If you follow sites like Buzzfeed, and if you believe everything you read on Twitter, you’re probably convinced that 2016 was the worst year ever, right?

2016 was such a bad year that it allowed you to complain instantly to the world using your handheld personal computer while you sat in the safety of your temperature controlled home! The horror!

2016 was so terrible that if you look at charts recording historical trends in the areas of poverty, literacy, health, freedom, fertility and education, it shows that we are living in the best time in recorded human history. Maybe we would truly be able to appreciate this progress if—deep breath—we got out of our self-loathing safe spaces and paid attention to everything that we have.

If you kept up with headlines this year, it helped you understand just how miserable 2016 was, because the sheer number of negative stories was the only thing the media had to work with… RIGHT?!

Actually, it turns out that news outlets are much more likely to report on negative news, because stories with “negative superlatives” such as “never” and “worst” in the titles, typically attract more attention.

I guess if it bleeds, it really does lead… It just serves as yet another reminder that the media are not in the news business—they are in the advertising business. Their main goal is to generate revenue for their shareholders.

In fact, a study from MIT revealed that ANGER is the most influential emotion on social media. Statuses, pictures, videos and articles that evoke anger are more likely to spark engagement in the form of shares and comments. People are three times more likely to leave a comment on a YouTube video if it’s a negative comment (I could have told you that one from personal experience).

Why does this happen? Well, as Yoda once said, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” We are simply creating and encompassing ourselves with that, using this news cycle that is manipulating our emotions. When you’re in fear, not only do you click and share, but when you’re allowing an emotional response, you’re not thinking critically and you can be more easily controlled. Then you have a void in your life that needs to be filled with more useless information, and advertisers take advantage of that by getting their money’s worth.

How do you get out of that cycle? Well, your mind works like an antenna. It sends out different frequencies, and once you choose to tune yourself into a certain frequency, you affect those around you. Basically, if you’re inundated with negative news, fear and suffering, then you will share that frequency with those around you and you will also continue to create frequencies on that same wavelength. You literally create what you manifest, and if you can change that flow, then your life will be more gracious, beautiful and amazing, and you can actually come to the realization that 2016 was not the worst year ever.

Bad things will still happen, but it is all about how your respond.

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