In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s not hard to become a bit of a media junky, and most of us have our drug of choice. Some folks hit the financial pundits on cable TV every night before bed and then wonder why they can’t sleep. Others get amped up by talk radio jocks on the drive to and from work every day. Still others, myself included, spend a fair amount of time on the internet mainlining any financial news we can get our hands on.
What or who is your drug of choice? Suze Orman? Jim Cramer? Barry Ritholtz? For the next month, go cold turkey. That doesn’t mean you can’t turn on the television, but avoid the financial channels. When the nightly newscaster on your local station starts preaching financial Armageddon, either change the channel or press the off button. The same goes for the radio. Switch to country, classical, or pop music for a month. If the web is your weakness, divert your attention to something more soothing, like crazy cat videos or food blogs. As for the newspaper? Pretend the New York Times doesn’t have a business section for the next thirty days.
Write this resolution down and stick to it. After a month, you may feel so much better about the world and your investment portfolios that you decide to make a permanent lifestyle adjustment. You’ll find a lot more about why Media Gurus can’t cure what ails you in Chapter 4 of my book Mindful Money: Simple Practices for Reaching Your Financial Goals and Increasing Your Happiness Dividend.