Having grown up around family and close friends suffering from depression, like many of us have, I've always had the curiosity as to how we as humans develop depression and anxiety, and how I could help to change that.
It is estimated that approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem. When separating causes and volumes into groups, I decided to pick one, one that many people will relate to... the influence of the media, the current battles with advertising, airbrushing and common thoughts of "doom and gloom."
They always say that people come into your life for a reason, and things happen for a reason. Did I start my own agency to help promote people for money... no. I started it to help promote people who can help other people. Many of which help tackle the mighty daemon of negativity, they help fight depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, low self-worth, and promote compassion, self-compassion, confidence and abundance. One lady in particular that I am proud to be friends with is Paula McCormack, from The Adaptive Academy, she knows a lot about the effects of the media and has kindly agreed to share her knowledge with you. Here is what she had to say about the subject:
It is said that we are exposed to over 3500 adverts a day through radio, television, newspapers and streaming through our laptops, notebooks and smart phones we absorb 25,000 negative messages per day. We trust our media to tell us what we need to know in order to inform us of what is happening in the world, so we can make decisions about our own daily lives. In Britain More than 39 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were written in 2009 and we wonder why! With the bombardment of media and information overload our brains just can't handle the levels of negativity or the complexity of possessing so much information.
Our self-conscious mind is the seat of our cognitive thinking, personal identity and free will. As such we have to use filters to take in information as we cannot be consciously aware of all the senses in any given moment and its reaction to the environment it finds itself in with all the information that is coming at us.
Therefore it is up to our unconscious which is determining our lives 95 percent of the time. And what this means is that our destiny is in the control of all the recorded programmes that have been derived from instincts and the perceptions acquired in our life experiences. In other words, for the most part we are operating from the basis of everything that we have learned along the journey of life, everything that has subliminally been embedded, unprocessed by the self-conscious, which is why we act sometimes out of what we perceive to be our character, or hear something coming out of our mouth that we didn't know we knew!
Like it or not, all 25,000 negative messages are getting through and unconsciously impacting our decisions, our choices, our lives and our general way of being.
Our media teaches us immensely. Every day we are exposed to massive amounts of media, branding, and illusions of what can make us happy. We buy more and more in the vain hope it will provide happiness, health, stress relief, the answer to our prayers. It will make us look younger, better looking, slimmer, trendier, more intelligent. It will win us friends, that promotion, that holiday that promises to fulfil our fantasy. We don't buy a product or service, we buy the promise of what it will give us. Today we look for the overnight solution, the quick wins or a quick fix.
The media influences our lives immeasurably. Every morning we can put the news on and hear of all the hell that's happening, the doom and gloom of another recession, another cutback, more jobs lost, more people killed. Every night before we go to bed we hear more bad news. It's inevitable that whatever is happening will eventually effect us so we passively wait for it to hit or we take some actions to protect what we have worked so hard for.
We are an effect of our media so choosing what we watch and listen to, or observe on our travels may be a good place to start.
The impact of bad news is certainly something we should all consider, and bringing out the good news is something we must work towards. I hope to see that more news outlets will bring in a good news section like The HuffPost. Until next time, goodbye.