(Graphic | Courtesy of Rosell Wealth Management)
Many people are unable to resist news coverage of the constant traumatic events that bombard us daily. Recent headlines include a new COVID variant in South Africa, a Wisconsin holiday parade massacre, the Ahmaud Arbery verdict, gas shortages, supply chain disruptions, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, political turmoil and even a racially motivated murder on the streets of downtown Bend. As shocking as some of these stories are for viewers to watch on television and read at your online news source of choice, many still find it nearly impossible to turn away. It is difficult to know why the information is so hard to resist. Some say that people are hoping for information because they are fearful of future events and want to be prepared; others say that people are watching and reading to digest and process the event; still others say the media is intentionally creating addictive images. Let’s face it fear sells!
Unfortunately, research generally finds an association between watching media coverage of traumatic events and stress symptoms. Because I believe that what we think about expands, I have contemplated killing my TV for many years. Fearful of being disconnected from the world, I always kept up on current events and thought it was my duty to know everything happening around the globe as well in our community. I found myself going to sleep to the hostility of the 11 o’clock news. During the night my subconscious mind would ponder the last messages it had been fed. In the morning I would immediately flick on the news and start our days with this same negativity and gloom. Was this benefiting me? A number of years ago, I finally pulled the plug on my TV. I said no more to fear.
James Allen, in his classic book As a Man Thinketh, writes: “A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely shape his circumstances.” We must focus on squashing the fear that is often prevalent in our minds. Trusting ourselves in the midst of a world seemingly gone mad is a wise use of our intentions.
Although it is important to be informed, it can be detrimental to be too “connected.” Like most of the issues reported in the media, the scope is beyond our circle of influence. If we can’t help solve such a monumental problem, isn’t it a waste of our time and energy to worry about it? You’d be infinitely better off using that time and energy to solve problems in your own life and community. Since most of the news people view is negative, it can lead people to believe that the world is heartless. Bad news breeds fear and distrust. The belief that danger lurks around every corner is certainly not the world I want to live in. Putting up blinders is not the answer, but it is imperative that we don’t go out of our way to invite all that negativity into our lives in the first place. Consider limiting your news intake over the holidays. Maybe a new book or board game with your friends and family? May you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and the snow gods begin to bless Mt Bachelor with bottomless snow.
David Rosell is president of Rosell Wealth Management in Bend. RosellWealthManagement.com. He is the host of Recession-Proof Your Retirement Podcast and author of Failure is Not an Option — Creating Certainty in the Uncertainty of Retirement and Keep Climbing — A Millennial’s Guide to Financial Planning. Find David’s books at local bookstores, Amazon, Audible as well as the Redmond Airport.
Investment advisory services offered through Valmark Advisers, Inc. an SEC Registered Investment Advisor Securities offered through Valmark Securities, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC 130 Springside Dr., Ste. 300 Akron, Ohio 44333-2431. 800-765-5201. Rosell Wealth Management is a separate entity from Valmark Securities, Inc. and Valmark Advisers, Inc.