Ugh. Life getting in the way of happiness again? Feel better ASAP when you use any of these life hacks to boost your mood and improve your life.

Have you felt kind of … blah … lately?

I know I have.

Spring doesn’t seem to want to make an appearance. I’ve got a lot on my plate. My teenager will soon be driving.

But all this negativity isn’t helping me. It’s not good for my mental state, and it’s not good for my quality of life or health.

So how do I bust out of this negatively?

The good news is it actually doesn’t take much. While a good vacation would be amazing, the reality is that I’m really not in a place where I can just drop everything and spend money on a trip to Hawaii. Instead, I’m going to have to life hack my way out of this one.

I learned a long time ago that feeling better about life can be as simple as an afternoon with a book or a brisk walk in the sunshine. If start to feel blah here are a few life hacks that can help you feel better about life almost immediately.

1. Help someone.

One of the best ways to break out of a funk is to help someone. Volunteer work has happiness benefits. You don’t even have to go so far as to spend an entire afternoon at the food pantry (although that’s not a bad way to spend a few hours). Just buying coffee for the person in line behind you, or helping your neighbor carry groceries can provide you with a bit of a mood boost.

2. Buy flowers.

Studies indicate that just looking at flowers can make you happier. I keep a plant near my desk. And, if someone doesn’t send me flowers, I go out and buy them myself. If you are feeling down, take a break and work in the flower garden or buy a bloom or two. It’s inexpensive, won’t lead to unnecessary clutter at home, and it will brighten your day.

3. Go for a walk.

In addition to flowers, this is one of my favorite go-to life hacks for feeling better almost instantly. Just getting up, stretching and walking up and down the stairs helps. But you get double happiness points if you get outside and walk in the sun.

4. Hug someone.

One of the best life hacks out there is hugging. Physical contact with others can help you feel better about life almost immediately. Cuddle with your kids. Get a massage from your S.O. Give a friend a hug.

But what if bae doesn’t like being touched or what if, like me, you’re single-ish? There’s a solution for that. I get a facial once a month, and manicures twice a month. Sure, I’m being paid to be touched, but it still improves my mood. Plus, I give my son a hug every morning before he leaves for school.

You can get that human interaction and feel better. Even introverts need to feel connected.

5. Listen to music.

Crank up the volume. Upbeat music can help you feel happy. When you listen to music you like, you get a mental break. Singing along can even increase the enjoyment. I love singing along to my favorite tunes — even if I’m not that great at it. If you’re looking for a release and an instant mood boost must is the way to go.

6. Hang out with happy people.

Who’s the happiest person you know? When you feel shitty, go find that person and hang out. Don’t complain at them. Just hang out and have fun. When you surround yourself with happy people, you are more likely to be happy. It’s one of the great life hacks.

7. Eat something healthy.

Full disclosure: I just ate three cookies. My son and I had a baking extravaganza and I sort of went for it. The downside to eat unhealthy food is the way it makes you feel afterward. Tame that sweet tooth.

A handful of nuts, an apple, or some carrot sticks can go a longer way toward helping you feel happy. Do your best to eat better in general. I’ve been slowly adding healthier food to my diet, and eating less junk.

Something healthy can perk you up immediately. And developing healthy eating habits can help you feel happier in general.

8. Smell something delicious.

One of my favorite life hacks for feeling better is to change the smells. Vanilla is one smell that many humans like — and that makes us happy to smell. (In fact, eating vanilla yogurt can help you feel better about life instantly.)

Figure out what smells make you smile, and then keep them on hand. I like citrus smells. They invigorate me. I also like lilacs smells. Plus, when you smell something, you are likely to take a deep breath. Just breathing deep can boost your mood. So take a deep breath and enjoy yourself.

9. Do something creative.

Whatever it is. Paint. Sketch. Get out the guitar. Write a poem. Sew. Creativity sparks something in us. It makes life instantly better. Just strumming aimlessly on the guitar until something different comes out provides me with a great deal of satisfaction.

I also enjoy coloring. I didn’t like coloring when I was a kid, but the advent of the adult coloring trend made me a believer. Just a few minutes with some colored pencils and a flower mandalas book can improve my mood immensely.

Let those creative juices flow and your life will be better immediately.

10. Take a social media break.

A growing body of research indicates that spending a lot of time on Facebook can make us feel bad.

How much time are you on social media?

Because it’s not just Facebook. We compare ourselves to others on Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, and just about anyplace else. Spending a lot of time on social media takes us away from what we have, and gets us focusing on what we don’t have, or what we think we should have.

I deleted the Facebook app from my phone about two months ago. I love it. Now, instead of checking Facebook when I feel the urge to be on my phone, I do a 10-minute language lesson with Duolingo.

Take a social media break and feel instantly better.

Small things make a big difference.

These things seem small. And they are. That’s the beauty of it. These little life hacks can make a big difference. Doing them will help you feel good right now.

But doing them on a regular basis will help you build habits that can improve your life substantially.

What do you think? Do you have any life hacks for feeling better right now? Share in our Facebook community!

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Stress is sucking you dry and ruining your relationships. Reclaim your quality of life.

It’s so easy to get stressed out.

I get stressed sometimes just thinking about raising my son, trying not to lose my job, or making sure I have the freelance clients I need to keep a roof over our heads.

Relationships tend to stress me out as well.

We could be stressed out all the time if we let ourselves feel that way. Stress ruins your life if you aren’t careful.

I’ve tried to reduce the stress in my life as a result of my concerns about what it could be doing to me.

How stress ruins your life.

You might be surprised at how stress ruins your life. Here are some of the ways stress impacts you:

Physical health.

First of all, stress can impact your physical health. According to the American Heart Association, stress can contribute to ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and high blood pressure.

Part of the reason that stress can affect your physical health has to do with the fact that you often engage in in unhealthy behaviors when you’re stressed out.

Think about what you do to alleviate stress. I eat junk food a lot when I’m stressed. You might turn to smoking, drinking, or emotional eating. If you keep up with these behaviors they can have a long-term impact on your health.

Plus, there are indications that stress can even slow your efforts to lose weight and get healthy.

When stress drives you to unhealthy diet habits, diabetes, cancer, and heart attack can all be part of the picture.

Mental health.

Another way stress ruins your life is through mental health issues.

Stress can actually change the way your brain circuitry works, leading to changes in your mental health.

Not only that, but stress can lead to anxiety and depression. It can also contribute to emotional outbursts and difficulty keeping a lid on your anger.

I know that when I’m stressed I’m more likely to be angry or to lose sight of what’s important. Ongoing stress can put pressure on you mentally and affect your mental health in the long run.

Relationships.

While you’re thinking about how stress ruins your life physically and mentally, don’t forget about how all of this can impact your relationships.

I have to try really hard not to let stress interfere with my relationship with my son a lot of the time. When I’m stressed, I’m more likely to have shorter patience for my son’s foibles. I might even be upset and unhappy in a way that has nothing to do with my son — but still impacts him because he’s in the house.

Other relationships can suffer when you feel a lot of stress in your life. How you treat your S.O. or your parents can be impacted by your stress response. If you are constantly

If you are constantly mean to the people in your life because of stress, eventually they will pull away. Your relationships will suffer. You can’t have a good quality of life with your social fabric falling to pieces.

Work performance.

How well do you do at work when you are stressed out? It’s not just about your relationships with your coworkers and boss — although that’s important. It’s also about your actual performance.

If your stress and anxiety keep you up at night, you won’t be effective at work. You’ll make poor decisions, and you probably won’t give your best.

You don’t want this stress weighing you down and ruining things at your job.

Stress and quality of life.

That’s what it comes down to: quality of life.

All of the areas that stress impacts relate to quality of life. Your relationships at work, your home life, your health, and your mental state are all impacted by stress.

In some cases, stress can be good for you. The right kind of stress in limited doses can help you strive for what’s next and get you out of your comfort zone.

However, when you have a lot of stress, and there’s a lot of negativity because of it, it can ruin your life.

Keep stress from ruining your life.

Stress ruins your life when it’s not under control, so the key is to manage it in a way that allows you to stay on top of your relationships and avoid the health problems that can come with chronic stress.

Here are some ideas for reducing stress and keeping it from ruining your life:

  • Practice gratitude: Believe it or not, gratitude can help you reduce your stress levels. Practicing thankfulness in your daily life can help you cope with problems and reduce the chances that these problems will stress you out long-term.
  • Meditate: You don’t even have to meditate for very long. I know meditation helps me reduce my own stress. Take five minutes to sit quietly in the morning and focus on the present. You can also use meditation at night to clear your mind and let go of the day.
  • Take a break: When I’m tackling a tough assignment or feeling writer’s block, I take a break. If you can’t achieve a breakthrough, you strart to become stressed. Then your performance suffers, and you feel even more stressed. It’s a vicious cycle. Break the cycle. Take a break, do something relaxing and enjoyable. You might actually get what you need that way.
  • Exercise: A brisk walk can reduce stress and clear your mind. When I’m especially stressed, I like to go downstairs and work with the punching bag. This helps me get out my aggression and relieves some of my pent up anxiety and anger.
  • Nature: Even pictures of nature can help you calm down. Our brains appreciate nature and respond positively. Keeping plants near your workspace or taking a look out your window into your backyard can lift your spirits and help you relieve stress.

In the end, you can’t completely rid yourself of stress. But stress doesn’t have to ruin your life. Look for ways to relax and rejuvenate. Take the time for yourself. When you do this, you will find yourself happier and healthier.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Why is it so hard to do the right thing? We all get stuck wondering how we screwed up so bad. Break the cycle.

The best way to support Adulting.tv is to subscribe and leave us an honest review. Thank you!

Are you scared that you’ll make the wrong decisions and screw up your life?

You’re not alone. Many of us wish we could make better choices. But how do you go about making sure you will do the right thing? And how do you feel better about your decisions?

It’s important to figure out how to own your choices. Otherwise, you run the risk of never deciding anything — and never taking charge of your life.

Concepts

  • How do we make decisions?
  • The problems with human memory.
  • How decision fatigue affects your ability to make better choices.
  • The pros and cons of jumping to conclusions.
  • Why making a pros and cons list helps so little.
  • How to tell the difference between the little decisions and the really important stuff.
  • Tips for creating a process for making better choices.
  • How to pinpoint your own ethics and values.
  • Strategies for analyzing potential outcomes.
  • The importance of being realistic as you work toward better decision-making.

Use the DO NOWS from this week to help you test out the decision-making process. Write down a major decision and choose a technique that you can use to follow to its conclusion.

You can also test out how to make faster decisions, especially with small things that might not matter as much.

Don’t forget about the listener question. This week we look at what you can do if you are miserable in your current situation, but you aren’t sure how to move forward.

Become a Friend of Adulting

To get Adulting delivered directly to your device, subscribe using iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your app of choice.

Join the Friends of Adulting! Please leave an honest review on iTunes. We would really appreciate the feedback!

Resources

Information overload and making decisions
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Blink

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Dieting rarely works. In fact, chronic dieting can lead to bigger weight gain. Here’s how to alter your lifestyle to be healthier and happier.

So, you went on another diet. And that diet failed you.

Dieting is no fun and it gets less fun the older we get. The older we get, the smarter we need to be about dieting.

When I was in high school, I didn’t have to diet. When I was in college, eliminating cheese from my diet for a week got me back into shape. Today, that’s not nearly enough.

It’s even worse when you diet and gained weight anyway. How does that happen?

Cursed cortisol.

If you’re on a diet, you’re likely on a cardio routine. That means long bike rides, long walks, long runs, long times in a humid, body-sweat-infused exercise room with dozens of your weight loss peers.

This routine may have worked when we were kids, but during our adulting years, these same exercises increase our stress levels more than they used to do. Stress produces increased levels of cortisol in our bodies, which converts blood sugar into fat.

Ugh! Doesn’t cortisol know fat is the enemy of diets?

This is a bitch for us, but it helped our cavemen ancestors. Our cave brothers and sisters had to run long stretches because something was chasing them.

Today’s solution is to do aerobic exercise in moderation, preferably at lower heart-rate levels incorporated with anaerobic exercise.

If you diet and gained weight, it’s time to re-think your routine.

Stressful stress.

This same hypocritical hormone, cortisol, hypo-produces and goes into hypo-overdrive when we’re stressed about any and everything. Whether it’s work-stress, family-stress, relationship-stress, emotional stress, or stress-stress, we incur the same wrath from cortisol as when we run 10 miles to Ben & Jerry’s.

Anything that you do to reduce your stress levels will reduce the hypo-production of cortisol. Leave bad situations. Meditate. Adopt healthy exercises to relieve stress. Get yourself in nature.

A great way to knock all these out at once is to go for a hike in the woods, by the ocean, or in a park. Being in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels and acts as an active meditation.

Suspect sleep.

On the flip-side, lack of sleep produces extra serotonin. When we’re stressed or tired for any reason, we usually want to feel comfortable.

What’s the easiest and most satisfying way to feel comfortable? Eating comfort food!

The reason you want that breakfast donut, a plate of spaghetti, and dessert cake is because high-fat and high-carb food produce serotonin that makes us tired.

This should cause us to sleep more, except that white, processed sugars make it hard to fall asleep and lose pounds.

If you diet and gained weight anyway, take a look at your sleep schedule.

Processed poisons.

Natural sugars in whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, include vitamins, minerals, protein, phytochemicals, and fiber, which are all good for you.

Processed sugars don’t have those benefits and provide no value other than gaining weight and keeping us awake.

The same goes for processed flour and, therefore, we should do our best to avoid both. 

The things we eat matter more than we think. Reduce the processed foods you eat, and turn more toward produce and whole grains. You’ll see better results, even without all the calorie counting.

Low-down, low-fat.

For most dieters, avoiding fat is as important as avoiding carbs. The problem is that fats, proteins, and high-fiber carbohydrates produce satiety hormones, such as corticotrophin and cholecystokinin, which make us feel full.

We eat more than we need to when we don’t feel full when we should. Therefore, include some fats in your diet. Healthy fats include nuts, olive oil, avocados, fatty fish and, yes, even dark chocolate – in moderation.

Pay attention to what kinds of things you’re eating. Not all calories are created equal. Just cutting calories might not be enough, especially if you diet and gained weight in the end.

Horrible hunger.

Likewise, when we feel too hungry too often, our bodies go into protection mode and store what food we do eat as fat. This helped our caveman brothers and sisters when food was scarce during the long, cold winter. Most of us today don’t suffer from a scarcity of food.

Our bodies love it if we eat six smaller meals a day rather than three meals a day. It’s especially important to eat breakfast, rather than starving all day and binge eating at night.

Binge weight watching.

Fits and starts of eating also cause us to binge eat. Because our brains think we’re starving, we’ll dive right into the first bowl or bag of food we see only to eat more than we should. It takes about 20 minutes for those satiety hormones mentioned above to reach our brains and tell us to slow you down or stop eating. Unfortunately for many, this is too little too late.

Again, eat six smaller meals throughout the day and you’ll be golden.

Feeling hungry doesn’t help anyone. If you diet and gained weight, even though you’re hungry all the time, your problem might be the hunger.

Magnificent muscle.

It’s possible that because you’re dieting and doing moderate levels of aerobic exercises that you’re also doing appropriate amounts of anaerobic exercises, like lifting weights, yoga, and pilates.

Muscle weighs more than fat, and bodies that weigh the same look better when their weight is more muscle than fat. So, gain more muscle and don’t worry about having too much. For most of us, that would be hard to do.

Try focusing on inches, rather than weight. If you are losing inches, but still gain weight, it might be muscle.

These are eight reasons WTF you may be gaining weight when you’re dieting. Some are good and some are bad. Now that you know what to look out for, manage your diet and exercise to never be sad.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Buying a home? Mindy Jensen from Bigger Pockets walks us through the process from start to finish.

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

Thinking about buying a home? If it’s your first time, you’ll want to hear this podcast episode. Joining Harlan and Miranda is Mindy Jensen, the community manager for Bigger Pockets, the real estate investing social network. We discuss when it might be right the right time to buy a house, for living or for investing. Especially for first-time home buyers, Mindy takes us through the process of buying a house from beginning to end.

Mindy has been investing in real estate since before dirt was invented, living in the homes that she flips to avoid capital gains taxes. She’s flipped nine homes, and is always on the lookout for her next project.

Watch the live video above or listen to just the podcast audio by using the player below.

Hosted byMiranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteven Flato
Music bybensound.com

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Sweet tooth out of control? It’s time to show your teeth who’s boss. Try these tips for getting over your sugar cravings.

Research shows eating too much sugar leads to heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases.

Sugar has overtaken fat and carbs as the ingredient to avoid in food. Most of us know drinking a Diet Coke and eating a box of Chips Ahoy isn’t good for us, but we still do it.

Why?

Because sugar is addicting. Some scientists say it works like cocaine and other drugs, targeting the dopamine-releasing centers in your brain. Sugar makes you feel good in the moment and bad in the long-term.

What can you do if you’re trying to improve your health and cut back on that sweet stuff? Read below for our best tips on battling your sweet tooth:

Wait 15 minutes.

When that craving hits your brain, suddenly all you can think about is feeding your addiction. It can be an all-consuming feeling, but the key to breaking out of your addiction is to avoid giving in.

Tell yourself that you’ll have to wait at least 15 minutes before you satisfy your sweet tooth. During that break, your brain will have time to think about how you promised to get better and how crappy you’d feel if you relented. Many people find that after 15 minutes have passed, they don’t even remember the intense craving they had.

Keep a food journal.

When you feel like heading to the snack machine or your closest convenience store, take a second and stop.

Instead of giving in to your urges, keep a notebook with you to write down how you feel when those cravings arrive. Remind yourself why you decided to cut back on sugar and what your goals are.

When we have a craving, we’re determined to fulfill a short-term need. It’s like scratching a mosquito bite. It feels better in the moment, but afterward you just want to keep scratching.

A food journal can help you remember why you’re saying no to your sweet tooth and keep your long-term goal in mind. 

Avoid buying it.

Creating a new habit requires a lot of willpower that’s often in short supply. Instead of counting on yourself to always make the right decision, you have to start making it easier for yourself. Case in point: avoid buying sugary items.

If you buy a packet of Oreos, then every time you want to have some, you’ll be forcing your brain to make a difficult decision. A box of Oreos represents at least a few times you’ll have to decide between breaking your diet and staying on track.

The best way to avoid that scenario? Don’t buy the Oreos in the first place. Not buying the Oreos in the first place helps you avoid being forced to make a decision about them later. 

Reach for fruit.

Research says that there’s little difference between the sugar found in fruit and junk food. However, fruit usually contains essential fiber that will slow down how fast your body processes the sugar.

Instead of eating a Little Debbie snack, grab some fresh strawberries or cut up a banana. It’s a lot harder to binge on fruit than it is on Hostess snacks. Satisfy your sweet tooth with something healthier.

Combine it with protein.

You don’t have to give up sugar entirely to stay within your diet. But one way to decrease the effect more sugar can have is to pair a sweet treat with protein. If you want a piece of chocolate, have some almonds or walnuts with it. Pair a cookie with a glass of whole milk, which has more protein and Vitamin D than skim or 2%.

Protein will fill you up more and prevent you from eating five brownie bites. Peanut butter and almond butter are also good additions to some chocolate chips or ice cream. Your sweet tooth gets a little love, but isn’t taking over.

Avoid peer pressure.

The people around you will likely notice if you’re trying to change your eating. Some might criticize you and say things like, “One cookie isn’t going to kill you.”

It’s easy to give into peer pressure, especially if you feel uncomfortable or are in a workplace setting. But those people aren’t looking out for your best interests; they’re just trying to feel better about their own choices. When they see someone who’s making better decisions, they get insecure and want to tear that person down.

Instead, find someone you know who has a similar goal. You can help each other stay on track and vent when your cubicle neighbor is harassing you about eating their homemade brownies.

Eat mindfully.

When we eat something we crave, we likely hoover it down. Instead, try eating as slowly as possible and concentrating on what you’re ingesting. Eating mindfully has been shown to reduce overeating because it helps you appreciate the food you have.

This piece of advice might seem a little “woo woo,” but it can help you realize you only need one candy bar, not five.

Plus, the slower you eat, the more time your stomach has to truly signal that you are getting full.

In the end, we really are what we eat. So try not to eat so much crap.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Everyone is outraged over everything all the time. It’s so negative. Break the cycle in your life by ditching the 24-hour outrage news cycle.

Once upon a time, there was one hour of local news and one hour of national and international news and it was good.

Americans went about their lives with a focus on their family and local community. Twenty-four-hour news didn’t exist; 24-hour television barely existed, and it was good.

It wasn’t perfect. But it was good. You could reasonably expect to avoid negativity in the news.

Americans didn’t know everything that was going on in the world. They didn’t know everything that was going on in their country. Americans didn’t much mind, and the country and the world still worked.

Rise of the 24-hour news cycle.

Then. came cable television. Americans had more stations than three from which to choose. In 1980, a billionaire buffalo farmer launched a 24-hour news station. He reasoned that if people wanted to watch 24-hours of music television, they’d surely want 24-hours news. American’s could get national and international news from around the world almost in real-time.

Americans had more stations than three from which to choose. In 1980, a billionaire buffalo farmer launched a 24-hour news station. He reasoned that if people wanted to watch 24-hours of music television, they’d surely want 24 hours of news. Americans could get national and international news from around the world almost in real-time.

Americans could get national and international news from around the world almost in real-time.

It was innocent enough until everyone realized that finding 24 hours’ worth of news that people would actually watch was a lot of hours a day, every day, to fill.

In theory, Americans wanted to know about important current events on the other side of the globe. In reality, they don’t.

Then came competition. Now there were three 24-hour news stations. Then there were stations that covered individual segments of the news for 24 hours.

It wasn’t long before sensationalism was the 24-hour news channels’ business model.

If you couldn’t rely on politicians or celebrities to provide something sensational every day, create your own pseudo-celebrities to argue with guests, make outrageous comments, and call that news.

Trying to avoid negativity in the news became much harder.

Fast forward to a world in which Americans learn about policy decisions in 140 characters and it’s all be a bit much.

Everything is outrageous whether it’s outrageous or not. Everything is in real-time whether it deserves to be or not. Clicks are more important than truth and being first is more important accuracy.

How can you avoid negativity in the news? Here are five ideas:

Turn off the 24-hour news.

Go back to where it all began and end it. With Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Sling, no one needs to pay for cable anyway. It’s too expensive. There’s too much of nothing to watch. And, it would be good if we all got off the couch more, The Walking Dead notwithstanding.

MTV doesn’t play videos and most 24-hour news channels don’t report the news.

If you want to avoid negativity in the news, stop getting caught up in the cycle.

Delete social media apps.

Social media was fun when it more about what people were eating, where they were partying, and where they vacationed.

Yes, it’s a free country and it’s our right to say what we think, but it’s also our right to not listen or read every opinion of every non-expert on everything that doesn’t really matter.

Until this last election cycle, I didn’t know how many of my 500 friends were political experts, legal experts, espionage experts, military experts, civil rights experts, and international relations experts.

We’re talking about people I watched do keg stands at frat parties, wear sexy nurse costumes at Halloween, and jump from job to job until they found one that didn’t require a drug test.

Some of my friends are pretty brilliant, but they don’t seem to be the ones filling my Facebook feed with every article or meme that “shuts down,” “slays,” and “buries” their opposition.

Seeing all their crappy news sources makes me want to avoid negativity in the news that much more.

Cancel your subscriptions.

In this age of technology, it doesn’t make sense to have traditional newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

As another way to keep negative news at bay, stop letting the negative news invade your home in video, audio, and print. With their shiny covers and eye-popping headlines, it’s hard to not want to open every issue and become equally outraged, but most of it doesn’t serve us.

Clean your favorites.

Admittedly, there was a time when the first thing I’d do in the morning was to click on each of my five “favorite” news sites. I use quotes because there were a couple of sites I completely disagreed with, but I felt it was important to have a holistic view of the news. I’ve since concluded that even this is not the best use of time.

I now give myself an hour to two a week to read The Week. The Week seems to try its best to report the news in, what one 24-hour news channel calls, a “fair and balanced” way. It’s not perfect, but most things aren’t.

But, for me, it’s one way to avoid negativity in the news while still being informed.

Get social.

Of course, you want to stay engaged and hold a conversation. So, disengage from the one-sided conversations, step outside the echo chamber and get social. Talk, debate, disagree, and change your opinion with face to face conversation.

We’re social creatures. We teach each other. We learn from each other. We tell great stories. Your friends whose opinions and experiences you respect likely have better opinions and more information about most news than a political pundit on television whose first responsibility is to sell advertisements. Their responsibility to the news is a distant second, at best.

Doing all of these at once may be hard or impossible. But it’s a good way to avoid negativity in the news and keep it from dragging you down.

If you disconnect even a little, though, you’ll be more connected to what matters.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!