When I go out for coffee in a cafe on my own I like to read any newspapers or magazines that are available. In some cafes there are multiple copies of free papers or magazines for customers to take home.
A couple of days ago I dropped into a cafe after I had stocked up on fruit and vegetables at a nearby greengrocer. I flicked through the daily newspaper with its collection of stories on tragedy and fear. There seem to be so many sad events in the world and in our own state and country, bush fires, suicide, children drowning, hold ups and the list goes on.
It can be important to be aware of the negative events in the world. Sometimes it makes us appreciate what we have and the good in our own lives. Sometimes it makes people put measures in place to protect themselves and those around them. At other times it motivates someone to get involved in a group or lobby for change.
However, a diet consisting almost exclusively of doom and gloom can be depressing. Studies have shown too much exposure to negative news can increase anxiety levels.
As I left the cafe I picked up a free magazine called Rise to read on the train.
When I settled down to read the magazine I received a pleasant surprise. It was not full of consumer driven articles and advertisements. It was not full of tragedy and pain. Instead it lived up to its claim to present 'good news stories'.
I read about a group of volunteers (the Green Team) who go out on Saturday nights to patrol Hindley Street, a city street known for its nightclubs. Their mission is to help revelers who need some assistance. The volunteers are prepared with supplies that could be needed including bottles of water, bus tickets, first aid kits, tissues, vomit bags and safety pins.
The volunteers have also set up a campaign to encourage young people to drink responsibly. They are not saying, 'Don't drink alcohol' but promote the slogan, 'Drink a little less, have a lighter night.'
There was also a thought provoking article on 'Making the most of a new year'. It was full of ways we can take control of our lives instead of feeling like a 'victim'. There was advice on breaking a goal down into little steps. I liked the suggestion to start a 'to do' list with a couple of things you have already done. That way you can immediately cross them off your list, providing motivation to tackle the rest.
The magazine made me feel uplifted and optimistic. The articles were about taking control to improve one's life or give something back to the community. I would like to see more of this type of publication and I will certainly be on the look out for further editions of this particular quarterly magazine.