I love The Happy News by Emily Coxhead, it’s so inspiring and such a great, simple idea which has grown beautifully. I think it’s something we can all take into our lives with the information that we choose to share. By being a little bit more mindful of the things we share we can work to create a happier world!
The way we feel is very much connected with the information we consume. Just in the same way we want to nourish our bodies with good food, the same holds true for our minds. Feeding our minds with a diet of junk, is the equivalent of eat fast food all day everyday. We assume what we consume. By this I mean we often take on the feelings and thoughts of the media we surround ourselves with. A stream of fear based news can lead to us feeling fearful. The opposite is true of course with happy news, which is why Emily’s idea is such a joyful one and is to be celebrated!
Questions to ask ourselves before we share something…
Is this helpful?
Sometimes we think sharing statistics or news stories is helpful in raising awareness of situations. And it can be. There are times this is very appropriate, if it’s a campaign to save a community building or to increase awareness of a little known cause, that’s great.
Where it tends to be less helpful, is when the type of story it is will just spread more fear. For current examples we can take the daily number of cases being reported and then how many times it gets shared on social media so people are seeing the same frightening information repeated over and over. Is that helpful? Perhaps not so much. I understand the intention in this case- to share so that people can work on bringing down these cases but for most people reading, they are doing their best with everything and those figures are not in their control. So it just increases anxiety and fear, can create arguments, raise tensions within households- all from one innocently shared post.
Is it truthful?
Another important question to ask is if it’s even truthful the “facts” that we are sharing. It’s hard to know things for certain sometimes so use your instincts which can usually point you in the direction of what is valid and what isn’t. If it doesn’t feel right to post or share, then leave it.
Is it mindful?
Why are we sharing it? Are we doing so from a quick, thoughtless place or from a considered point of view? It’s so easy to click share nowadays that we just share, share, share without taking into account the potential impact the posts have. Will it increase the levels of anxiety in the world? For me, I think very carefully about sharing less positive news stories. This is not because I want to ignore everything and go “lalalala” pretending things aren’t happening. It’s because I’m very aware that there are many people on my social media who are with me because they have anxiety, depression and other conditions. They do not need more fearful sharing of news stories.
So, the next time you are getting ready to write or share a post- just take a second to consider the above questions and if you’re adding to the fear or increasing the love of those around you.
Which would you rather do?
Best Wishes and Deep Breaths,