Breaking News: One easy tip to free up time in your day AND increase your happiness

It’s simple: Stop watching television news. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Rarely do you actually hear something truly ‘new’ — most of network news coverage is dedicated to the analysis of news. But how many hours of opinions do you really need to hear from a gaggle of talking heads about how dangerous North Korea might be? That’s speculation, not news.

2. You can get the same amount of ‘news’ by scanning the headlines once a day — few events will be so relevant to your everyday life that you need to know it ‘now’ (impending hurricanes are a good exception, but only if you’re in the path of one).

3. By not listening to the opinions of the talking heads, you may actually be inclined to make up your own mind about an issue in the news, rather than just adopt whatever opinions are pushed on whatever network you happen to watch. What a magnificent way to exercise your brain and empower you to know what you stand for, and why!

4. If you do want analysis, digest news on a weekly basis (like reading The Economist or other weekly magazines). First, you won’t miss all the ‘news’ that is only ‘news’ intended to fill empty airtime (the baby giraffe born in captivity, the amazing rescue of a stranded kitten) and second, you’ll get opinions and analysis that benefited from reflection and distance, neither of which you’ll get from talking heads opining about the latest ‘breaking news.’

5. Bad news sells. That’s a fact and the cause of why so much of the news is focused on war, violence, crime, poverty, misery, catastrophe, intrigue, and death. And the occasional good news story (baby giraffe, rescued kitten, newly discovered planet that might harbor life) is almost always irrelevant and non-essential to our lives.

So if you want to brighten your outlook, don’t watch the news and take a walk in the woods instead — you’ll have plenty of time if you just ignore television news.

Regular and orderly in life, chaotic and sort of original in my art