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The bad news ... and how to be happy

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What the title of this article means is that “The News”, as it’s called, should really be called “The Bad News”, since nearly everything that’s put on The News is negative. And, so, to be happiest in life, it's best not to watch The News.

Think about it. What makes the headlines? It’s typically the murders, rapes, plane crashes, acts of terrorism, escalating fuel prices, plummeting home prices, etc. It’s enough to make us feel terrible about life.

Really, think about it harder (and honestly, if possible), what good does it do us in our lives to know that there was an explosion at a factory in Bristol, Tennessee that killed 90 people? Why do we need to know that a woman was raped, murdered, and cut into pieces in Aurora, Colorado? What benefit do we get from the knowledge that a car-bomb exploded at a café in Tel-Aviv or that a terrorist killed dozens of people in a subway in Spain? Even the recent horrific murder of 20 children in Connecticut is something we don't really need to know.

Does it really do us any good? The true answer is NO! (although some people will disagree that). But will you be any better off by knowing these specific “bad news” events? Will you quit your job at the factory where you work to avoid an explosion there (or just be anxious and stressed because of the possible threat)? Will you lock yourself in your home so there is less chance you’ll get raped? Will you stay away from café’s so a car-bomb doesn’t kill you? Will you keep your kids out of school so they don't get killed there? Again, what good does it do?

Unfortunately, for some reason, people find this type of “news” entertaining. And that’s why the media keeps producing it - because it sells – and makes more money.

Notice it for yourself. Watch The News on any given night. Invariably it is mostly bad stuff. It can be downright “depressing” and stressful. So why watch it?

I know, I know. You need to stay up on current events. You need to know “what’s happening in the world”. Yeah, right! Give me a break. I NEVER watch the news and I am doing just fine knowing what needs to be known … and I’m a lot happier, too; because a while back I did a little experiment where I stopped watching The News completely. I didn’t watch it on television (I don’t watch TV anyway – so this was the easy part), I didn’t read the newspaper, and I changed the radio station when the news came on in the car.

An amazing thing happened. I felt a lot happier, less stressed, and more positive every day. It seems that when I stopped being constantly reminded about all the negative stuff going on in our world, I felt better about life.

It’s really a simple life concept – and that is, to focus on the positives in your life if you want to be happier. The News does not allow us to do that. It does exactly the opposite.

So, the challenge of this advice – as people are quick to say almost every time I suggest it – is to be able to keep up with important information, while still reducing the negative messages we receive constantly from the popular media outlets.

Believe me, it’s possible. I get all the information I choose to get, rather than all the negative information that is forced upon us daily. Not only that, because of the constant “push” of the bad news, you’ll still hear about everything you need to know – especially if you do watch TV like most people.

One alternative source for “news” (if you just have to have it) to try is The Good News Network (www.goodnewsnetwork.org) which is – as is obvious from the name – a news network focused only on good news. Here’s a quote from one of their listeners, which makes my “don’t watch the news” point exactly:

"Every day I get to work in the morning, get my coffee, jump online and read the news. Every day I go home sad and depressed … then I found your site and after reading the first story I immediately felt my spirits lift and I never went home sad again. Reading ordinary news we get a sense that that’s all there is, but your site reminds us the world is not as bad as the news would lead us to believe. Thank you for everything."

So, don’t watch the news if you want to be as happy as possible in your life. Try it. Just stay away from it for 30 days. See how you feel. Then, if you believe you are missing too much and would rather be “entertained” by the death and destruction in the world, go back to it if you must. What do you have to lose?

BeHappy! my friends

For more information - and to be happier - go to BeHappy101.com

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