We live in a world that’s all about inundation. The mass media screams relentlessly into our ears via radio, TV and internet; it blinds us with its glittering facades, doomsday predictions and capped teeth smiles. All. The. Time. There’s no getting away from it, unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that’s removed from the things of man. Which could get pretty lonely.
Besides, satellite dishes touch the furthest reaches of Planet Earth these days. The sticky fingers of society have wormed their way into every orifice. Appealing imagery, isn’t it?
The problem is, we’re inundated with what the media wants us to see. And what they want us to see is overwhelmingly negative. Because sensationalism sells. And believing we’re not good enough is the driving force behind a consumerist economy.
The media doesn’t want us to be happy. If we were happy, we wouldn’t be trying to buy our way to feeling better. And that wouldn’t bode well for Walmart.
People are always arguing on the interwebs that violent, misogynistic or otherwise horrifying TV, video games, movies and magazines don’t have any affect on us, but that’s just nonsense. Of COURSE they do, and most of the brainwashing is done before we’re old enough to know better.
Science shows our brains (biologically) don’t know the difference between what’s real and what isn’t. So a violent scene in a TV show triggers the same physical reaction in our brains as it would if we were seeing it in real life. We might consciously know it’s not real, but the biology of our brains doesn’t.
Clearly, that ain’t good for us.
So, when all the things you don’t want are constantly invading your eyespace, it only makes sense to start shooting for the opposite. Inundation by optimism.
Every chance I get, I expose myself to the good, the happy and the upbeat.
I also minimize my media consumption. To some degree, it’s unavoidable. After all — I’m a writer, and I can’t ignore what’s happening in pop culture. I can limit my exposure, however, and not spend my off time watching Orange Is the New Black, reading Cosmo or scrolling Gawker for hours (any of which would make me feel like shit).
Getting away from the oppressive negativity of mass consciousness is incredibly freeing. And, it leaves room for replacing your media consumption with what you want filling up your mental space (instead of what you don’t want). I listen to empowering CDs, watch inspirational (and hilarious) videos, read motivational books — I drown my brain in positivity to deflect the effects of everything else. And it works.
A few of my favorite things to listen to/watch/read: anything by Wayne Dyer, Abraham Hicks recordings, Candid Camera vids on YouTube,The Secret (original version), Power Thoughts by Louise Hay, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 1 & 2 … I could go on and on and on. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of stuff that inspires you to smile.
I also believe that’s it’s incredibly important to be regularly reminded to stay on track. Everything is habitual, positive living included, and it’s easy to fall back on bad habits. By listening to upbeat, positive stuff as often as possible, I stay in this mindset. I’ve always got something nudging me in the right direction, be it the steady voice of Wayne Dyer or the timeless words of Henry David Thoreau.
I say, screw the mass media and its snarkiness and cynicism. Instead, pay attention to what’s joyful and jolly and light. You can never have too much happy, y’all, but you can clearly have too much negative conditioning.
So change the channel. Be a conscious consumer, and make happiness your station of choice.