Staging a Self-Intervention Using A Low Information Diet

An aquaintance on the bookface asked what she ought to do about the fact that she has experienced a panic attack each morning since the election. How do you redirect the fear into constructive action.

I gave this advice with the idea that the fear doesn't have to be accepted at face value. Reality is mostly constructed and we are using some pretty manipulative sources in recent years:

Honestly, I would stop getting your news from social media and cable.  Cable wants your eyes glued... so they scare the shit out of you if they can.  Social media wants to cut through the noise so they need outrage  and fear as an attention grabber.
I'd suggest a low information diet for 3 weeks starting today.  Announce  it to your friends and let them know that you will not be on social media as much and to please TEXT or CALL you if it is time to fight in the revolution.  
If you use a password manager, randomly generate new passwords for all of your social media sites.  Then turn off auto-login.  Then logout... everywhere.
No news for 3 weeks.  Then after that, international news sites only for a month.  International news sites will be dialed in to a different cultural demographic which is just a bit off to plug directly into your gut.  It will allow you that crucial extra little bit of mental wiggle room to not be manipulated by the outrage and fear peddling.
Finally, yes... there is real shit going on but no one is being loaded on trains and it's not time for open revolt yet.  You will know when your friends can no longer speak their minds without being arrested or detained or threatened with **physical** harm.  For now, I simply expect that the news vortex you have subjected yourself to has created your world of constant anxiety and panic.  
Time to intervene on your own behalf.

And if you want a great audiobook that will inspire some thought about how we can open up possibility with the stories we tell ourselves, consider this book: The Art of Possibility. The audiobook version was strongly recommended by Seth Godin and I rather agree it has a lot of good ideas on how to work with your mind to achieve open-ness and orientation to what is possible.

An Affiliate link for the same book on Amazon follows (you may have to disable adblock to see it):

On Hebdo Cowardice and Ditching the News

While I was sitting around this morning considering the things I have to be happy about, I came up with this: “I’m happy that we live in an age where we can just search for the ##CharlieHebdo cartoons ourselves using Google.”

This is, of course, in reference to stories that the mainstream media have avoided reprinting the Charlie Hebdo cartoons and covers in full. Some people take this as the latest piece of evidence of their cowardice and I have to say I find it hard to disagree. Devils advocate against my own position: from what I have read about the Hebdo publication a lot of it is in poor taste so one might have other grounds for not reprinting certain pieces.

At any rate, this is a good time to talk about the news I think. For the last year I have not listened to the news but rather I let things bubble up via Twitter and Facebook. There are lots of things that happen in the world that I am late to know about. But I also don’t hear a lot of irrelevant BS that has nothing to do with my life, most specifically my consciously chosen values, and is only designed to be sensationalist in order to sell advertising. (Never let a tragedy go to waste)

If you haven’t stopped listening to daily news, I urge you to try it for a period of a week, and if that works out, a month. I got this idea from Tim Ferris’s Four Hour Work Week. He has a strategy he calls the “Low Information Diet” and ditching news is a big part of it. I hypothesize that you will still find out about the important things but you will not experience the anxiety induced by the regular doses of tragedy porn and outrage porn, which is all the news seem to consist of these days.