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How to Be Happier by Consuming Less News

How to Be Happier by Consuming Less News

There are certain things in our lives that bring happiness or sow seeds of discontent. The news can be the bearer of many such seeds. As a result, you can be happier when you consume less news.

When you start the day by listening to the news and you hear about a robbery you begin to worry more for your safety and focus your attention on the bad things that might happen to you, increasing your stress level. What you focus your attention on comes into your life more often. The more attention you give to negative stories, the more negative things you will see around you and the more negative your life will become.

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Some people love to watch the news. These folks may find the news doesn’t affect them strongly. Others easily pick up the negative vibrations whether they realize it or not. Growing up my father loved to have the news on all the time. He thrives on lively discussions and arguments. I would always spend my time elsewhere. Over the years I have found myself listening less and less to any type of news or talk show. My husband enjoys listening to NPR but has come to understand how the news can deeply affect me and will turn it off when I enter the room.

You may not need to cut all news from your life but I challenge you to cut news out of your life for 1 week.

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Can you still be aware and educated about current events without listening to the news? Certainly, just choose your sources carefully and avoid sensationalized news that preys on your emotions. You may find that doing a quick check of headlines is all you need to do to keep aware of important events.

During a recent election season my news fast has allowed me to avoid the majority of negative political campaigns and drama that accompanies an election these days. However I was still able to participate in the vote as an informed citizen by choosing how I educate myself on the issues and not be swayed by the propaganda of either side.

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Start your 7 day news fast by evaluating where your news is coming from and disconnecting:

  • TV
  • Newspaper
  • Radio
  • Online News
  • Social Media: (You need to stop any news that is sent to you automatically, such as daily headlines sent to your email or that show up automatically in your Twitter or Facebook feeds.)
What should you do in place of the news? You could listen to your favorite music or an audiobook while you run errands or commute. Better still, write down how the absence of news affects you. Do you miss it and feel disconnected? Or do you feel less stress and distraction from those you love? You may find you can connect more deeply with your family, without the nightly news to distract you.

After your 7 day news fast try replacing regular news with positive information. There are news sources that focus on reporting positive stories.

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Looking for your next challenge? Try a digital fast.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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