You may remember those times, when music and movie stars were the only celebrities you could encounter in the news. Yes, it was a while ago. At that time I was working as a music journalist and always got surprised by the amount of people interested in the private lives of music stars. Because even if they were genuine artists and not just “consumer products”, only a handful of them deserved to be considered a positive role models.
This has changed in the recent years – to the worse. Internet “celebrities” and politicians have drastically lowered the bar to an unexpected level.
Now we live in an era of the constant bombardment with negative political news. That robs us of our time, energy, positive attitude, and potentially our sanity. At least that’s how I feel.
Doesn’t matter where it is, politicians should serve their citizens, with the goal to benefit for the majority and protecting minority. A citizen should know who and what is doing on his or her behalf. If a change is needed – elections should resolve it. That is the theory. The real life doesn’t work that way.
I have left my old country in Europe because I couldn’t see any possibility for a positive change in my life. The last twenty years my decision confirmed.
But even here in Canada, for a long time, I had kept checking the situation back home. Because that’s where my roots and the closest family are.
That habit became unbearable after recent public decisions – the election results. First in my old country, then the Brexit and finally the US, confirmed that constantly exposing myself to political news, and the news in general, were not good for me at all.
I had been reading newspapers, listening to the radio, watching TV and checking different opinions on the internet, twitter … All that raised my anxiety, brought bad mood and made me feel less interested in things that were more important for me – my family, my work, my health.
So after the last US elections, I went “cold turkey” and completely cut myself from what was going on in the world. I was even considering using software filters, to allow only pre-specified information appear on my screens.
Although I have been trying hard, it is not possible to completely avoid all those negative news. Even when just searching for specific information on a topic related to my interests. But the decision to cut myself off of the news brought a lot more freedom to my mind, more positive energy and time for work and family.
Before, I couldn’t imagine how would that be possible. I was reading that a successful author and blogger Seth Godin doesn’t watch TV. Where does he get the inspiration? And sufficient information for all his excellent writings?
Now I know that this is not only possible, but also absolutely necessary. At least for my sanity, and wellbeing.
In the last couple days I lapsed and allowed myself to check news again. I will be traveling to Europe and thought I could get better prepared for the trip if I was more “informed”. What a bad decision. Didn’t help with anything good or positive, only dragged me back into a negative state of mind.
So if your feelings about the news are like mine, and if the news is not critically important for your work, I have a suggestion for you – protect your sanity and avoid the news at all cost. Don’t make the political “reality show” intrude into your private life. Don’t worry, the important information will percolate to you whether you want or not.
If you feel necessary to do something to change the situation, it is much more efficient to focus on things you can have impact on in your area, your neighborhood, your town or city.
With the time and energy you save by avoiding the news, get yourself into music instead. Playing music is great for building a community, for stress relief, it works against depression and improves your health. Get together with your family or friends and sing together. Play together. Dance. Do it mindfully and your life will be much happier with music.
Interested to know more about how to play music mindfully? You can sign up with Musicably and start musicking soon.