Yesterday a very special lady, who is currently reading My Wellness Toolbox, asked “How did you manage to turn the news off completely?”… “How do you stay informed on key issues?” this led me to ask the question…

Why do you watch the news?

Does reading and watching the news keep you informed and enrich your life or does it feed your fears and leave you feeling worried or angry at the world?

From an early age it was programmed into many us that newspapers and news programmes are the main source of information to keep us informed…

We have been educated to actively keep up to date with current affairs. Even if it is affairs we have no control or responsibility over… and most news stories are negative!

Why? Because negative news sells better than positive news! There are evolutionary reasons for this, as the scientists have found out… it can be much riskier to ignore negative information, therefore paying attention to negative news is an effective survival strategy. You are more likely to pick up a newspaper with a negative headline than one that you have nothing to worry about. Blows my mind.

For many of us it is habit to switch on the morning news driving to work, read a newspaper at lunchtime cover to cover and watch the final news bulletin of the day before bed. Constantly feeding our subconscious mind with negative news… this news can then become a trigger for anxiety at a later date, especially when going through stressful times.

I changed that habit because that’s one of the first things my GP prescribed me to do when I hit rock bottom in 2006… and what a difference it made to my life. I quickly realised external events, that I had no control over, were a key trigger for my panic attacks.

Now I choose what I expose my mind to. I do stay informed on the topics I need to for my life and what interests me but I don’t do it via the 6 o’clock news or read the tabloids.

I’m not telling you not to read the newspapers or listen to the news, it maybe something you love doing, I just want to encourage you to check in and ask yourself this question today…. and if needed make some small changes to feed your mind with what will make you feel happier.