As any doctor will tell you, watching what you eat is good for your health. But how much attention is paid to watching that which we mentally digest?
Not that many people really talk about this. And the truth is, recently I have gone on a bit of a “News Diet” and wow, I feel much better.
This is just an anecdotal observation but it feels to me like a lot of the news being served up in the mainstream media has devolved into stories designed to get an emotional reaction from me – a negative emotional reaction. And the more angry, hot and bothered a story can make me, the more newsworthy it seems to be.
The loop is dysfunctional (truly) and me waiting for them to stop pumping out this mental junk food seems silly, so I have cut back. And you know what? For the first little bit it was hard. It’s like there’s a rush to be had in reading/hearing about the world’s woes. It’s not that I hunt that type of thing out, but that’s so often what “they” feed me… and prolonged over-exposure has built in me a little adrenaline high I now get off of “staying informed”.
And since I tell myself that staying informed is critical to good citizenship, this loop goes round and round.
So I ask myself, is staying informed about the corruption, the mayhem, the lying, cheating, murders, bomb plots, child abductions and good-for-nothing school teachers really doing my part? Or is that just a rationalization? Indeed, I do believe it’s essential to be informed about the world in which we live but is harming myself from ingesting too much newsy junk food really the best way to go about it?
There are other things I can read or listen to. Things that are less salacious. Things that are more inspirational. Things that can open my mind, my heart and my spirit. Rarely do I find there is nothing to read – and often I find that when I do spend too much time with “the news” I end up feeling aggravated about the state of this world and my own place in it.
Intellectually eating less junk food and going on a News Diet has been good for me in a way I don’t think I quite expected. There’s less anger, frustration and aggravation being fomented. If the news won’t change, then I guess I have to look to me.
Feels like a prescription from my heart doctor.