And increasing your awareness of how external things influence your internal experience is a part of that mandate. So, media. The good, the bad and the ugly. Of course I can't cover a topic this enormous in a little blog post. I think the most useful thing is to think of your brain as a fish tank. If you fill it with mucky, negative things; then that will be the lens you look through at the world. If you keep the tank clean, then the world looks cleaner too. Am I advocating not keeping up with what is happening re: news in the world? No. However, I am advocating nor being perseverance (which means repetitive thinking and behaviour) around things that are outside of your control.
So let's take the news as an example. It's good to know what is happening in the world. We can learn from the situations we don't want to replicate and we can choose how to support the ones that we think need our involvement. However, if you have a tendency towards perseverance, then you might find yourself thinking about what you don't have control of and not experiencing the abundance of what you are experiencing, or could be creating, in your present day life. I see this time and tie again, especially with trauma and natural disasters. After 9/11 I was encouraging the participants in my step classes at the Y not to watch the news because the constant watching of the planes flying into the buildings could create an internalized vicarious trauma response. The same thing can happen re: hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Jose. We do not live in the hurricane corridor. We are not at risk. Notice instead the wonderful weather we are having right now. Choose what information your brain is paying attention to. The news and media platforms are at some levels trying to 'hook' you into watching more because then they can make more money! However, if it isn't good for your mental health then do what you can to stop or limit it.
Our brains have a tendency towards the negative and a tendency towards magnifying or minimizing our response to external stimuli. Know this about yourself! Stay informed and yet aware of how much negativity is being absorbed. Also, be conscious of the fact that all media platforms are also collecting data on you so that you can be sold more STUFF! That includes Facebook, Netflix, News and TV shows that you watch. Steven Colbert even did a very funny song about the amount of TV and media we watch and how it uses us and we use it to avoid things in our life. Check it out! www.billboard.com/articles/news/7965951/stephen-colbert-2017-emmys-song
So when they are subconsciously trying to convince you that you will be happier if you have a bigger house, more money etc etc etc. , know that studies have proven that people don't get happier after making a household income of $73,000. And that doesn't mean you can't be happier with less money than that. It means that the message we get re: making more equals more happiness is NOT TRUE!!! Happiness comes from living the life you intend to within your means, getting your basic needs met and surrounded by people who love you.
Pay attention internally to what brings you joy and delight vs. what media tells you will make you happy externally.
Thanks for reading my blog!