The Media You Expose Yourself To Has A Huge Impact On How You Feel:
Let’s think about the multitude of “inputs” we experience on a daily basis. Music, television, social media, text messages, phone calls, books, conversations with others, etc. Every solitary thing that you have exposed yourself to influences your mood.
Do you ever find that you get addicted to certain themes or topics when it comes to what you are consuming? For example, I will go in phases when I am hooked on crime shows (Law and Order, Forensic Files, real crime podcasts). Then, I will find that I have become more paranoid and less optimistic about people in general. I also have more of a tendency to consume more of the same to continue creating this feeling.
Your experiences influence your reality. They inform your perception and the way you view the world. It makes sense that you will be more skeptical of others if the people you surround yourself with are unreliable and dishonest. So why wouldn’t this translate to the media that you are consuming?
Negative Influences on Your Mood:
The news is a prime example of this. The stories in the news are often rife with political mishaps, dangerous crimes, and natural disasters. All of which can be very depressing. It is not a surprise why you may feel more saddened, hopeless, and paranoid after watching the news.
Social media can also have this effect, which is why it is important to be selective with who and what you are following. Often, the posts on social media are similar to those on the news. They are full of sensationalized, attention-grabbing headlines and stories that are not meant to warm the heart, but to pique curiosity and garner clicks.
Sometimes this can work in the opposite way. You may choose to watch the news when you are already feeling angered because then you will have even more of a justification to feel angry. Now, keep in mind that these urges are not necessarily conscious. You may just feel an inclination based on how you are already feeling.
As a result, it can be helpful to be more intentional with the types of media you are consuming. Unfollow people on social media who tend to post politically charged articles that anger you.
It is not a bad thing to be aware of the news, politics, and crime. But, it can be bad if it causes you to feel hopeless and as though the world is doomed.
Make a plan to try to be diverse with the media you consume on a daily basis. Maybe try spending the 30 minutes after you wake up and before you go to bed technology-free so that you are not super-charging your emotions when you are not fully awake and ready to process things.
Positive Influences on Your Mood:
On the other hand, watching comedy, uplifting movies, and feel-good novels will put you in a good mood. It seems like common sense, right? But often we are on auto-pilot so much that we don’t realize everything we are seeing when passively scrolling through a social media feed.
Follow people who post uplifting and positive content. I think there is a reason why people watch silly cat videos on YouTube. It makes you feel good!
Now go bookmark some videos, pages, links, pictures, etc. that make you feel good! Keep them saved for when you are feeling down, out of it, or frustrated and notice if it makes a difference in your mood.
So next time you have a few extra moments to wind down, watch some television, or go on your phone, be more purposeful. Think about how you currently feel, and how you would like to feel. Use this information as a guidepost for the rest of your day.
Let me know in the comments below if you plan to make any changes to what you watch or who you follow after reading this post!