I’d have thought it would have been a higher figure actually, but surveys suggest that around two-thirds of Americans believe the media focuses too heavily on bad news rather than good.
The trouble is, and it’s confirmed by journalist friends, bad news sells. Whether it’s on TV, in a newspaper, or online, the sad fact is that nearly all of us expect news coverage to be of negative, worrying and troubling events.
Not really the kind of stuff designed to lift your mood is it?
And speaking of moods, when you or I are in a low one, it’s as if there’s a shouty newspaper editor inside our head yelling at us to PRINT MORE BAD STORIES. When you’re feeling a bit fragile you may tend to see the world through a blue filter, meaning that you focus on what’s gone wrong and what’s not fair rather than celebrating what’s gone right and counting your blessings, even if they’re just modest ones.
Of course, this relentless churning of negative thoughts simply makes things worse, or at least makes them no better.
So how do we escape from this cesspit? Is escape even possible?
You know, I think it is, although like all these things it’s going to take a bit of effort.
You see, even the shabbiest of days generally aren’t rotten to the core. Think back through them and you’ll almost certainly be able to identify one or perhaps two better bits, even if they’re something as low-key as your bus having arrived on time, or that you found a seat when you boarded it.
Recalling positive events is a good start, and there’s certainly sense in doing so every night before you go to sleep: if you can, try and recall three things to be grateful for. There’s even more value, though, in committing them to paper, and keeping a positive events diary can make a big difference to low mood. There’s no need to write lots, just a brief note of anything good that’s happened can work wonders.
This can be especially encouraging when you’ve done it for a while and can look back to see that – well – the past wasn’t actually completely gloomy.
Why not acquire a good news habit? It’s no bad thing.