We attract what we focus on—good or bad.[1] But it’s hard to focus on what we want when the media and internet flood us with what we don’t want, as in negative campaign ads and posts.

Yoda got it right, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” But if I nurture hatred towards John Doe, he doesn’t suffer, I do.

Fear helps us avoid imminent danger—the saber-tooth cat or the man brandishing a gun. But living with a constant undercurrent of fear is unhealthy and attracts exactly what scares us.

In The Secret Jack Canfield says, “So if you’re antiwar, be pro-peace instead… If you are anti-a-particular politician, be pro-his opponent. Often elections are tipped in favor of the person that the people are really against, because he’s getting all the energy and all the focus.” [Emphasis added] James Ray notes, “Maybe you have to be informed, but you don’t have to be inundated.”

For a better balance between inundation and information, I took these steps:

  1. For information, I gravitate to print media, even if I read it online. Reducing visual and audial input decreases the resulting emotion.[2]
  2. I record the local news and delay watching so I can fast-forward through negative matter I don’t need to know.
  3. I unsubscribed from almost all charitable and civic list servers. I made a list of those I wish to support and scheduled donation dates. If I donate, and the list server restarts, I unsubscribe again. This is the oxygen mask I put on.[3] Lowering my spirits with daily images of starving children or violence toward women doesn’t help those causes.
  4. On Facebook, if I receive a demeaning or disrespectful post about any person or group, I either “Hide Post – see fewer posts like this,” “Unfollow – Stop seeing posts but stay friends,” or “Unfriend.”
  5. I’m the “Persuasion Coach,” and that’s why I don’t use social media memes or snippets to try to persuade people to switch their political or religious beliefs. That wouldn’t sway them, but rather, would increase their resistance to my view.[4]

Since taking these steps, I haven’t missed anything I need to know. Nor have I become complacent. Rather, I feel happier, healthier, more energized to help build a better world.

Got a “Yes, but…” or a “What if…”? Jot it in the “Reply” space below, and I’ll gladly address your concern.

[1] “Happiness and the Power of Thought”

[2] Recall that, in addition to what we think about, how we feel affects what we attract. “Happiness and the Power of Thought.”

[3] “How is Happiness Like an Oxygen Mask?”

[4] “Politics, Discuss It or Drop It.”