The news and our well-being

photo of Gwen Randall-Young

by Gwen Randall-Young

What happens in the world around us can definitely affect many aspects of our being. Our mood and motivation can be negatively affected if there is turbulence in our private lives, in our community, or globally.

There is no denying that these are difficult times. Sometimes we just want to bury our heads and make it all go away. A client recently described how hearing upsetting stories on the news caused her to feel deeply out of sorts, and before she could process one story, another came along. Her challenge was how to be aware of what is going on without, as she said, “hiding under a rock.”

Generally, the way we respond to the news is similar to the way we process things we do not like in our lives. The answer is not to avoid the news or avoid life, but to become strong and grounded within ourselves so we are not so easily destabilized by events outside of ourselves. An emergency room doctor cannot do her work well if she freaked out at seeing the pain in another, or is immersed in outrage at someone who may have harmed her patient.

As we recognize our ego reacting, we can then notice what we are doing to our body and how we are directing our energy. Are we going into contraction and expressing a lot of anger? Are we reacting to our own old hurts? How does that help us, or the world?

This is not to say that we are cold or lacking in compassion; we can feel sadness and grieve for the world. At a more evolved level, we can ask ourselves what upsets us most about what we are seeing and hearing: it is unfair, cruel, hurtful, wrong, mean, judgmental and so on. We can then honestly ask ourselves if we have ever been any of those things. This is a crucial aspect of responsible, conscious evolution.

The news is like a thermometer that reflects the state of health or illness in our world. If the world were a body, each of us is like a cell in that body. A healthy cell contributes to the health of the whole. A mutated cell, if overcome by bad news, has the opposite effect.

Bad things happen in the world because individual or groups feel they are right, or because they are angry. The same is true of individuals in their lives. How do we conduct ourselves when we are angry? Do we go on the attack or do we try to see things from the other’s perspective?

While we may be more accommodating to those we love and care about, how do we behave toward those we feel have harmed or offended us?

The universe is a mirror. It reflects cosmically what is going on in the microcosm of individuals. None of us is so pure that we are without shadows. So, when events in the news trigger us, we can certainly allow ourselves to feel all of those feelings, acknowledge the sadness and pain. But we can send out healing energy, and ask our higher selves to help ensure that we are not, consciously or unconsciously, engaging in behaviors that add to the negative energies of the world.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit ‘Like’ Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.

1 thought on “The news and our well-being”

  1. If the news is a thermometer, it certainly gives a distorted and exaggerated picture of the world – which of compounds the emotional distress experienced by your client. The news media’s focus on murder and mayhem, and its endemic superficiality, have settled permanently into our cultural expectations and experience. Very unfortunate indeed. However, if it causes indigestion, one can always switch it off.


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