It’s no secret that over the last several years, our news media consumption has had an impact on our everyday lives. From the COVID-19 Pandemic to political and societal issues, it can be hard to feel that there are any good news sources out there anymore. While these situations have created great distress and new challenges in our everyday lives, negative news has always had a negative impact on our overall mental health and outlook on life.
Consuming negative news often can raise stress hormone levels in the body. Regular exposure to cortisol stress hormones in the body has been studied to reveal that it can impact physical health as much as mental health, such as your body not being to regulate blood pressure levels naturally. Therefore, if consuming negative news is terrible for your mental and physical health, then consumers should be the reverse, and it is. Several recent studies have proven that consuming good news media positively impacts our mental and physical health. Let’s explore seven scientifically proven benefits of consuming good news that is positive for you and your overall health.
1. It Reduces Stress And Anxiety
Many people believe that stress and anxiety are basically the same. While some of the symptoms of stress and anxiety mirror one another, they are slightly different. Both have a negative impact on our bodies mentally and physically with raised cortisol levels. When we regularly consume negative news, we keep those cortisol levels elevated on a regular basis, which can impact our mental and physical health. However, anxiety takes excessive stress and turns into consistent worry and doubt.
A study conducted in 2016 by the University of Southampton concluded that consistent consumption of bad news could result in chronic anxiety issues, bad moods, and overall negative outlooks. The study also found that regular consumption of good information can positively reduce anxiety and shift mindsets. Therefore, when we consume good news consistently, it will decrease levels of the stress hormones in our bodies.
2. It Encourages People To Stay More Informed
Regular consumption of positive news and media can also encourage people to stay more informed. Often, people who absorb more good news than bad often like staying in the loop about solutions to global problems our world may face. Regular consumption of positive news and media can also encourage people to stay more informed. For example, a study conducted in 2014 called the Engaged News Project found that when people read a story about solutions to poverty issues, they were more likely to stay on the page longer. A similar study conducted that provided a solution to a problem type of journalism also saw that people were more interested and more influenced to want to make a difference themselves.
3. It Can Boost Your Mood and Relationships
Suppose you’ve had a day where it’s just been challenging, and you’ve had a hard time trying to see the positive in the day. If you read an uplifting new story, it can alter your mood for the better. For instance, Researcher Nathaniel Lambert of Brigham Young University conducted a study in 2012 that discovered people who share feel-good stories or news media articles often tended to be happier overall. This study also found that participants who journaled about their positive news consumption developed a more positive mindset and outlook. Their finding also suggested that positive affect, happiness, and life satisfaction peaked when participants shared their positive experiences with their relationship partners. Moreover, happiest was increased when the relationship partner provided an active-constructive response that was shared with them.
4. It Creates Greater Engagement Between People
People are more likely to discuss and share with others around them good news stories. Suppose you’ve ever run across a feel-good story or seen someone sharing a positive experience on social media. In that case, you will see that these stories often have higher engagement from other people. When people are sharing their favorable experiences with one another, it encourages others also to share their positive experiences and stories. This process also increases overall reach and engagement on the media posts, stories, or articles that promote a feel-good story. A study in 2016 confirmed that positive news stories bring people more together. Doing so can also decrease news consumption fatigue and increase readership and reach when more positive news is more journalistically promoted.
5. It Promotes Optimism And Increases Heart Health
Consuming positive news stories decreases stress levels and can increase your overall heart health. A study conducted by Harvard University in 2018 found that regular consumption of positive news stories can ultimately improve your body’s heart health. The study found that good psychological well-being has cardiovascular benefits, given that people with a positive outlook are more inclined to lead a healthier lifestyle. Some of these benefits included that people may see their heart health improve by means of lower blood pressure and a lower risk for heart failure. Given that good news can already boost mental health, it can also decrease insomnia and muscle tension which can cause more significant health risks to the body.
6. It Allows People To Adapt More Effectively To Challenges
Realistically when waking up in the morning to consuming more feel-good news stories, this can easily set our mood for the rest of the day. Also, maybe the stresses and anxieties we may face are not quite as bad as they initially seemed. When we simply focus on the solution rather than the problem could make us realize that perhaps our issues or worries have resolutions rather than giving in to hopelessness.
For instance, a study conducted out of Gonzaga University showed the results that sharing and consuming positive journalism stories drastically improves the quality of life for service members that are returning from deployment or assisting areas during a natural disaster event. Since much of our military is faced with situations that take them away from home, possibly overseas, into dangerous areas and away from their families on deployment, it can be challenging to return home after that. Also, many veterans and service members have had to face more physical challenges from injuries or mental challenges from their time in service during deployment. Ultimately, the study found that those service members who shared more positive experiences then slept better and were more successful in the workplace.
7. It Empowers People To Give Back To Others
When we take the time to think outside of the box, this will often help us to see the bigger picture in our lives and in the world. As previously expressed, consuming positive news more regularly can often make people more eager to stay informed on global issues. While may negative headlines and new sources can still prompt people to want to take action, they may not always promote taking positive action for better change and solutions to issues. Sources of more constructive and positive journalism can empower and encourage people to find more remarkable solutions to problems that they can action to assist with them. Consistent good news absorption can also further empower people to not only stay informed but take more humanitarian action in their communities and beyond.
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