THE GOOD NEWS PROJECT // PART 1
It seems today we are constantly bombarded with bad news & negativity, horrifying events replayed again and again for shock value and ratings. Picking up a paper or switching on prime time can seem like a form of self punishment; "What am I going to have to deal with today, what awful event will have me questioning humanity again". Unfortunately bad news is also no longer confined to the traditional forms of communication. With the rise of social media, platforms like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram have made the sharing of news (correct or not) as easy as 1,2, post. It's inescapable, and whether you want it or not, bad news is just a short scroll away, with the horrible realities sticking in your mind far longer than the memory of that cute kitten video.
If you are anything like me, over the past couple of years there have been times when you have felt helpless, inevitably starting to question whether the world is going backwards, if the value of human life is now negligible and what on earth you can do to change things.
Well I have good news!... and bad news (sorry! I told you it was inescapable), the sad truth is that the state of the world won't change overnight. Theres no magical switch we can flip, no Harry Potter potion, but I've found there are ways to counter-act all that negativity and I wanted to share my methods.
First we need to be aware of the news without letting it consume us: I know its far easier said than done but if we try and balance the negatives with positives the world might feel less off kilter. It helps knowing that our brains react to negativity as a form of self preservation, Mr. Brain thinks if we are aware of a problem we can react and stay alive longer. Therefore we are wired to pay attention to the negative things and assign them higher priority, this is also why watching /reading bad news stories can be addictive, and why the news channels keep playing those bad news stories again and again, is because they know it's guaranteed viewing gold.
So what can we do right now? I really believe if we all feel better within our selves that is the first step to helping the world around us. So here are 7 small acts we can start doing right now to fight the negativity:
Talk about the good things more: Share that laughing goat meme, tell your friend about your #girlboss moment at work rather than the person who cut in front of you at the cafe
Change your feed - follow people and publications that bring you happiness (Ellen Degeneres is one happy lady if you need a starting point) Listen to motivating podcasts and read blogs that share a message of positivity. Being a more active curator of what you are absorbing online goes a long way to changing your internal world.
Be more conscious of complaining: Try to go a whole day without complaining about anything and you'll realise how much we all do it!
Learn more, do more - occupy and widen your mind by taking classes in things you're interested in, look at more art, read more books, listen to more music.
Be less selfish, work on your empathy: consider those around us more, our friends, family and neighbours.
Practice the art of gratitude: keep a gratitude journal or just remind yourself every morning about 3 things you're thankful for
Spread kindness : even the small act of smiling at a stranger could make their day. You never know whats happening in someone else's life
If we can all work on making our little corner of the world better then it stands to reason together that "better" can get bigger and bigger.
In reaction to the themes discussed in this post I'm in the middle of working on a new project that I hope will help you all remember to look for the "good news", so stay tuned!
Seen some good news? please share with me by tagging @jenandjennifer or using the hashtag #jenandjennifergoodnews.
Lets make "good" go viral