Bad News Sells Newspapers & conditions your mind

A good friend and mentor of mine, Graham Keen is a positive psychologist which perhaps a few years back I would have dismissed as mumbo jumbo, not any more though.

One of the things Graham teaches, is to be careful of unintended negative conditioning. In much the same way as Nelly uses repetition as a positive force for good and a technique for learning, reading the newspaper everyday has a very negative conditioning impact on your brain and you might not even realise it.

I was reminded of this last week by another good friend of mine who is working with Graham right now. This morning I surveyed the on-line newspaper, as I often do and was reminded of Graham’s cautionary tale. Most of the news in today’s newspaper was either bad, terrible, boring or disastrous! There was little if any positivity, unless you happen to be a Man City football fan (which I am not) who apparently narrowly beat another team, reinforcing the likelihood of them winning the Premiership. This piece of news obviously fell into my “boring” category!

As I considered what news I had scanned, the day looked a little darker and the birds chirping slightly quieter and my enthusiasm took a hit. I had unintentionally allowed the news to alter my otherwise positive mindset and put a downer on my day.

I need to read the news so, stopping reading newspapers isn’t really a feasible option for me. However, consciously avoiding reading all the details of terrible events and deliberately doing a little mental exercise called “counting blessings” helps counter the very powerful, negative conditioning of the daily newspaper. I wonder in 2019, where everybody, even young kids, are digitally connected, just how much negative conditioning we receive now versus perhaps 30 years ago?

Perhaps we are all allowing ourselves to be negatively conditioned and as a result are less happy with life than previous generations? Count your blessings and counter the dark conditioning!