Do you remember the early days of the internet? There were only traces of social media, the amount of homepages and blogs was relatively low, and people only occasionally spend their time online. Partly due to the fact that the World Wide Web was a pretty empty space back them.
A lot has happened over the years, and nowadays, we are witnessing an explosion of information and content. A lot of that content is negative, which is why it can be a very good idea to do a negative media detox! So, here are 9 easy steps to cleanse your mind from negative content.
#1 Stop Multi-Tasking
The more things you do simultaneously, the more stress you create in your daily life. Negative news article headlines or push notifications tend to steal your attention and might make you angry, if you’re already feeling stressed.
#2 Turn off Your Mobile at Night
Constant availability and an overexposure to information and media content can seriously disrupt your sleeping patterns. Mute or turn off your mobile at night. You will start to feel a deep sense of serenity and rest with the right amount of uninterrupted sleep.
#3 Unfollow Negative Friends, Pages and Groups on Social Media
Media platforms can be very negative, and sometimes even hateful places. Consider unfriending or unfollowing friends that crank out a lot of negative news, posts and comments. Likewise, pages and groups that publish negative content can be easily avoided, simply unlike or unfollow them.
Instead, focus on your Facebook friends who publish and share positive content. Like pages with good and uplifting content and choose “In your news feed: See first” when you follow them, in order to highlight that content.
#4 Start Meditating
Instead of checking your feed or reading the news, start to meditate on a though and then. Just 10 minutes per day can help you reduce stress and sharpen your focus, something that social media simply cannot do!
#5 Relax More
It’s important to realize that sometimes, it is totally fine to relax and do nothing at all. All too often now, we fill our free spaces of time with (digital) information. Why not take a nice bath, a nap, a walk, watch a movie or listen to some good music instead? Be more in the moment!
#6 Read Positive Books
Another great way of creating a more positive mindset is to read positive books. There is a whole bunch of absolutely incredible books on how to be and think more positively out there.
Books covering areas such as self-development, positive psychology, transformative journalism or simply happiness do have the ability to make you happy. Plus that you learn a lot about yourself in the process!
#7 Read Positive News
This is one of my personal favorites! Reading articles on good news sites like the Good News Network or positive.news can really transform your entire day and shift your mood. They are amazing sources of positive and feel good news material.
#8 Join Local Positive Projects or Organizations
Reading the global news can be very overwhelming, especially when they are negative. It makes one feel small and utterly powerless. But you can both affect and change things on a local level!
Clean up a river or beach, give some aid or money to a local homeless shelter, switch your electricity provider to a greener alternative; there is so much we can do that can really make a difference!
#9 Do a 30-Days Social Media Detox
This is the final and most powerful step of all. I have personally introduced this step into my life and I am already in my second month. Trust me when I tell you this; you can absolutely feel a positive change taking place in your thinking and general mood.
Nowadays, we are receiving most of the daily news content out there via our social media feeds. Turning that feed off for at least one month will cleanse your mind from a lot of negative news content, guaranteed!
Humans tend to respond much more to negative information than to positive information. This is one of the reasons the media landscape looks the way it does in our times. Negative bias simply implies that bad is stronger than good. Hence, bad sells more and has the greater impact. Unfortunately, it also affects us in a very negative manner.
To be fair, from an evolutionary standpoint, this made a lot of sense back in the day! Alert animals and early humans would have had a far better chance of survival if they were attuned to bad things around them. And thus it was those genes and behaviors that were passed along. Those days are long gone, but people still have the same behavioral patterns.
Whenever people read negative news, they can get scared, they can feel uncomfortable, insecure, intimidated, angry, sad, etc. All these are negative emotions and the important questions to ask are the following:
Do I really need these sources of information in my life? And would my reality be any different if I’d be without them?
Everyone should become conscious of these questions, especially when it comes to social media. People have become all too familiar with this type of fast and often shallow information platform. They no longer reflect on the time they spent being exposed to the massive amounts of information. In other words, we have become used to a habitual social media use.
Naturally, the more we consume (social) media, the more negative news and information we are getting exposed to. Friends, pages or groups that people follow can all contribute to a negative news filter bubble, which constantly reassures itself.
Hence, a cocktail consisting of an information overload and an increased exposure to negative news content has become the new norm. But there are simple and effective ways of changing changing that!
A thorough negative media detox has not only made me happier, it has also shown me that most of the things that are covered by the global media are literally not affecting my personal life or my reality.
Having detoxed my mind from negative media and information was absolutely worth the effort and transition. But you have to do it yourself, in order to experience the benefits and shift in your mindset. I can only invite you to take that step, the ramifications will be awesome!