With all the bad things we see in the media, how do we remain positive?
Let's face it. As humans, we're attracted to everything negative. Our tabloids prove it. When we stand in line to pay at the grocery store, aren't those headlines glaring at us from the stands almost magnetic? I know that my fingers sometimes itch to grab one and take it with me. Then there's the news on the television. It tells us about all kinds of terrible things happening around the world. Some will wonder how to be happy in a world like that.
It's so easy to get sucked into it. We actually end up thinking that that's all there is. The world is a dangerous place. What the media doesn't tell us about is all the good stuff. That's boring, right? Good news doesn't sell newspapers. Why is that? It's the way we're wired.
There's a small part of our brain that's sometimes called the reptilian brain and dates back to when we were hunter-gatherers — and long before. Back then we had to be careful because there were dangers everywhere, be it from predators or things that could be poisonous or any number of other things.
If we compare then and now, we're actually pretty safe. We go to the grocery store to buy our food knowing that it's not poisoned. We don't have much of a chance of running into a saber-toothed tiger on our way to work, or a grizzly, for that matter. There are other dangers, of course, but compared to our ancestors, we're doing good.
That little part of our brain, however, still works. It's job is to make us aware of danger, any danger. If we don't have it in our own lives, it looks for it somewhere else. Thus our fascination for murder and mayhem. Who doesn't love television series where the good guys bring the bad guys to justice? Preferably with a good shoot-out or an old fashioned fist fight. Then there;s the real life crime stories where actual crimes are brought to the forefront. Not to mention newscasts that are full of stories about terrorism and the bad economy and anything else that can be seen as negative.
The truth is that this world of ours isn't as bad as we think. There is more peace on this planet now than there ever has been. We think that it's so terrible because global communications has made it possible for us to see the so-called hot spots through the media. It's been said that, in actuality, 95% of what happens in this world is good. Even if it's 90% or even 85%, it's a far cry from the impression we get when we turn on the television.
So what can we do about this morbid attraction to everything destructive? And how do we keep it from influencing our lives?
I heard someone say once that our destiny is defined by our focus. In other words, what we focus on colors how our lives turn out. I've found that to be true in my life and in the lives of many of the people around me. Watch what you're giving your attention to.
If you are an avid news fan, think of how much you can do about the stories there. If there is something you can do to alleviate the situation you see, do it. That's a good thing. But most of the time all we can do is watch. You start to feel helpless about the destruction, and worry starts in. It's like having your childhood boogie man move into your mind again.
Instead, try to find as many good things as possible and focus on them. Surf the web to find uplifting sites designed to make life better. There are so many great human interest stories that can help you regain your faith in the human race again. Do the same in your private life. Find great things to focus on. It lifts your spirit and allows your subconscious mind to work on solutions to the problems that do exist, both in your own life and in the lives of others. Soon life will turn into the adventure it was meant to be.
It sounds simplistic, but it's a powerful tool. How do I know this? Because I've lived by this principle for over 30 years, and it works. So give it a try. You have nothing to lose but your worries.