Is The News Having An Impact On Your Happiness?


We are constantly bombarded by the news, but of course we are because we need to know what’s going on in the world, right? The media has a huge impact on us. Most of us don’t have first-hand knowledge about events going on and so our knowledge is very dependant on the news and the media. It plays a huge role in how people think of the world and also themselves and it might just be affecting our everyday happiness.

Everyone knows that if we eat junk food every day we’ll become unhealthy. The same can be applied to the information we read and pay attention to in everyday news and media outlets. Traditional news has a huge emphasis on the negative and unfortunately the fact is that the majority of news needs tragedy and negativity to sell newspapers or make money. When I really thought about this I decided to test this out and open up the news app on my phone. Sure enough, there were 12 top stories and out of those 12 only 1 story was actually positive. Perhaps it was a particularly bad day? I don’t know.

We all know that journalism is about asking the questions but are journalists always asking the right questions? Questions that will produce a shocking or intriguing story will get the ‘better’ story and in that process we, the readers, don’t end up getting the true view. Now, I realise I’m generalising here – there are many newspapers and news outlets that try their best to keep a fair view but unfortunately the majority don’t do this and as people keeping up with local and world events, we are probably affected by this more than we realise.

There are a lot of bad things that happen in this world and it’s probably right that we should know about them, for example crime, war, injustice or famine but for our happiness to flourish, we need to balance this out with positive subjects. Unfortunately, with 24 hour news many stories are emotionalised or sensationalised to keep the watcher or reader gripped and unnecessarily putting too much emphasis on the entertainment of certain stories rather than an unbiased, constructive type of journalism.

Psychological research has shown that people who are subjected to a range of negative news stories were found to have an increase in anxiety and slight depression. The affect that negative stories have can potentially heighten a range of personal concerns even though they are not specifically relevant to the content of the story itself.

So what should we do? I’m not saying we should avoid news altogether (although this has been done by many people) but perhaps we should lessen the amount of time we spend reading or watching negative news items.

Be aware of how much of the news is unnecessarily negative. Be mindful when taking in the news  – ask yourself, is this something I need to know? If not, stop and move on. Be aware of unnecessary sensational and over-emotional stories because we don’t want people playing on our fears or emotions – it’s just non-essential to our well-being.

Cut down on the amount you are exposed to. If there’s something important that you need to know about don’t worry, you’ll find out about it. Otherwise maybe try and cut down on the amount you read or watch. Just catching up quickly in the morning over breakfast may be all you need.

Weed out the positive news items. If you’re reading something, try and focus just on the positive stories – try reading the sports pages first as they tend to be more on the positive side!

Read a positive publication. There’re some wonderful publications out there that just focus on positive news. Positive News is a great website that reports on science, environment, economic and lifestyle topics that are all written with constructive journalism. They even have a print edition if you’re that way inclined! Sunny Skyz and Good News Network are other great websites that emphasises positive stories. I’m not saying this is a way of getting hard-hitting stories but exposing yourself to a more positive element of news will definitely help balance out your perception of the world.

So why not try it out? To be honest, we probably aren’t even aware how much the news affects us on a daily basis and how much it lowers our vibration and ultimately our happiness. We want to keep a positive mindset as much as we can so at the very least, start your day with a happy news story and end your day with one too 🙂

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23 thoughts on “Is The News Having An Impact On Your Happiness?

  1. Pingback: Is The News Having An Impact On Your Happiness? – The Monk

  2. Cheyanne

    A while back my aunt challenged me to go a week without reading the news. I will say that I was MUCH happier and I slept better. Buuuuuuuuut I definitely went right back into the swing of things when I was done.

    1. A Life Less Ordinary

      It’s definitely hard especially when it’s become such a habit! Also you start to feel left out on knowing what’s going on – I don’t completely avoid the news but I pick and choose what I want to read and less often. Feel much better for it!

  3. moonike

    I’ve gotten out of the habit of reading daily newspapers in recent years. Does make one more content. And it is as you say, anything of truly importance will come through one way or the other.

    Thanks for sharing the sites for positive news though, seems like there’s interesting stuff to read about.

    1. A Life Less Ordinary

      Since I started reading more positive news from these sites it’s really made a difference – I honestly didn’t think it would. It’s amazing what a genuinely positive story does to the mindset which equally makes you realise how much negativity can influence us on a day-to-day basis. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  4. scribbleartie

    “Lowers your vibration” I really like that phrase! I do get involved with the news quite a lot, and really have to step back to ground myself again. But recent news regarding the UK splitting with Europe has really got me niggling with anxiety. I think I will take a look at those positive news sites – I didn’t even know they existed! 😀

    1. A Life Less Ordinary

      Oh yes, it’s definitely hard when something is clearly going to affect us in some way. It also doesn’t help when it involves arguments/discussions on both sides which can tend to lean on the negative aspects. But definitely check out the positive news sites if only to balance out the general mindset a bit! 🙂

  5. Johanna Rosberg

    I stopped watching and reading the news years ago, when I came to the same conclusion as you have now. If something major happens, something that I desperately need to know of, I’ll find out through other sources. I just don’t think it does anyone any good to feed our heads with negativity and despair.
    Great post! 🙂

    1. A Life Less Ordinary

      Thank you! It’s funny how people only consider ‘real’ news as the negative stuff and positive news isn’t always deemed necessary to know. I admire you for stopping – you’re right, it’s just feeding our heads with doom and gloom!

  6. Miriam

    I have deliberately cut down on the amount of news that I watch. I don’t want to be ignorant of what’s going on in the world but I’m well aware of the impacts of negativity. Prefer to surround myself with positive news, whether it’s feel good publications or inspirational shows on tv. Really loving your blog.

    1. A Life Less Ordinary

      I think being aware when watching negative news is half the battle – acknowledging that’s negative instead of letting it blindly affect us is really important. It’s just a shame that ‘important news’ happens to be the negative stuff too. Positive news is the way to go! Thanks for your comments 🙂

  7. Sudhir Suvarna

    Brilliant post….Something I wanted to write about too. News is the major source of depression. They exploit our human nature of fear…humans haven’t evolved much – in the stone age it was the fear of tiger hunting us down…now it is the economy, job loss etc.
    I would always read news on the internet on topics I am interested. I stopped watching TV and all the drama. I am at peace now.

    1. A Life Less Ordinary

      It’s so true. There always seems to be something to fear but I think a lot of it is us being told to fear these things. Shutting out the negativity from news outlets is a big way of cutting these fears out. Or at least keeping them at bay 🙂

  8. Pingback: 8 Ways To Create a Positive Day From Your Morning Routine – A Life Less Ordinary

  9. Rey

    I agree. There is just too much focus on negativity via the traditional news station. It just feeds the negativity within and we certainly could do without it. (smile). Thanks for the referrals to the Postive news and other websites.

    1. Jenny M

      You’re welcome! I’m really glad that so many people agree that news can be so unnecessarily negative. Positive news is the way to go!

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