We need bad news to appreciate the good
By Editorial Board
It’s probably safe to say a large majority of the population is tired of hearing about the myriad problems our country and world face today.
The year 2020 has dealt us one lousy thing after another, and news outlets have been covering it every step of the way. From shootings, political upheavals, riots, racial injustices and everyone’s favorite, COVID-19 this year has been nothing short of depressing. The fact that the remainder of the year has basically been shut down (college and national sports, some schools, and social events) doesn’t help either.
As much as we want to stop seeing the bad news plastered all over newspapers, social media and the works it’s nearly impossible. Unless you live totally isolated with little to no contact with electronics, the bad news is going to follow you.
That’s both the blessing and curse in disguise; we as people are more informed but the constant onslaught of negative news isn’t good for our mental health either.
Bad news does serve its purpose though. You need it to realize all of the good that exists all around us. But somewhere along the line, we’ve lost sight of the good stuff. In doing so, we’ve let the fear-inducing headlines permeate our lives; it’s toxic, to say the least.
Various studies over the years have shown the negative impacts of too much news on mental health. It causes excess anxiety. On the one hand, we feel anxious due to uncertainties...what if this happens to me, what if my family gets COVID; what if, what if, what if. It’s almost like an addiction. You want to stop looking but you can’t.
On the other hand, we get anxious over the unknown. The more information you have, the more prepared you’ll be, right?
While that could be true for most things, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
There can be too much information, especially when it’s presented in a distressing light.
What does all of this have to do with good news? Well, it certainly makes us appreciate it more when it happens.
When COVID-19 has run its course and/or we get a vaccine, we’ll all breathe a heavy sigh of relief reading the headlines about the world reopening and businesses getting back on track.
All we can do in the meantime is to try to balance it out. Put the phone down for a few minutes. Search for positive stories (they do exist!). Talk about good things that are going on in people's lives. Anything to get your mind off of the bad news.