News Got You Down? How to Offset The Negative News Cycle with Tank Sinatra

April 20, 2020

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News cycle got you down? Feeling lethargic, unmotivated — or just not like yourself these days?

That’s understandable. First, the emotional toll of this global coronavirus pandemic is real. Second, because mainstream news always presents more negative stories than positive ones.

Why? Because negative headlines are irresistible to our brains. Really — like a moth to a flame, we can’t help but click, or keep watching. 

But there's good news. Literally. Good news expert Tank Sinatra is here on MarieTV and The Marie Forleo Podcast to talk about the life-changing media habits that can help you stay positive, motivated, and informed.

Tank shares daily good news with millions of people through his Tank’s Good News website and social media accounts. Due to this global crisis, his work is more popular than ever.

If you want to learn how to take care of your emotional and mental wellbeing during this extraordinary time (and beyond), don't miss this episode. 

Click to download the episode now from wherever you love to listen, or hit play below. After you listen, join me in the comments for an important insight into action challenge. 

*Psst... we’re introducing some fun new things on the podcast. If you haven't subscribed, DO IT. It's perfect for any time you clean, exercise, or sit down to work on that quarantine puzzle. ;)

DIVE DEEPER: How to stop focusing on the negative and Rick Hanson’s brain hack for building inner strength. Plus: our Coronavirus Support Guide.

2 Simple Ways to Invite More Good News Into Your Life

Over the last few weeks, we’ve received a lot of voicemails from folks who are not feeling like themselves. Some expressed feeling lethargic, unfocused, and unproductive. If you’re feeling this way, know that this is a very natural response to what’s happening right now.

Reducing the amount of negative news you consume can help. Here are two ways you can start right now.

Step #1: Reduce Your News Consumption To One Serving A Day.

This is simple, but oh-so-effective. Find a local news source that gives you the facts and leaves you feeling strong. 

Limit your conventional news intake to 5 - 10 minutes max. Then, be done for the day.

For example, right now I watch New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily news briefings each night, with a nice little bowl of popcorn on my couch. He delivers the facts with precision and empathy. He separates facts from his opinion. No matter how bad, terrible, or painful the data, I always feel informed and hopeful. I appreciate his warm communication style. Frankly, it’s exactly what I need right now.

To be clear, by limiting our news consumption, I’m not suggesting we turn a blind eye to everything negative or close our hearts to the very real suffering and pain of others. We must never, ever turn away from the truth. 

But setting a limit on the amount of negative news you consume each day will help you stay mentally and emotionally strong. This way, you’ll have the energy to turn the pain and heartache of this moment into helpful, productive action.

Step #2: Increase Your GOOD NEWS Consumption With The 5:1 Rule

Negativity bias is a powerful evolutionary force. My friend and neuroscientist Dr. Rick Hanson says, “Our brains are like velcro for negative experiences but teflon for positive ones.”

Translation? It takes a lot more positive news to combat the negative news — five to be exact. I’m basing that off of a longitudinal study by the psychology researchers Dr. Gottman and Robert Levenson, who discovered it takes five positive interactions to make up for a single negative one. 

Yes, negativity is that powerful. With that in mind, I suggest we apply that 5:1 rule to our consumption of negative news.

Each time you choose to consume one bit of traditional news, seek out five pieces of good news to counterbalance it. 

Tank’s Good News Instagram account is a great place to start, but there are also thousands of other good news media outlets. Just Google “good news” and you’ll find plenty to click through. 

Even better, you can create good news through today’s insight into action challenge.

The Good News Insight Into Action Challenge

Ready to make some positive change? Today’s insight into action challenge has two parts. Answer one or both in the comments below.

  1. What’s your new maximum limit of news consumption for each day? Is it five, ten, or 20 minutes? What’s the source and when will you get the information you need? I suggest as late in the day as possible to avoid starting your day with news. It’s not the healthiest or most productive use of your time. Be specific and you’ll make it easier to keep your promise with yourself.
  2. Mute or unfollow negative accounts that are in your social feeds and replace them with uplifting ones. (And if you don’t already, follow me on Instagram because I always post fun, inspiring, funny, and uplifting content.) Share your go-to sources for positive, good news in the comments below. 

Share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and inspiration and your words may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough. Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be deleted as they come across as spammy.

If you’ve spent any time around these parts, then you know I take a strong stand for kindness. Please write and respond to each other in that same spirit.

Make no mistake, your health, happiness, and joyful contribution makes a real difference. More than you might know.

With enormous love,

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