The Atlantic

Reading Too Much Political News Is Bad for Your Well-Being

Obsessing over politics could hurt your happiness and your relationships.
Source: Jan Buchczik

How to Build a Life” is a biweekly column by Arthur Brooks, tackling questions of meaning and happiness.


Of the many ideas from Eastern religion and philosophy that have permeated Western thinking, the second “noble truth” of Buddhism arguably shines the greatest light on our happiness—or lack thereof. Samudaya, as this truth is also known, teaches that attachment is the root of human suffering. To find peace in life, we must be willing to detach ourselves and thus become free of sticky cravings.

This requires that we honestly examine our attachments. What are yours? Money, power, pleasure, prestige? Dig deeper: Just maybe, they are your . The Buddha himself named this attachment and its terrible effects more than 2,400 years ago in the , when he is believed to have, “Those attached to perception and views roam the world offending people.” More recently, the Vietnamese Buddhist sage Thích Nhất Hạnh wrote in his book , “Humankind suffers very much from attachment to views.”

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