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You and the News Cycle

You know how important it is to be healthy. As a Thriving Individual and Practitioner you know too that staying in the loop of what’s going on in the world is critical to your daily activities. But when is it enough verses too much? This question comes up in the wake of yet another horrible shooting in Charleston. A lovely, historic community has been victim to yet another misguided person with a weapon. So what’s the impact of all the coverage and our tendency to watch it? In a couple of words; not good.

Back in the day, and I won’t date myself too much, the habit for most was to perhaps read the morning newspaper, listen to a local radio station for weather/sports and then get a majority of news type information in the evening with “The News Hour” or some variation of that theme. Some people would stay up and watch the 11pm news for the most up to date sports scores and call it a day. Almost sounds quaint, doesn’t it?

News is now on 24/7 with little if any filtering or attention paid to how much of a particular topic is being put out for the mass media. We can and do get individualized news feeds and messages scroll across our screens or blare from the radio when there is something important to share. Such a constant stream of information would lead one to believe that the world is literally falling apart. It’s not. Believe it or not the news is no worse or better than it ever has been except now we know all about it.

How does this impact us? Here’s an excellent paragraph on that very topic from a piece in The Guardian, “The News is Bad For You – And Giving It Up Will Make You Happier” by Rolf Dobelli, “News is toxic to your body. It constantly triggers the limbic system. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High glucocorticoid levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side-effects include fear, aggression, tunnel-vision and desensitisation.” Not only does Mr. Dobelli say it well he makes a clear case for giving it up! Who needs to have cells die any more quickly than they already do?!

As a Thriver my strong suggestion is to limit your intake of news, make sure the sources you are getting it from are reliable and not likely to hype you up. Like anything else similar to this topic if your news source can direct you on how you can directly help that would be especially good; we as people tend to get overwhelmed and then do nothing but when we hear for example there’s been a fire in our local area and clothing is needed it’s easier to take part and allow your Thriving spirit to shine through.

While there is no advantage to living in a bubble of no news there are tremendous advantages to making sure the news you consume is just enough to get the job. Thrivers can easily and quickly what works for them so I wish you all the best in your quest for a perfect news diet! Got a great news source you want to share? Send it along! Thanks!

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