Stop Watching the News: How to Improve Your Information Diet

Ayodeji Awosika
Oct 21 · 4 min read

We all understand the role diet plays in our physical health. If you eat unhealthily for long periods of time you’ll end up overweight, lethargic, and at risk for a ton of preventable diseases.

Even knowing the facts isn’t enough to stop us from making bad choices sometimes. If we suddenly gained 50 pounds while eating a single cheeseburger, we’d probably have second thoughts about taking a bite. If we got cancer from smoking one cigarette, Marlboro would go bankrupt.

Of course, poor health happens slowly and gradually over long periods of time, which is why it’s important to make a commitment now wherever you’re at to improve your health in the future.

This means taking simple steps:

  • Move more
  • Eat less
  • Get the right vitamins and nutrients

Done repeatedly over time, these three steps alone can revolutionize your health.

Today’s message isn’t about your physical health and diet. Those topics have been covered at length.

Today’s message is about your brain’s diet.

Your brain’s diet? What the heck am I talking about?

Like food, you should be mindful of the information you consume.

Think about it…

If you come home and watch the nightly news 5 nights per week…

Trump. Sexual Assault. War. Shootings.

Trump. Sexual Assault. War. Shootings.

Trump. Sexual Assault. War. Shootings.

Trump. Sexual Assault. War. Shootings.

Trump. Sexual Assault. War. Shootings.

…it’s affecting your brain, your mood, your disposition, everything.

I remember closely following the election and the subsequent news stories afterward.

I got sucked into the drama of it all. I read every salacious story. I watched journalists fight with each other on Twitter. I gobbled up every bit of information on Russia, Syria, Trump, Comey, all of that…

And you know what it got me? Irritation, frustration, anger, the need to want to argue with people.

So I stopped.

Let’s just say my mood improved.

My advice? Stop watching the news altogether. It’s not there to inform you. They intentionally choose the most emotionally triggering headlines, stories, and segments to keep you glued to the T.V.

Don’t worry. You’ll still hear about the big stuff through word of mouth. You won’t have to actively search for it.

Then there are other types of media like reality t.v., social media, memes, random videos, etc.

Is this stuff harmful? Maybe not, but it’s definitely not making you any smarter.

I have a few T.V. shows and movies I like to watch. I’m a football junkie. Still, I try not to spend all of my time in front of the T.V.

Think of News like cigarettes — maybe even cyanide. It’s that bad.

Think of T.V. and social media like candy and fast food — okay, but in moderation.

So what are the leafy vegetables for one’s brain diet?

First, there are books.

In many ways, I can attribute to the tripling of my income over the past few years to books.

Look at it this way. Some people spend years, decades even, curating their best thoughts on a subject in the form of a book. And you basically get to absorb all that knowledge in a few hours.

Read widely. Don’t just read business books or just fiction or just psychology and science. Read it all. Reading widely creates new connections in your brain and makes you more creative. Something you learn in a book could end up being a conversation piece that helps you connect with an influential person, a spark of a business idea, or if you’re a writer like me an idea to use in your own work.

I’m not saying you have to read a lot, but the correlation between successful people in reading is quite strong.

If you don’t like physical books, you can try audiobooks.

Second, you can watch or listen to educational material like documentaries, talks, podcasts, and interviews of successful people

If you have a commute, you could listen to something positive or educational on your way to and from work.

Last, you can spend time around smart people. The people you surround yourself with affects your behavior. If you want to grow, you have to be around people who make you grow. People smarter than you. People who work in different fields.

You could attend networking events or even find groups online to be a part of.

Spending your time around people who only talk about other people and complain has a negative effect on you. You think it’s harmless, but it’s not.

Those are a few simple tips.

I’m not perfect with either my physical diet or my mental one. Whenever I feel down or off, however, I look to those diets to see if I’m ‘eating right.’ I usually find the answer to what ails me.

What are some of the ‘leafy vegetables’ in your mental diet? Shoot over some of your recommendations — books, podcasts, documentaries, anything! I want to hear from you.


Ayodeji is the author of You 2.0 — Stop Feeling Stuck, Reinvent Yourself, and Become a Brand New You. Want a free copy of my first book? Get it here.

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Ayodeji Awosika

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Just a guy who loves to write about life. Websites -http://ayotheauthor.com http://www.ayothewriter.com/

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