The Integrated Mind

Taking a Mindful Look at Affirmations and Fake News

Repeat with Mindfulness

The power of affirmations comes through the repetition of thought or words. So too is the rampant spread of Fake News.

The Magic of Repetition

Practice makes perfect – you repeat until your body performs by muscle memory or at peak performance. Similarly, affirmations are statements that are repeated over and over and your mind or your sub-conscious believes it to be true. Many successful people attribute their success to the fact that they believed it would happen, they visualize the success, and that constantly thought or spoke their affirmations. This is the magic of affirmation.

The goal of affirmations is to focus on something positive, however, people have found themselves stuck because they have been repeating negative thoughts and words. This can come in the form of someone constantly complaining about their situation and feeling stuck in it with no way out. This same repetition of a thought, until it is believed to be true, can also have another negative effect … with Fake News.

Your Mindful Takeaway: Be mindful of what you are talking about or sharing. Is it something you really want to spread? If not, just don’t repeat it!

Using Mindfulness to Stop Fake News

Are you unintentionally spreading fake news? You could be. Shelby Lorman writes in Thrive Global “Can Mindfulness Meditation Stop the Spread of Fake News?” Shelby summarizes the original article “How Mindfulness Meditations Can Save America”  by Robert Wright on Wired. Robert discusses fake news and the psychology of tribalism and confirmation bias. Tribalism, as defined in, is “the behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group.” Confirmation bias “the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.”

The author Robert Wright suggests that the spread of fake news can spread unknowingly by people who click “retweet” or “share” without first investigating what they’re sharing.” i.e. often they simply don’t read the entire post or article, they are simply responding to the catchy headline and/or imagery.

Your Mindful Takeaway: Be mindful and read full articles or posts before sharing. Share with intention.

But What do you do when you want to reveal some fake news?

Steve Rathje wrote “When Correction a Lie, Don’t Repeat it. Do This Instead: Correcting false claims can often backfire, spreading them even further.” posted Jul 23, 2018 Psychology Today

Fake News: Why People Believe It

Attention-grabbing and frequency… the more Fake News is talked about the more it is believed. The concept of believing in something familiar is the “illusory truth effect” also known as the validity effect, truth effect, or reiteration effect.

The illusory truth effect is the tendency to believe the information to be correct after repeated exposure.‘ …”people rely on whether the information is in line with their understanding or if it feels familiar.” – Wikipedia

The antidote for the illusory truth effect is the Truth Sandwich. When you want to reveal a lie or fake news you should use the #TruthSandwich strategy to talk about the truth first, then the lie, then the truth again. This is based on studies suggesting that people remember beginnings and endings better than middles.

Your Mindful Takeaway: If you must talk about some Fake news follow the #TruthSandwich.

Mindfulness practice – a Daily Practice.

It does not need to be a quiet time of meditation, it can be any time of your day where are you experiencing your present with mindfulness and intention.

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