What is the key to independent thinking and psychological stability? How can we protect our serenity against the negative bias of daily news? The following ideas can help you preserve your peace of mind:
The chances of a disaster happening are actually lower than you think
Most reported threats refer to events that, most likely, will
never happen. For instance, every few years, newspapers discuss anew the
possibility of an asteroid hitting the earth and killing millions of
Such calamity would be terrible, but you should not allow
vague menaces to disrupt your tranquillity. Instead of losing sleep
over risks, you should transform them into numbers or percentages. What
are the actual chances of an asteroid hitting the town where you live?
If the result of the calculation is one in a million, how much are you
willing to worry?
You can easily protect yourself from major risks
in consumer markets inevitably incur risks of civil liability. If you
deliver products to millions of people, an accident will occur sooner or
later, for example due to the failure of an electrical component.
one is exempt from occasional mistakes and this is why liability
insurance exists. Entrepreneurs who wish to limit their risks can
purchase insurance coverage so that, if the worst happens, their
financial losses will be limited.
Similarly, if you live in an
area with a high risk of floods, you should insure yourself against
damages caused by water. The rational approach to dealing with potential
catastrophes is to reduce risks. By setting a limit to damages, you can
protect your peace of mind against gloomy forecasts aired by the media.
commentators predict a stock market crash, you can protect yourself by
converting part of your investments to cash or by purchasing other
assets, such as gold or real estate, whose performance is not correlated
to the price of shares. In general, if you set a cap on potential
losses, you will be able to stop worrying about catastrophes.
How a proactive attitude helps reduce risks and uncertainty
Uncertainty, more than any other
factor, is what causes anxiety and fear. The feeling of not knowing what
to do can render you insecure and lead you to make mistakes. Indecision
causes physical tiredness and disrupts sleep at night. The solution is
not to ignore risks, but to face them by taking action.
neighbourhood is becoming increasingly dangerous, you can choose between
taking action or worrying yourself to death. Assess the problem and see
what alternatives you have. Should you install an alarm system at home?
Does the situation justify that you move to another part of town?
soon as you make a decision, your preoccupation levels will diminish.
People who lead serene lives tend to be incredibly proactive and
organized. Those persons are always the first to adopt measures to
Beware of decisions made on the basis of biased information
This is a key
factor for maintaining your peace of mind. Why would you want to read
gloomy articles in newspapers and magazines? What's the point of
devoting your time to watching depressing reports on television?
information is highly addictive and, without a strong will, the habit
is difficult to break. You have to make a firm decision and stop paying
attention to distorted news. You have to make the effort to filter out
the noise and focus on quality information.
In most cases, you
can keep yourself well informed by spending a few minutes a day on a few
selected websites. If you make yourself deaf to nonsense and
discouragement, you will have more time for pursuing your primary
Protect your peace of mind against negative news by
transforming risks into numbers, setting limits to damages, facing
problems with action, and using only quality information. Every minute
of anxiety that you eliminate from your life will add positively to your
For more information about rational living and personal development, I
refer you to my book The
10 Principles of Rational
Image by Mara 1 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license
terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us