So, this week the news has brought our attention to quite a lot of upsetting and distressing events around the world. I could talk about it or sit and think about it but like most human beings I have a limit as to how much I can handle at any given time. Sometimes my mind feels too full, and I find myself wishing I could empty some thoughts or have a ‘mental’ filling system clear-out. Although I am aware of what is happening in the world, I know that unfortunately I do not have a magic wand (although I wish I did!) and therefore there is not a lot I can do. In order to protect myself I can’t always think about these things and so I decide not to read all the news articles and instead go in my ‘bubble’.
I have spoken to people about recent events, and most are horrified, upset and some are even scared about what lies ahead.
I read an interesting article about ‘doomscrolling’ which basically means getting lost in news or social media threads and seeing the comments. People can find themselves almost getting drawn in even though what you are reading is disheartening. The article gave suggestions of how we can avoid doomscrolling including making your mornings sacred meaning not scrolling through social media as soon as you wake up (or before bed) and instead allocate time for this. If you do find yourself doomscrolling try telling yourself to stop (out loud), put your phone down, walk away and try to distract yourself. Finally, try to find something positive to do instead of doomscrooling such as reading a book, calling a friend, doodling, or journaling.
As a way to help prevent doomscrolling (especially given recent events), I have decided to dedicate this post to Happy News…things that have happened around the world in the past week that are positive!! It is rare for the news to cover happy stories which is why I am sharing some with you now…
- Scientists have reported seeing a remarkable number of blue whales around South Georgia. They spotted 55 compared with only 2 in 2018!
- A woman who fled the war in Syria as a teenager by swimming for 3 hours in the sea, saving passengers from a sinking boat along the way and finally walking from Greece to Germany has recently competed in the 100m Butterfly at the Olympics.
- I love this one…Japan has appointed a ‘Minister of loneliness’ to tackle the mental health crisis. This has been sparked by an increased in suicide rates since Covid-19. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every country had a ‘Minister of loneliness?’
- A social enterprise called Change Please is taking over 55 coffee outlets around the UK and Ireland. Change Please trains homeless people as baristas, offers them a living wage, helps them access housing, a bank account and mental health support. It is able to do this by using profits from selling coffee. What an amazing and life changing project!
- A wildlife survey in Scotland has revealed that beavers are rapidly recolonising the country’s waterways, more than 400 years after they were hunted to extinction. It is estimated that there are now 1000 wild beavers in Scotland.
- Sebastiao Salgado grew up in a part of Brazil that was full of beautiful rainforests, however when he returned in 2000 only 0.5% of forest remained. However, he founded an organisation which planted more than 2 million seedlings of more than 290 species of trees and plants. In 20 years, 1,500 acres of rainforest have been recovered, and 293 species of plants, 15 reptile species, 172 bird species, 15 amphibian species, and 33 mammal species have returned. What an amazing individual! It goes to show that we are capable of anything!
And if those positive news stories haven’t put a smile on your face, a scientific study has proven that forcing a smile actually makes you happier. So even if you don’t feel like it, smile! This can trick our brain into thinking there is something to smile about which then improves our mood.