distancing yourself from anything negative.

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  • distancing yourself from anything negative.
  • Premier Icon Kryton57

    Hang in there. Nearly wrote a very similar post myself the other day.


    I’ve been stressed to the extreme up until Wednesday.  Last Friday after realising I was brushing my teeth with a mind whirling furor, I dug out my CBT notes, guidance and advice, stopped watching the news and social media, and reminded myself as others have said, we are bombarded with negative crap; its not all aimed at me; other peoples attitudes are their issues not mine; life isn’t fair.

    As well as getting some mindfulness meditation and mindful practise in, I’ve turned everything off in the evenings, lounged in front of the TV watching Das Boot with feet dangling over the arm of the sofa.  I’ve had two days off this week with my kids and my work phone has remained off in a drawer.

    There is always tomorrow.


    Facebook is a disease – so glad I stopped looking at it 3 years ago.
    When fed up I find I turn to watching video’s of people (especially Mustie1) fixing lawnmowers/engines/rusty shit or going outside and messing about with the welder or doing some chainsawing/log splitting.

    I’ve not looked at a newspaper in years – they’re all bollocks.

    Premier Icon breadcrumb

    Quite a while ago I made the conscious decision to stop reading the news/bury my head in the sand. Every story is doom and gloom.

    I certainly don’t miss it.

    Is there such thing as a good news only website?

    Don’t worry, breakdancing’s going to become an Olympic sport.


    There is the Positive News website and the Good News network website.


    How is your heart now ton?

    When I was in permanent afib/flutter I never got a respite from the drudgery and depressive news around. But now, while the world is the same, I at least get those breaks and endorphins from doing some (harder) exercise, whether it is just lifting weights, or going out on a proper ride and actually being able to push myself and improve my fitness.

    I also find that the entertainment industry has gone far too dark over the past few years, especially the male targeted output, even the colour and sound design is used to make you require extra focus (it is by design to force you to strain to hear deliberately muffled dialogues and to see to badly lit environments, it is an fake intense experience not created by the actual plot and storytelling). Trying to search out light hearted entertainment can be a struggle, and I find I now prefer to go without, listen to older music or read popular books (again usually older).

    Also, if you can afford it, how about a bloody good holiday, sunshine, sand and sea can really lift the spirit, even better if you can travel outside Europe, Asia is ace.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv

    It is all in your control. Remember that you choose your emotional response to all this stimulus.

    So next time you get annoyed st the news, check yourself and think “Actually do I really give a shit about this?”

    This. And I’d add a couple of points.

    1/ Sometimes it is natural that your immediate response is fear, or anger or whatever. It keeps us alive sometimes, and the fight or flight response isn’t going away any times soon. If you should happen to find yourself misjudging crossing the road or something, the last thing you need as the bus bears down on you is an internal Q&A over whether GETTING THE **** OUT OF THE ROAD is an appropriate action. You just need to be able to stop, take a deep breath (literally, to force yourself to think even those 6 seconds – after you’re out of the way of the bus) and decide is your response to carry on fighting or running still appropriate.

    2/ Once you’ve done that – and I suspect in the case of seeing some news story that angers you, once you’ve taken a breath you will think that throwing the remote at the TV isn’t the appropriate next step (but trust me, i did it once) – then put it through the ‘do i give a ****?’ filter. Basically – will i still be angry about this tomorrow? Next week? In a month? In a year? Will I even really remember it in a few days’ time? And then allow it an appropriate amount of your anger based on that response.

    Beyond that then yes, self-help books, counselling, meditation, etc. are all good things, but the healthiest first step in my opinion is to take a breath and let your conscious brain respond, not your unconscious one.


    Good advice on this thread.

    Similar experience for me too – I check the news and social media feeds too much. I am beginning to feel that too much engagement with it all just creates a bigger sense of disenfranchisement. I think this is amplified by the constant barrage of 24hr news on TV and radio, internet and social media – in particular social media gives an illusion of interaction but just increases the frustration.

    Add this external stuff onto the personal crap we all have and it rapidly fills my capacity to deal with it. So I’m making a conscious effort to reduce my worrying about the stuff I can’t influence escapially Brexit – if I’m listening to 5live in my van and someone mentions it I flip straight over to a music station.

    When I’m out on my bike, or walking in the Dales, or bouldering I can not check my phone for hours – the crap just falls away and I’m a much more chilled person.

    Anyway suns up today and I’m off out this morning


    How is your heart now ton?

    all good mate. and I hope you are too.

    I have to add, I am far from depressed. I am just angry, and all the media/technology/news bullshit just makes me feel angry and sad at the same time. **** knows why.


    Like I said Tony, it’s designed that way. It’s not so much the content of the news that bothers me, it’s the choices of what’s highlighted, the bias and the simplistic approach to it. Either way, there’s little you can do to change much of it and that feeds frustration.

    Conversely, I find Facebook to be a much nicer place as it’s mostly filled with what nice things friends are doing. Of course, that can lead to a different type of frustration – FOMO. 😁


    I have been suffering the same, gone from someone who used to let everything just wash over me and was probably too laid back for my own good and the one who always was the joker, with absolutely no interest in politics outside of watching Mock the Week and The News Quiz, to finding myself getting really wound up.

    But at the moment i feel drained, i seem to be taking a lot of this Brexit malarkey to heart, especially as it really influences my job, i am sure that Facebook etc really doesn’t help as it seems to pray on concerns and comments you have made etc.

    I have really had to think about it all, decided what i can influence and what i can’t, that ultimately i can only do what is best for my family and i, i come home from work some days in a foul mood (having to listen to Polish/ French/ italian colleagues at work taking abuse on phone whilst they are trying to help UK customers who have been involved in a road traffic accident out) to the point where i have stopped car in a lay-by one day and sat listening to a podcast to “decompress” before stepping through the door to family.

    i have had consciously think “what is winding me up” and “what is going to help me be happier”.

    So i have made an effort to ride my bike for fun with good friends i know i can have good old chat with, stopped drinking for the sake of drinking, restricting it to friday and Saturday night and only a few quality beers, stop watching the news and radio news, having days out with my daughter just doing silly stuff and just spending more time with my family in general

    Premier Icon siwhite

    I really identify with this Ton – two little ones at home, a job I’ve fallen out of love with recently, loads of jobs to do at home and no time to do them and a frazzled wife on maternity leave means that the last few months have been tough – no doubt I’ve suffered as a result. I’ve not been out on my bike since the autumn as I feel guilty for leaving my wife with the nippers.

    Part of my solution has been to find something that lifts your mood and find the time to do it. For me, that means setting an alarm at 0600hrs so that I have an hour before everyone else wakes up. I get to have some tea, light the stoves, fuss about with our dog, read a book and pop outside and listen to the dawn chorus. This means that, come wake-up time for the family I’m already in a great frame of mind and nicely relaxed – and I know that I’ll have a much better day than I would otherwise have suffered had I woken up to a crying baby.

    I’ve also ditched my iPad in favour of a Kindle – read some Tom Cox if that’s your sort of thing. I also haven’t been on Facebook for ages, which helps massively – it’s mostly such crap. Never listen to / watch the news, and skim through the titles of stories. Anything likely to annoy me I ignore.

    Facebook is a disease – so glad I stopped looking at it 3 years ago.

    It’s really not, it all depends if your ‘friends’ are bawbags or not, and what kinda stuff you subscribe to. I actually have a fair level of control over what I see on facebook, not so with other media forms.


    listen to some music you love.


    It’s really not, it all depends if your ‘friends’ are bawbags or not, and what kinda stuff you subscribe to. I actually have a fair level of control over what I see on facebook, not so with other media forms.

    Exactly that.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider

    feel i need to distance myself from anything that annoys me or what i find negative.

    Me too. The missus thinks I’m emotionally stunted, but I think it is the opposite as I just want to avoid the things that I know will piss me off.


    On a similar theme, does anyone have any recommendations for personal development/make your life better podcasts they’d recommend?

    Premier Icon wors

    My mother in law makes me angry, any advice as to getting rid 🙂


    I was in this same dilemma before Christmas. Decided to stop listening to LBC, was my choice of station at work. Deleted everything political on facebook, deleted facebook after a week. Stopped watching the news and reading papers and picked up books and started listening to music instead. Spent more time outside with the family than trying to prove people wrong on the internet, you just cant win against idiots.

    Live life and enjoy it, dont let it ruin you.


    Sorry to hear that Ton. Similar situation myself. I think we are of a similar age and I sometimes wonder if our BS tolerance levels fall as we age?

    Self development I find a double edged sword. A lot of stuff ends up making me feel like crap as the folks putting it out seems like hyper high performing people and falling short of their standards almost makes you feel like you’re failing at life. (Goggins etc).

    I also found the stoicism thing left me presenting as emotionally dead!

    I accidentally found some yoga videos on Youtube which are actually refreshing just to listen to without doing the exercises! Looking for stretches for low back pain and I find the mellow delivery refreshes me.


    Stay away from social media ,has been amazing for me. I shared a house one time with someone who was posting things up about where she was and what she was doing, while she was literally sat beside me on the sofa. Stay off the stw topics that relate to anything subjective lol


    I’ve spent the last 18 months distancing myself from news, bullshit, too many side hustles and various other pointless stressors. I had to, 2017 was horrible. Funerals, skintness and too many suicidal mates. I pulled it all back in 2018. I’ve ditched social media, got a new bike, sorted the finances and focus my life around my kids, job and my bike. Things are going well. I’ve studied and read about ecology all my life so my political view is very green. There is little happening in mainstream politics to address very serious impending global pollution and resource issues so I’ve distanced myself from all of that too. I’m fed up of people shouting at each other about petty arguments and avoiding the bigger picture.

    Distance yourself from all that you find toxic, focus on the things you love, pan out and take in the bigger picture, eat well and you’ll begin to feel much better. I did.

    Now, if I could just cut back on the cider…


    I had this anger at everything back in 2003; it had been building up for a year or two. Focus subjects ended up being dodgy dossiers, David Kelly and an intense dissatisfaction that my work had any positive effect (ill thought through government technical programmes that just seemed to fritter away public money)

    In the thick of it I lost my job but bounced back by going to work in a ski resort for two seasons. I felt healthy on day 1 out in the mountains but it still took years to get back to pre-crisis normal, bouncing in and out of regular employment and alternatives. Positive aspects are I filled my life with adventures.

    Step 1. Get outdoors, regularly and often
    Step 2. Don’t prop yourself up with drugs (alcohol, mary jane esp.)
    Step 3. Make time and take time
    Step 4. Work with your hands
    Step 5. Never, ever go to Ikea

    Fifteen years on, I now *enjoy* a job where I don’t believe my work has any positive effect.


    Book a couple of night in Coniston with the good lady. Couple of days walking and couple of night drinking the finest of ale.

    Switch off the tv, radio, papers etc and just chat.


    Facebook is a disease – so glad I stopped looking at it 3 years ago.

    It’s really not, it all depends if your ‘friends’ are bawbags or not, and what kinda stuff you subscribe to. I actually have a fair level of control over what I see on facebook, not so with other media forms.


    I use it as a new aggregator, works really well as it only shows me stuff I like! If someone is a racist, biggot, antisemite / JC supporter I just block them.

    Premier Icon lunge

    You have to take control of what you consume.
    I read the BBC News app for 10 minutes most morning and then won’t look at it, or watch any other news until the next day. Occasionally there’ll be something specific I want to look at, but if that’s the case I look at that and leave the site.
    Social media I use and look at a lot, but I make sure my feed is not full of shouty, negative people. Follow people who make you smile (Miranda Keeling for a start) and unfollow/block anyone who doesn’t.
    Also, take time to enjoy simple things you love. A beer on a Friday after work, a run in the winter sun, a good podcast, whatever it is, make sure you have time to do it.

    Premier Icon Mugboo

    Agree with all the above, especially not worrying about the news. Just try and
    a live your life in a way that has a positive impact on those around you, your neighbourhood and the enviroment and you have done all that you can do.

    Try not to post too much on social media as you may then lose even more time to notifications. Time that could be better spent on exercise or mindfullness.

    Try watching Minimilsm on Netflix (although they all looked suspiciously well off..)

    And one more. Feel free to contribute to threads on line but don’t bother going back to see whether people have replied/argued/backed you up because unless you were the OP and needed an answer it probably doesn’t matter.

    Premier Icon jonnyrobertson

    Just reading this thread has given me a tight chest. You’ve kinda beaten me to it, Ton, I was gonna start a “happiness” thread, or at least the pursuit of it. I’m not gonna bore anyone or hijack your thread with my issues but if I can just echo what so many have said re just avoiding the sources of what makes you angry and wish you luck.


    gonna make a proper effort to ignore or turn off anything that riles me from now on.

    Its too late at that point. The trick is to avoid it altogether. Im quite a political person (bleeding heart leftie) who was very active on facebook etc. I found that i would be fine at first then watch the news or go on facebook and then spend the next hour or so furious about something that someone i didn’t know had said.

    I fixed this by unfollowing everyone on social media who ranted or posted political stuff and then the print media and debate shows (LBC etc). My news feed is pretty much only BBC4 now as i find that the most balanced non knee jerk news feed i can get. Never, ever read comments on a web story – thats fatal. Its not informative, its just people yelling at each other.

    There are also one or two on here who annoy me, so when they pop up (as they often do) then i tend to leave the topic at that point as i know it will invariably just descend into people trying to outwit each other and name calling.


    Some good advice there about removing yourself from the day to day. I like double positive things like

    Cooking – put music on, relax, enjoy making it and enjoy others eating it
    Cycling – Enjoy the ‘burn’ of cycling, come home, chill and feel the aftermath of tired limbs
    Family – Just enjoy their life stories, while basking in the glow that you’re part of it.

    theres many more examples in simple things, just look for them.

    i used to get annoyed at things, but my wife / family taught me to enjoy the moment. (they didn’t teach by design but through experience)

    tldr; ride bikes, eat food.

    and find a way to deal with exposure to negativity by not giving a shit about it anymore

    ‘ Is this load of balls I am listening to going to directly effect me or anyone dear to me in the near future?’ Y/N
    Yes.- Do what you can to mitigate effect
    No.- WGAF not my problem chum

    nah. I was going to post but it was about something p1ssed me of and writing about just p1ssed me off more.
    Anyway, ton, thanks for saving me the bother of writing that


    Running the risk of sounding really dull here, but a couple of years ago I read something about the philosophy of Stoicism and then my curiosity in the subject has stuck with me ever since. Most people think of this sort of thing as a really dry subject but some of the books I’ve read have really resonated with me and helped control my troubled mind and my reactions to the outside world. I’m not saying it’s a cure for depression but it’s certainly a huge help if you’re willing to practice regularly. Much of modern psychotherapy such as CBT is based on the ancient wisdom of Stoicism.

    I never used to be much of a reader but I now read all the time and try to substitute social media with my Kindle instead. If you want to know more I’d recommend starting with ‘A Guide to the good life’ by William B Irvine before delving deeper.

    Premier Icon toblerone1

    I too am struggling with this. I’m restricting my News intake as it all seems to be negative. Work is pretty grim at the moment and constant exposure to poor planning / deadlines / idiots isn’t helping the mood.

    How do people cope in the workplace with the negativity avoidance?


    @toblerone1 I stick my earphones in. I also physically get out over lunch time. I also try to get days away from the office as often as possible.

    I read something recently about getting up earlier and doing something substantial before the treadmill starts. It’s meant to help you see work as just 8 hours to get through in the middle of the day with other more important / enjoyable stuff around it. I think I might give that technique a try.


    I don’t watch the news on telly, mute it when it comes on the radio and only read the Guardian’s site when I fancy. I use FB (on a computer) for work and keeping in touch with friends who have a pathological fear of using the the sodding (landline) phone for some reason. Don’t have a super-phone an keep my (very basic, emergencies only) mobile switched off so I’m only contactable and in-touch when I want to be. It really helps to switch all the shite off.

    edit- I binned a load of people off who were time-thieves, that helped loads too.

    Premier Icon leffeboy

    Do we need a good-news thread?  I was listening to the fly-by story on the beeb today and thought it was great how people still want to get together to create good things without it necessarily being for profit


    Some good ideas on this thread. Interesting to see there are 1 or 2 other Stoic-curious people on here. I drunkenly bought this a few weeks ago, and hung it next to my desk. Not sure if it really helps, but it looks nice and it’s good to treat yourself to something sometimes.

    Premier Icon Mugboo

    I got a lot from the The Consolations of Philosophy – Alain de Botton.

    He takes a look at why we are so unhappy today and how we can learn from the great philosophers of thec past.


    Take back control!

    As A.L.F once said, “Find out what you’re not good at, and then don’t do it”.

    Social Media . . .

    There’s nothing wrong with social media (well nothing that’s going to kill you anyway) – but as mentioned above, you need to make sure you are interacting with people that enhance your life, not people who wind you up. I have a set of rules that I expect people to follow. Anyone who oversteps the line gets either “snoozed for 30 days” or un-followed. Takes a second to do and the result is 99% nice stuff on my news feed.

    I don’t actively do Twitter, Instagram is petty much a one way street and on the various Forums I’ve learned to avoid the click-bait thread titles.

    We don’t generally watch or listen to The News here is Spain. It’s the same old thing every day. I used to go to the BBC News website but I don’t bother anymore. I prefer to read a paragraph or two than to watch a video clip and if I have to watch an advert first then it’s a no brainer. Bye bye BBC.

    As far as coming on here is concerned, visiting STW it’s definitely the most stressful Laptop related thing I ever do – purely because of the all the things mentioned in the various “website doesn’t work” threads. After donkeys years on here I know which content to avoid.

    These are a few of the things I do to aid a comfortable “un-negative” life.

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