For a number of years I worked in the financial industry and HAD to closely follow the news to be well-informed. Near the end of that time I started taking various self-improvement courses and started having different sessions with various non-traditional medical professionals. The topic of negative input going into my mind came up consistently. News was always one of the major culprits being near or at the top of the list. In one of the courses we were asked to not follow the news for 30 days…to go on a “news fast”. When I first heard that I thought doing so would impossible! Prior to the news fast I thought I would miss out on too many things and would find small talk very challenging.
What was my experience during that 30 day “news fast”?
– I was less cynical about people and the world in general
– I started noticing more positive things around me and in people
– I had better and more interesting conversations
– I let go of my need to constantly be informed
– I lived more in the present
– People told me about major new stories
What does this have to do with bipolar disorder?
I was diagnosed with Bipolar I in 2000. In my experience, at times when I’ve been depressed I’ve followed the news much more closely. This ends up being a downward spiral which not only makes me feel worse about the world at large but also myself. A recent example is from this spring when I was depressed. At the same time Malaysian Airlines flight 370 went missing. I found myself getting almost consumed with the story. Reading countless stories around the mystery. I finally said enough is enough! I stopped reading about it. That was a key shift in my mindset which lifted me out of depression. Along with not following the news I focused more on connecting with family and good friends, eating better, and getting outside in nature.
Not following the news is a conscious choice that I make. Family and good friends of mine know that I don’t follow the news, so it rarely comes up in conversation.
A great news resource to consider following is Good News Network (www.goodnewsnetwork.org). Nothing but good news all the time!
Go on a “news fast” for 30 days. During and/or after the 30 days note your experiences. If you are comfortable with doing so, I’d greatly appreciate you sharing in the comments below. I’d love to hear about your experience!