The Science of Happiness: How Positive News Can Improve Your Well-being

updated on 30 January 2023

by Goodable Staff

  

Imagine if your Twitter feed only showed positive news, free of fear and negativity. While platforms like us strive to deliver healthy, happy news (cheap plug: download the Goodable App), negative news often dominates social media. It seems like all we ever hear about is violence, natural disasters, political unrest and other depressing events. But what if we told you that there's a way to boost your mood, decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, and even improve your physical health? And what if we told you the solution was in front of us, all along?

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The answer is positive news..

Scientific Research on the Impact of Positive News on Well-Being

Recent scientific research has shown that our emotional state can be heavily influenced by the type of news we consume.

In particular, exposure to positive news has been found to have a significant impact on our overall well-being. And no, we're not talking about those cheesy, "feel-good" stories that make you want to roll your eyes. We're talking about real, uplifting news that highlights the good in people and the world around us. You know, stories about how the climate is improving, new scientific breakthroughs are helping humans live even longer, and how world literacy is the highest it's ever been in history.

Positive News can Increase Your Overall Sense of Well-Being and Self-Esteem

One study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley found that people who read positive news articles experienced an increase in their overall sense of well-being compared to those who read negative news articles.

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It seems pretty intuitive if you think about it. The researchers suggest that this is because positive news helps to counteract the negative effects of stress and anxiety. Think of it as a happy little vitamin for your mind. We live in a world where we’re bombarded with stress every day. That stress is compounded by the negative headlines on our screens, which are almost impossible to escape. Simply exposing yourself to a few minutes of positive headlines per day can have dramatic effects - like turning off the tap of negativity for a few minutes and replacing it with hope.

Positive News Can Decrease Symptoms of Depression

Across the world, some 41% of people currently struggle with some form of mental issue, whether it’s depression, anxiety, or chronic stress. Some leading scientists say it will take ten years for society to go back to the way it was pre-covid.

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One of the biggest challenges in dealing with depression is that people who are depressed typically struggle with seeing reality for what it is, which is a mix of both good and bad. When we expose ourself to negative headlines on a consistent basis, it reinforces destructive ideas about the world we live in, which are often untrue.

For example, someone with depression who reads negative headlines might think “the world is getting worse” or “nothing will ever get better because all I see is violence and animosity.” While those may be true, they’re not true exclusively. The truth is that the world is also filled with wonder, generosity, kindness, and hope. Reading positive news helps reinforce a more balanced view of the world.

So, next time you're feeling down, try reading a heartwarming story about a group of people coming together to help a neighbor in need, or a community rallying to support a local business. It might just be the boost you need.

Positive News Can Improve Your Physical Health by Decreasing Cortisol

Positive news can also have a direct impact on our physical health. Research has found that exposure to positive news leads to a decrease in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause all sorts of health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer.

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Cortisol is sometimes referred to as the “fight or flight” hormone. It prepares our body for emergency situations and puts us into survival mode. In small doses, cortisol helps us get through the difficult parts of the day, but too much of it leads to inflammation, depression, and an overactivated immune system. So, not only will you feel better emotionally, but your physical well-being will thank you too!

Positive News Can Increase Social Connectedness and Decrease Feelings of Loneliness

And let's not forget the power of positive news on our social relationships. Positive news can lead to increased feelings of social connectedness and a decrease in feelings of loneliness.

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This could be due to the fact that people have a tendency to share good news with others, creating the change to build strong, healthy social relationships. So, not only will you feel better about yourself, but you'll also feel more connected to the people around you. It's a win-win situation!

  

In conclusion, the science of happiness has shown that exposure to positive news can have a positive impact on our overall well-being. But don't just take our word for it, try it out for yourself. Take a break from the doom and gloom of the daily news and seek out some positive stories. Trust us, your mind (and body) will thank you.

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