In this day and age global news is everywhere. We get it from traditional news stations, social media, or just alerts from friends, family and colleagues.
The news always seems to come in the form of headlines that are meant to stimulate our nervous systems. This is so our eyes will stare more often and longer at the screen and they can charge more money for their ads. It’s pure economics.
We also have become accustomed to reading news in smaller bytes which means we usually jump from the headlines into a judgment or opinion and begin sharing it with other people prior to really investigating the story.
Shoshanna Goldstein, who has assisted me at Kripalu during my Uncovering Happiness Retreats and her husband John Tedesco, reminded me recently of a very important practice when it comes to a mindful (and necessary) way to engage news that I think would not only serve us individually in keeping our nervous systems balanced, but could help our culture as a whole.
Here it is:
As you read the news in the coming days, especially in politics, in whatever medium it comes in, notice if there is a negative or positive reaction. Whatever the reaction, ask yourself if you really know the story behind the headline. Before sharing it anywhere with alarm or excitement, make sure you understand the ins and outs of the story – otherwise don’t share it.
The global political climate right now is very sensitive and all we need is a little spark to get our nervous systems activated.
Be mindful of the sparks you are throwing out there because intended or not, you could start or contribute to a contagious fire.
If you know the ins and outs of what’s behind the headlines and want your voice to be heard, by all means, share your passion.
Try this practice out today in relationship with the news and see what you notice.
Creator of A Course in Mindful Living
Adapted from Mindfulness and Psychotherapy