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The Power of Negativity

By Chuck Cusumano and Jillian Broaddus

What is your morning routine?

If you’re like the vast majority of Americans, you check your phone upon first rolling out of bed. In fact, a recent study from IDC Research found that a whopping 80% of smartphone users check their mobile devices within 15 minutes of waking up each morning.

And, in doing so, you’re likely immediately inundated with a glimpse of the negative news cycle. Whether you browse what friends are sharing on social media, what influencers are saying on Twitter, or what headlines are dominating the news outlets, a glance at our phones instantly exposes us to the news around us. And the truth in today’s world? Negative news sells.

While you might feel immune or accustomed to the 24/7 news cycle, it likely has more of an impact on your day than you realize. In fact, a study reported on in Harvard Business Review found that individuals who watched just three minutes of negative news in the morning had a 27% greater likelihood of reporting their overall day as “unhappy,” as compared to those who listened to positive news stories. And, unsurprisingly, this unhappiness has major implications on our lasting moods, effect on others, stress levels, and overall productivity.

So, what can you do to break out of this cycle and start your day with some positivity?

For one, start by leaving your phone out of your morning routine! Instead, enjoy your first cup of coffee with calming music or while reading a book. If you must check your phone, it can help to silence push notifications or disruptive alerts to cancel the unwanted noise. Better yet, if you want to start your morning with news, numerous news outlets have “Good News” sections with uplifting stories and positive headlines!

Make an effort to wake up on the right side of the bed! To a large extent, it is in your control.

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