“Environment is stronger than will power”, is sage advice given by Master Yogi Paramhansa Yogananda, which is now gaining scientific support. What we choose to look at is part of our environment, whether it be physical places or that which we look at on our TV, computers and other screens. Is there any evidence that what you look at can affect your mood?
The expression, “Just Looking”, is often associated with a no harm/no foul attitude.
Great saints and sages of all times have been keenly aware of the trials and tribulations of the people and cultures around them – often even demonstrating an uncanny ability to know what is happening on the other side of the globe – without spending hours of time watching, reading or listening to news, gossip etc.
Still, many ask: What good does it really do to refrain from the average dose of “reality” one supposedly gets from keeping up with all of the news?
The answer: “… It Might Have to Do With What They’re Looking at”*.
Researcher Derek Isaacowitz of Northeastern University: “… compared to younger adults, older adults prefer positive looking patterns and they show the most positive looking when they are in bad moods, even though this is when younger adults show the most negative looking.”
Older adults with good concentration skills were able to regulate their moods by looking at that which was positive.
OK – so maybe “Just Lookin’ ” at the news too much may not be so good for our mood. But if we back off won’t we be missing important information? Apparently not. Research conducted by Isaacowitz and colleagues also showed that “Although older adults prefer to focus on positive stimuli… they aren’t necessarily missing any salient or important information.”
What do you like to look at to improve your mood?