic now, while it still exists. Following the search links, we discovered that a creature called a “soap fish” now makes its home in one reef, in what was once the barrel of a military tank’s gun. We also discovered there are reef-loving fish called “tasselated blennies”. [See a colorful blenny above.]
While you may not find this particular item fascinating, how did you feel while reading it? Did you feel different than you felt when reading about the last airline disaster or the Pandemic? Were you aware of feeling pleased, or even less stressed?
If too much news is stressing you out, why not try reducing the amount you take in? If you love the morning newspaper, why not try reading the entertainment news and comics first, then only scanning the headlines? Notice your stress level going down and your happiness level going up. The news will wait. Your life doesn’t have to. Go on a news diet, and you will increasingly find yourself being more Healthy Happy and Loving Lifesm! You have only your discomforts to lose, and I would love to help you on your journey.
Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert, holistic healer, and award-winning author who celebrates life. She has a longtime natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. Among her books are: Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire, and Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine. The books are available on Amazon and through Kebba’s office. To email us, firstname.lastname@example.org .