Finding Hope in Times of Crisis: Headline news is depressing.
Headline news can be overwhelming. Every news outlet focus’ on attracting viewership with news that always seems negative. Let’s face it, we enjoy seeing the negative in the world. That is what brings in viewers and ratings, right? The result is a negative mindset for many viewers. But why are we more attracted to negative news?
Negative news tends to evoke stronger emotional responses, such as fear or anger, which can grab our attention more effectively. Evolutionarily, humans appear to have developed a bias towards paying more attention to negative information as a survival mechanism, as it could be more relevant to our safety and well-being. Seems reasonable, but how do we get past this basic instinct, so we do not cause self-harm? All persons are not equally attracted to negative news, and personal preferences can vary. For those of us who are influenced how do we avoid creating a mindset of crisis?
Barraging oneself with negativity can instill a negative mindset. In turn, perpetuating a negative perception of life and finding hope can be a challenge. If we allow our basic instinct to overcome our emotions when it is unnecessary it can cause a break. Sometimes falling to that breaking point or powerful mood-altering moment breaks us (literally) free, but can we avoid the fire to rise from the ashes? Maintaining a positive mindset requires practice. Here are three tips to practice daily:
1. Challenge negative thoughts: Challenge them with more positive and realistic perspectives. By questioning negative thoughts, you can begin to reframe them in a more positive light.
2. Surround yourself with positive influences: Surrounding yourself with positive people, reading uplifting books, or listening to motivational podcasts can have a significant impact on your mindset. Seek out sources of inspiration and positivity to counteract negative thoughts.
3. Most importantly practice gratitude: Take a few moments each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for. This can help shift your focus from negativity to positivity and remind you of the good things in your life.
Finally, we cannot forget spirituality. For many spirituality brings a light amidst adversity. We all need the light of Hope. The current affairs of the world often serve as a backdrop for the struggles we face, making it essential to delve into the depths of our spirituality.
Faith can offer hope in times of crisis. Whether it's through religion, meditation, or personal beliefs, spirituality can offer a sense of purpose and comfort. By connecting with something greater, we can find the resilience to navigate through even the darkest of times. Building upon the idea of finding hope in challenging times, Jane Goodall, a prominent primatologist and conservationist, sheds light on the importance of addressing feelings of helplessness and hopelessness in order to create a lasting sense of hope.
In her extensive research on chimpanzees', she states in The Book of Hope, "Many people understand the dire state of the planet—but do nothing about it because they feel helpless and hopeless.” She adds that achieving a lasting sense of hope requires four components: attainable goals, realistic pathways to pursue them, confidence that we will succeed, and confidence that others support us."
Another aspect to consider that spirituality groups offer is community and connection. Community connection is a key tenant of Rebuilding Hope’s goals. In the face of adversity, coming together and supporting one another can foster a sense of hope. This was the reason why we created mission trips to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to help rebuild homes and buildings. It was through these mission trips that hope was achieved through acts of kindness, volunteering, and reaching out to those in need. By building a network of support, we can find strength in unity and overcome the challenges that come our way.
If we are immature in our understanding that the news should be ingested rigidly it can serve as a primer for adversity and depression. A mature mindset takes in the world around us and allows us to contextualize our own struggles, those struggles in the world and find hope in the resilience that we offer and that of others. By sharing and learning from the stories of individuals who have overcome adversity, we can draw inspiration and find the courage to face our own challenges head-on and assist others as well.
In conclusion, finding hope in times of crisis, especially via the news, requires a deep exploration of positive thinking and spiritual resilience. By being good to yourself, embracing a faith, fostering community, and staying informed about good news along with current affairs, we can navigate through adversity. Remember, even in the darkest of times, there is always a glimmer of hope waiting to be discovered. Focus on the things that bring you hope.