By Alexa Erickson, Collective Evolution
Turn on the TV or scroll through your social media, and I bet you’ll find yourself wrapped up in angering, saddening, confusing, and depressing news stories.Yes, they exist, and yes, we need to know what’s going on in our communities and in the world, but with so much bad in the world, it’s important to put all the good news right up there with all the bad.
Constant exposure to negative news can have detrimental and long-lasting psychological effects. British psychologist Dr. Graham Davey, who specializes in the psychological effects of media violence, notes that violent media exposure can trigger or worsen the development of stress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“Negative news can significantly change an individual’s mood — especially if there is a tendency in the news broadcasts to emphasize suffering and also the emotional components of the story,” Davey says. “In particular… negative news can affect your own personal worries. Viewing negative news means that you’re likely to see your own personal worries as more threatening and severe, and when you do start worrying about them, you’re more likely to find your worry difficult to control and more distressing than it would normally be.”
So, why not put more uplifting stories in your head? Because yes, despite all the bad stories we hear and talk about, there’s something to be said for someone smiling at a cat being saved, seeing a wealthy person lending a helping hand to someone less fortunate, or learning that programs to create a healthier planet do work!
Here’s a glimpse at some of the wonderfully positive things that have happened recently:
Research reveals snails may help end opioid addiction.
Opioid addiction and overdose is a serious issue in America, and the main culprit seems to be doctors overprescribing the drugs to help people deal with pain. But early tests are showing that venom from sea snails may be a safe and effective alternative to traditional painkillers.
“What is particularly exciting about these results is the aspect of prevention,” notes team member J. Michael McIntosh. “Once chronic pain has developed, it is difficult to treat. This compound offers a potential new pathway to prevent chronic pain from developing in the first place and also offers a new therapy to patients with established pain who have run out of options.”
Strangers work together to help man who walks 15 miles to work every day.
His name is Patrick, and the 52-year-old man inspired a McKinney Police Department officer with his dedication to making it to work every day, despite not having a car to get there. The officer witnessed Patrick trekking along his 2 1/2-hour walk from his home in Plano, Texas, to his job at Braum’s, an ice cream shop and burger restaurant that he manages.
Though Patrick sees the journey as merely a long walk that’s necessary to ensure income, his perseverance provoked a local resident to set up a GoFundMe page to help him. Strangers soon caught wind, and helped raise nearly $4,000 to help him with “Uber fare or possibly a bike and/or fare for transportation.”
More people are adopting senior dogs.
In a world where shiny, young, and new seem to reign supreme, it’s clear that many things become wasted and abused as a result. When it comes to animals, there’s certainly something to be said for an adorable puppy, but senior pups need love, too. Senior dogs face a much greater chance of euthanasia at shelters than younger dogs because it is difficult to find adopters for them. But before you write off your faith in humanity, an organization that specializes in rehoming senior pets has reported that they’re witnessing more people bringing home senior pups than ever before.
India’s Ministry of Health presents new guidelines urging that it’s okay to be attracted to the same sex, and sexual consent is important.
Equality for all shouldn’t be up for discussion — it is a given right. But we can only hope progress continues to happen, so that all people are not only accepted for who they are, regardless of their skin colour, sexual preference, sexual identity, etc., but celebrated for their unique beauty.
Some countries have proven to be frustratingly resistant to such acceptance, however, making any bit of change for the better one to cheer for. India, for instance, has fallen behind on the progression of topics like homosexuality and consent. However, the education community is now trying to push forward, with India’s Ministry of Health presenting new guidelines to encourage educators to tell young people it’s acceptable to be attracted to the same sex, and that consent is necessary in any sexual encounter.
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