Being positive all the time is not easy. Cynicism, bad news, and an overall hopelessness about the world seems like a common theme for our generation. According to a study by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), rates of depression among young adults 18-25 are higher than any other adult age group (13.1% in 2017 – Pre-Covid). Now while this is not a very encouraging way to start an article about the importance of good news, it is meant to put the reality into perspective.
With that in mind, we want to talk about what good news is, why it’s important, and how to use it to make your world a better place so that you can make the world a better place.
The Importance of Good News
Negativity Bias - What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
Negativity bias is the human tendency to register negative stimuli with more potency than positive stimuli. Although this bias might not seem good, it’s actually part of what has helped us survive as humans throughout history.
If we didn’t remember and learn from our mistakes, we’d just keep making them and everything would fall apart. So, our brains are naturally wired to not let us forget the negative experiences we have.
For example, if you are playing with fire and get burnt, you know not to do it again because it hurts. You essentially forget how fun it is to play with fire because all you remember is how much it hurts to get burnt due to the negativity bias. Imagine if it didn’t exist, people would constantly be making the same mistakes without changing their ways.
This negativity bias is also part of the reason we remember bad news a lot more vividly than good news. Bad news teaches us what we don’t like and what to avoid, so we have to keep it front of mind to protect ourselves.
There’s saying about the news: “if it bleeds, it leads”. This saying holds pretty true if you think about any traditional news channel. It seems like all they’re ever talking about is the latest natural disaster, shooting, or war.
Now, that’s not to say we should ignore all bad news because it’s sad. It’s just to say that there is a reason that’s all we see on the news, the negativity bias.
The Counter Balance: Good News
If we imagine our attitude about the world as a scale, where one side is positive stimulus and the other side is negative stimulus, it’s very easy to see how much heavier the negative side is.
It should not be that way. There has to be balance.
Without the balance, our worldview becomes severely distorted and we miss all the great things about the world we live in. No, it’s not perfect. And no, it won’t ever be. But, finding balance to make sure our view is fair is crucial for our own mental health.
Finding a perspective that allows for clarity and positivity is important for keeping your head on straight. A positive attitude can do a lot of good for your state and the state of the world. Positivity can help with immunity, mental health, and just make you a pleasant person to be around (everyone knows that one glass-half-empty person).
On the flip side, constant bad news is not good for the mind. The constant bombardment of negativity we see in the news can be draining and lead to a negative or cynical view of the world.
This article isn’t necessarily about finding the good in everything and pretending the world is perfect when it so clearly isn’t. It’s about perspective and balance. Finding the perspective that allows you to find balance between the neverending bad news and the often forgotten good news.
The world is really a special place full of good and with a lot of beauty that’s easy to miss if you’re not looking. We’re here to remind you to keep looking.
Remember to put things into perspective. Fight the good fight but don’t forget about the good in the world that exists – it’s not a perfect place but we need to remember what good we are fighting for in the first place.