Tuning Up Life

Bill Abbate

Who doesn’t want more positivity in life? With so much negativity in today’s society, we can become overwhelmed with it. But there is a way to escape much of the negative and live a far better life by tuning in the good and tuning out the bad.

What can you control?

Many parts of modern society bombard us regularly. They assault us with negativism, often through the media’s sensationalism. How? Open a newspaper or news application and prepare to be exposed to sensationalistic headlines bidding for your attention as they attempt to draw you in. Such negativity only exacerbates today’s anxiety and depression issues experienced by so many people.

Could part of the problem of so much negativity be our fault because too many people enjoy or crave it? Does negative news create better ratings and more income for the media? Is it the sensationalism of it all? Yes, yes, and yes.

But you can control it if you want to!

Tuning out the negative

With the sheer volume of media content created today, the blame for negativity rests largely on the shoulders of the mainstream media. Their focus is almost entirely on the sensationalistic and the negative. There are so many disasters and people tearing down other people, it is sickening!

“The media dwells mostly on negativity.”Bill Parcells (1941-present)

Look at the crooked politics, murders, robberies, looting, vandalism, shootings, wars, tragic deaths, and anything else they can dig up. It is demoralizing and demeaning. And none of that addresses the almost total loss of journalistic integrity with the injection of personal opinions and lies of so-called “professional journalists.”

“Media, theplural of mediocrity.” Jimmy Breslin (1928–2017)

Oh, and don’t forget about social media! Talk about bias, lying, and exaggerating! It is full of it!

Hopefully, one day the downward spiral of society because of the corrupt media will bottom out, and people will wake up. Until then, it is only going down.

What does all of this say about society today other than it is in a sad state of affairs? The world has too much hatred and negativity, exponentially worse than a generation ago. Is there no end in sight?

“You know journalists. You know the media. They are going to hang on to anything negative they possibly can.”Hope Solo (1981-present)

Not convinced yet? How about some facts? Did you know:

  • 90% of media news is negative
  • 95% of media headlines are exaggerated
  • 79% of articles distort reality and are divisive
  • 65% of mistakes are ignored by news organizations
  • 79% of media companies will publish biased stories for their advertisers

Those numbers do not paint a pretty picture of the mainstream media. They are no longer trustworthy. According to the Gallup organizationGallup, only 34% of people in the USA have some confidence in the media. The remaining 66% have little or no confidence in it as its decline in trust continues.

Sure, a handful of real journalists are still around, but the “Cronkite days” when most people trusted the news and journalism are long gone. To find accurate, unbiased reporting today, you have to dig deep.

“I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office.” Newt Gingrich (1943-present)

Before moving to the positive, there is more to say about that other source of “garbage for the mind,” social media. Whether it is Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, or most other social media platforms, tread carefully. Much of it is more looney toons than the mainstream media!

Why do we waste time feeding our minds with so much negativity? It is doing irreparable harm to many in our nation. But it only does so when we allow it. And only when we use our precious, irreplaceable time to let it enter our eyes or ears into our minds.

The good news is you don’t have to tune into it. You have a choice!

Tuning in the positive

I started working on cutting negativity out of my life in the past two years. Jane, my wife, and I noticed I was getting wound up more about simple things, and my stress level had increased considerably. I knew the source but didn’t want to admit it.

I was a news junkie, listening to podcasts and radio talk shows while watching too much television. I would almost always start the day calm and positive, becoming more agitated as the day wore on.

The fix was simple. All I had to do was stop watching and listening to the mainstream news and all the rest. The problem was breaking the addiction. The withdrawals were difficult!

My stress dropped almost instantly, and I am enjoying far more peace now! I feel like I got back a big part of my life, and I no longer intend to waste it on media. By the way, my level of positivity has never been higher.

Fortunately, this is still a free country, and we can take what we do and how we live into our own hands. We do not have to allow such negativity in our lives. We can always change the channel or use the off switch anytime we want.

Fortunately, many positive and uplifting sources exist for little or no cost, many via the internet.

“Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.” Harvey Mackay (1932-present)

Spend a few minutes searching on Medium, Vocal, YouTube, and other such outlets. You will be amazed at how many positive, uplifting, well-written stories, articles, and videos are available. It is easy to pass by the negative stuff, especially if it’s political, so long as people use reasonably honest titles, which we know many do not.

I would rather spend 10 minutes reading or listening to articles on Medium than watching or listening to negative nonsense on air and online. That is 10 minutes well spent vs. suffering the mind-numbing effect of the negative.

You can always find fresh, new self-development, humor, travel, and other highly entertaining and useful articles and videos on Medium, Vocal, YouTube, and many other sites. Most of these can be read or watched in a few minutes. By feeding your mind with the right material from these platforms, you too can feel better, lighter, and more satisfied than you ever could on mainstream or social media.

If you want more peace in your life, you may want to try shutting off the so-called standard or accepted sources of “news” and social media.

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” Willie Nelson (1933-present)

Why not take a media fast for a week or a month? I bet you will be surprised at how different you feel physically and mentally. If you think you will miss a lot because of not watching the news, don’t worry. You won’t miss much. It is easy to catch up in a few minutes each week instead of letting it keep drawing you in with more chewing gum for the brain.

Final thoughts

A final word about negativity. With the tremendous volume of lies and deception today, especially in the media and politics, what does it say about moral character? Or perhaps I should say the lack of moral character. Nothing good.

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915)

I am hopeful a time will come when everything will be sorted out and corrected. Until then, why not keep our heads clear of negativity and fill our minds with wonderful things?

Each of us can choose to be more intentional if we want. We can reduce the amount of negativity being fed to us daily.

Make up your mind to limit your media intake and watch your life improve significantly! Don’t waste another second of your irreplaceable, invaluable time on the negative. Life is too short!

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot — it’s all there.Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences arepositive.” Maya Angelou (1928–2014)

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 0

Published by

Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

More from Bill Abbate

Comments / 0