Five Reasons to LOVE Good News
Don’t you just love good news? Me too! I think it’s safe to say we all prefer to hear more good news in our day than bad news. So why is it so hard to find good news sometimes?
Well, there are lots of little reasons. For one, our brains are wired with what’s called a negative bias. We focus on negative things and it gets us more worked up. Scientists suspect it used to be a great survival technique, but today, we don’t need it the way we used to. And because we get worked up and fixated on negativity, that makes a little negative news easy bait to reel people in, especially when news channels now have to create content 24/7.
In an article from the Good News Network (something you should all check out), there’s an article from 2018 that reported, “The trend toward sensational bad news on television began in the 1990s. At the same time as the U.S. homicide rate was dropping in that decade by 42%, television news coverage of murders skyrocketed—rising more than 700%, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs.” No wonder it sometimes feels like we’re in a burning dumpster fire, right?
News is defined as new or previously unknown information, or something that will influence or affect others. News isn’t defined as bad. Sure, there’s plenty of unsavory news that’s important to know about to be an informed, responsible citizen (especially if you’re voting, WHICH YOU SHOULD BE, sign up here if you’re not already), but that doesn’t mean all news is bad. Good news is equally valuable when it comes to being knowledgable about what’s going on, plus it has a lot of good side effects.
Here are five good side effects that come from more good news:
Good news increases trust and hope. Human interest stories remind us that there are good people in the world. Sometimes when we watch the regular news it feels like we’re living in an alternative universe. Are there no good humans left?? Good news, or human interest stories, are a friendly reminder that there are a LOT of great people out in the world doing a lot of great things. It gives us faith in humanity and encourages us to trust and believe in people even when sometimes they look different than us or their lives look different than our own. There are good people everywhere and good news and human interest stories are a friendly reminder.
Reading good news helps you physically. Positive information changes our outlook on the world. When you read a story that improves your mood, that improves the hormones pumping through your body. Bad news increases cortisol, our friend the stress hormone, and that can increase blood pressure, weaken the immune system, and even lead to abdominal weight gain (which is the weight gain associated with cardiovascular disease, and insulin resistance). No thank you. On the other hand, good news can increase a person’s optimism. A person who is more optimistic tends to have better cardiovascular health, live longer, and live happier. Which would you prefer?
Good news makes us look good. If you googled a big city you weren’t familiar with, how would you feel if it was all bad news that popped up? Bad, right? You wouldn’t want to go visit or move to a place that was all negative. On the other hand, what if you googled a place and saw some good news, some bad news, and some stories of hope. How would you perceive that town? There have been a few big cities that have hit hard times and done a great job reclaiming their stories in the media. Think about places like Detroit and Oakland. What used to be all negative news now is a mix of some bad news and stories of hope and human interest. And now we see these cities thriving. Why is this important? It changes our perspective of these cities. That good news helps your city look good. Promoting good news shows others how awesome you are! Because you are awesome, right? And when people perceive your town more positively, it brings in more tourism, businesses, and development which is a win for everyone.
Reading good news can help inspire you. When you start to surround yourself by stories of people who are actively working to create a better world, you start seeing the world a little differently. Just like someone who watches too much bad news becomes afraid of every little thing, someone who surrounds themselves with a lot of good news sees the good in every little thing. Good news helps you think big! You start seeing other people feeling passionate and being brave enough to step out of their comfort zone to help others, and that can inspire you.
Reading good news can help you focus on solutions. The delivery of good news stories and bad news stories differs dramatically. Bad news stories tend to be delivered in a way that says, “The world is broken.” On the other hand, good news stories encourage people to find solutions. Good news stories wouldn’t be good news if they didn’t identify a need. Good news stories are often good because they point out a problem in the world, something that was broken, and they show how it was fixed. They demonstrate problem-solving. If all is lost, why bother, right? Not only does positive news demonstrate problem-solving, what generally makes it great is that the problems are being solved by everyday people. People who don’t have a special degree or financial backing or whatever. Just people who really care and are willing to do something for a cause they believe in.
News is something that is new and something that can influence or affect others. News isn’t defined as something that is bad, so let’s focusing so much energy on negativity in our news. Yes, be well informed, but don’t fall into the negative bias and obsess. There are lots of great people doing great things out there too.
There are lots of reasons to love good news. I just listed five and if nothing else, love what makes you happy. If good news makes you happy you should love it. So Do-Gooders, go out there and help others by sharing the good news.