I’ve always loved true crime stories, so when I discovered true crime podcasts, I was hooked. I found myself listening to the various ones that were recommended as the best of best.
But then I discovered the more I listened to these stories about missing persons, cold cases and blatant injustices, the more I sought more, and the more they cast a dark cloud over my soul. I’m prone to the blues as it is, and I found the more I listened to some of the stories, the more doing so made me feel like there was nothing good in the world. That the people in this world were cruel and nothing is fair.
Unless you live under a rock, you know the stories in the news aren’t all that positive either. On a regular basis, the media reports news stories with enough ammunition to chip away at your warm and fuzzy feeling if you let them; politics, crime, war, you name it. The advent of 24-hour news programs a couple of decades ago brought with it the need to fill 24 hours with news. Imagine you were told to stand on a stage and talk to an audience for 24 hours a day, seven days a week without stopping. Would you be able to effortlessly fill the time with dialogue?
Because of the 24-hour news format, shock value is de rigueur. Competition for top ratings among news programs gives way to fake news, sensationalism and overblown stories. Where are the real stories? All of this can be really taxing on the minds of people taking it all in on a regular basis.
Then, there’s social media – where everyone posts, snaps, selfies, shares, tweets, likes, loves an abundance of information and photos you could probably do better without. It can be a fun source of entertainment and interaction, but many of us would really be more productive if we had less of it. Less is more.
Your body is fed by what you eat, but your mind and spirit is fed by what you hear, see and read. Books, music, television shows, conversations and interactions with others, stories we are intrigued by on social media – whatever you continuously feed your mind and soul, your life will reflect what you’ve ingested – positive or negative. This includes your inner conversations; are you being kind to yourself?
It’s important to unplug every now and then. Hit the reset button. Log off of social media, put mobile devices away, turn off the television…and do something uplifting. Read a book! Write a book! Meditate, take a walk and enjoy nature. Attend an exercise class or indulge in a hobby you’ve set aside. Write down a list of positive things that are going on in your life, or the things you love about yourself or someone else. Take yourself back to the days when an hour of news was enough.
When I began to notice my dark mood as a result of being consumed by the negativity of outside influences, I decided it was time to become more intentional about what I feed my mind and spirit. Just as you make the decision to eat veggies, fruits and other healthy foods for your physical well-being, make it a point to feed your soul good things as well.
Let’s face it, you can’t change any of the stories in the news or the way of the world, but you can control your reaction to it.