I believe that if you want to be happy every day, you need to ditch the morning news.
You wake up in the morning, and the first thing you do is grab your phone. You might immediately check your email, or immediately read the news. Here’s why this is such a bad idea, especially if you wake up happy and want to stay happy throughout the day. (It might be even more important if you wake up unhappy!)
Here’s what’s happening in the first moments of your day.
When you wake up in the morning, your brain is transitioning through several types of brain waves.
Just as you are coming out of sleep and are in that groggy, half-aware state, your brain has entered into the Theta brainwave state. The Theta brainwave state is often referred to as the “door to the subconscious.” Children’s brains are in this state even during wakefulness, which is why the imaginary world seems just as real to them as the real world.
In Theta, we are encoding memories, sensations, and emotions. It promotes learning and memory. People who are in “flow” are often in this state.
Can you see why reading the news during the time your brain is in Theta would be a problem?
The vast majority of the news is negative and brings up emotions such as sadness, anger, helplessness, confusion, frustration and the like. It can even trigger memories of personal trauma.
When these emotions are felt during a Theta brainwave state, they are encoded into your subconscious, and “learned” by your brain and body. After a while, these feelings become your reality, because they’ve been written into your subconscious.
In fact, Dr. Daniel Amen (one of the foremost neuroscientists in the world) recently shared that people who read the news in the morning are 27% less happy by the afternoon. The study conducted by Harvard researchers had people read the news for just three minutes in the morning, and a full 6-8 hours later, their mood was still being negatively affected.
So if you want to cut your happiness by a third, read the news in the morning.
If you want to cut your happiness by a third, read the news in the morning.melissa b. howell
I also suggest you don’t read the news at night right before you go to bed, for the same reason as I advise you not to do it in the morning. As you drift off to sleep, your brain enters into Theta, and the opportunity opens up for things to be encoded into your subconscious.
Even if you haven’t entered the Theta state yet, studies show that learning something right before you go to bed helps you remember it better. Do you really want to remember that terrible news story you just read?
So you might ask, “Well, when CAN I read the news then?”
I suggest you wait until lunchtime, or just don’t read the news at all.
For years, I did not read the news, because it was so upsetting to me with the 24-hour news cycle constantly churning out neverending accounts of death and destruction. In addition, with all the “fake news” and biased reporting these days, it’s hard to know what’s true and what isn’t.
People would say to me, “Don’t you want to stay informed? You can’t live in a bubble.” Honestly, I don’t think it’s possible to live entirely sheltered from the world. (Unless maybe you’re in a convent or Buddhist ashram). I replied that even though I didn’t watch or read the news, I still heard about major events from other people.
Now when I want to consume news responsibly, I access the site allsides.com. But only at lunchtime 🙂
For more information about the different types of brain waves, you can click here. Or do a simple Google search and you’ll find a huge amount of information.
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