Every morning, the fear-focused mainstream news media serves up a daily breakfast buffet of bad news from India and the world. It’s not just newspapers, the relentless cycle of breaking news on TV and countless news apps ensures that we're constantly tuned in to and focused on bad news. It feels like the problems are getting bigger and India and the world at large is going from bad to worse. So, what kind of impact does a daily a diet of bad news have on your health?
Bad news is a slow poison. The first thing that happens when you see or read bad news is that you feel sad, then you feel shock for the victims and then very quickly you turn to yourself because our survival instinct makes us think “could something like this happen to me?” We have brain cells called mirroring neurons. These cells make us smile when we see someone smile. They not only make us mimic what we see but also help us feel what someone else is feeling. These neurons start going crazy when we hear bad news thinking this is really happening to me. Once you internalize a bad news story, psychologically you start feeling anxious and, in some cases, even depressed especially if the news story is about something that you are prone to being fearful of. Physically, it makes your heartbeat faster and your blood pressure goes up.
If all of this is happening only for 30 seconds a day, it’s not a big problem but the relentless news media ensures that we are constantly exposed to an unending bad news cycle and that takes a toll on our body and our mind. People who are prone to anxiety, depression or have a heart condition are even more vulnerable and are at higher risk. To add to that, the brain interprets sensationalized bad news stories as being much more frequent than they actually are and as a result you constantly walk around with fear and the wrong risk map in your head.
So is there any way to mitigate the damage bad news is having on your health? Getting completely disconnected from news is not a realistic option. The best way to reduce the impact of the bad is to balance your daily news diet with some good stuff. Your diet is not only what you eat. It is what you watch, what you listen to, what you read, the things you subject your mind and soul to. Now more than ever, in a media saturated world, we need to be mindful of the information we consume because what we focus on becomes our reality. Its time to shift our focus towards news stories that make us feel peaceful and happy. Good news is happening everyday, even in India. We just don't hear about it. Ordinary people are working tirelessly to solve India’s biggest problems and making a difference. India and the world is actually getting better in lots of ways and a regular intake of this kind of good news can do us all some good.
There's a whole network of journalists dedicated to publishing good news stories, but their stories are usually marginalized and hardly ever get the attention they deserve. Buoyant! is an app that aggregates multiple good news feeds that mainstream media usually ignores, to bring you your daily dose of uplifting news from India delivered as a hyper simple, conversational and zero anxiety news consumption experience.
Buoyant! curates news that is focused on real solutions to real problems, like the man from Pune who spent 18 years handing out cartoon postcards to citizens on busy roads or Mr. Antoji from Kerala who innovated a rainwater syringe by accident and restored 300 cr litres in 30 Years.
Good news doesn't just make you feel good, it paints a more complete picture of where India and the world is headed and inspires people and the government to take part. Focus on the good. Feel good. Do good.