Are you a negative news junkie?

Hi, I’m Liz, and I’m a recovering news addict.

I’ve switched from watching MSNBC at 8 p.m. to watching “Criminal Minds.” It’s all about a special unit of the FBI profiling and tracking down serial killers. Last night’s was about a psychotic young man who killed people and cut out their vital organs. Nice, huh? How’m I doing?

What is it about negative stuff that draws our attention? A wreck beside the highway slows traffic to a crawl, as drivers try to get a look to see if anybody’s hurt. The lead story on the local news usually features a field reporter standing in front of crime tape telling of a shooting that happened on that spot hours ago. The political news is mostly of the “gotcha” kind, less about substance than gossip.

So what’s so attractive about all this? Must have something to do with our lizard brains, the ones concerned about keeping us alive and safe. Only instead of warning us about the predator ahead, it’s slipped into overdrive and is actively looking for things to fear — things that have nothing to do with us, in parts of the world where we’ll never go.

It is important to keep up with what’s going on in the world, so when you go to vote, you know what’s at stake. But I’ve realized I need to cut out the egregious violence and nastiness on TV. I’ve recorded a couple of recent Monty Python specials and Wednesday’s episode of “Glee.” Come to think of it, “Glee” also has violence and nastiness. Check the TV section. Aside from cartoons and the Simpsons (a satirical show that happens to be animated), nearly everything has to do with violence, cruelty and war. Gaaah!

Take a minute and read this good article about what you let into your head. Maybe it will help you clear out the negativity.

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