Don’t Let The World Steal Your Happiness news media has certainly taken a beating in recent years and now, even social media is being dismissed as “dangerous” and “unreliable.” So what does that have to do with positivity? As it turns out, an awful lot.


People often blame the “outside world” for derailing their positivity, pointing to family, work and societal stresses as the main reason they’re no longer able to feel more positive. This of course also means that in reality, they may not have tried very hard, or that they’re missing the whole point of being positive thinkers, but that’s another story.

However, it is absolutely true that the world at large is a serious impediment to living a happy and positive life and that’s because there are so many ruthlessly negative people in the world who love to bring everyone down. Case-in-point — politics and it’s unhealthy relationship with mainstream news media and social media. One cannot read or watch news these days, without politics being woven into the story — in fact, its as if there are no news stories in our world, other than politics.

Because we have become so divided (thanks to politicians and the media), everyone is scratching their way through the melange to get their side heard — and by side, I mean of course, their personal political bias. This intentionally created divide is of course quite lucrative for the media and the politicians themselves, so they have a vested interest in stirring the pot of their roiling chaos. So what news do we believe? Can we trust CNN? How about Fox News?  Is the New York Times reliable, or should we read a more conservative paper?  We’re all curious as to just whom is telling us the truth — the answer may be that none of them are, or perhaps they all are…but maybe not entirely(?)

Mark Twain had this to say on the matter:

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”

“It seems to me that just in the ratio that our newspapers increase, our morals decay. The more newspapers the worse morals. Where we have one newspaper that does good, I think we have fifty that do harm. We ought to look upon the establishment of a newspaper of the average pattern in a virtuous village as a calamity.”

What’s interesting, is that Mark Twain made these quotes in or around 1873, so our love-hate relationship with the news media is by no means new. What is new however, is broadcast and the internet and many experts believe that its the way in which we’re consuming the news that has caused us to become so agitated and at odds with one another. Could be…

People have become consumed with politics and by default, the news. As our ability to access news instantly has become available, we now see the news everywhere we look — we simply cannot escape it, because its on our phones, tablets, TV’s and it scrolls incessantly across jumbo-trons in every city and town. This saturation of 24×7 “breaking news” cycles has caused us to become so overwhelmed, that we have now started questioning if the news is fake or real and we ask “which sources can I trust?”  Our positivity is getting drained by all of this controversy and people are finding that happiness escapes them, as they feel more and more stressed.


The news may not always be happy and quite frankly rarely is — sensationalism sells, so the MSM has a vested interest in keep it salacious.  But no one is making us consume so much politics and news. No one makes us spend hours on twitter, getting more-and-more agitated as we rage at each other. No one makes us have CNN or Fox News on in the background as we eat dinner…and no one makes us talk endlessly about politics. The truth is, if we’re not sure which sources we can trust and if we find ourselves becoming more downbeat, its ultimately our own doing. At any moment, we have the power to control what we consume and control how we feel and react.

What can we do to reduce the negative effects of so much news and politics?  Here are just a few ways to curtail the dark negativity we expose ourselves to:

Don’t use TV to  escape: When we’re tired or feeling down, it may seem like a good idea to turn on the TV. And in reality, it could be an okay idea, if we avoided watching the news. But sadly, people today have become conditioned to immediately tune right to a news channel. Don’t — try avoiding TV as your go-to escapism and consider reading a book instead.

Be honest and aware of your biases: We’ve  been conditioned to have an us vs. them mentality and its extremely unhealthy. Accept that most of us have some kind of bias, particularly about politics and if we do consume news, we need to be mindful to not lash out or reject something just because it conflicts with our bias — you may not like what you’re hearing, but that doesn’t mean its some outlandish conspiracy theory. Be aware of your bias and check to make sure its not that bias which is causing your stress.

Take an active role: If we don’t like the way things are, we need to speak up to the right people. Contact your elected representatives and the media to express your opinions. Rather than raging at one another, we need to use our power to have active input in the direction of our nation.

Consider the source: We should not be getting our news from social media. Likewise, we should not just read a headline and assume we know the whole story and, we should be open enough to check various sources and not just those that confirm our bias. Add to that the fact that now more than ever, we need to be extremely cautious about our foreign adversaries stirring the pot — they want us to be divided and they absolutely do make inflammatory comments/posts/tweets that are designed to keep us riled up.

Tune out: Perhaps the best way is to pull back from too much news, politics and social media. People are increasingly using this approach and they report being significantly happier and feeling much better and freer. There’s nothing that says you should always be surfing social media, reading the news or talking politics, so take a break from it.

Anger at the press is nothing new and neither is toxicity in politics. What is new is that now, we hear it/see it in virtual real-time and its beamed right at us across our devices — what has changed, is the delivery and consumption components. As to who we can trust when it comes to getting our news, that is really up to each of us. But ask yourself if the news source that you’re praising, is any more reliable than the one that you’re raging against?

Being happy, positive and fulfilled is not easy and we need to be vigilant not to let the news or politics zap our happiness — life is hard enough without being led into the minefield of negativity by people with nefarious motives.