The counsellor who looks beyond the negativity bias

Ismene Cole is a Bristol-based counsellor, a life coach and a Positive News co-owner. The news has a huge impact on us, she says, and it’s important that we choose what we feed our minds

I’ve been following Positive News magazine for years, after a friend recommended it to me. In a world of often negative and terrifying news, it puts the focus back on the wonderful, constructive and empowering things that are going on. I felt immediately passionate about it.

The mainstream media’s negativity bias has a huge impact on us. We’re taught to eat well and exercise, but rarely think about what we consume psychologically. Yet the effects are equally detrimental. When we’re bombarded with negative messages, conflicts and problems with seemingly no solutions, at best we feel hopeless. At worst, we feel we can’t do anything to change things, leaving us helpless and disempowered.

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What we choose to feed our minds affects our self-esteem, our relationships with others and our viewpoint of the world at large. Balanced and constructive media builds connection to others and reminds people of their power to influence positive change. We don’t need to disown what’s negative in the world, but to regain the power to choose how we want to feel. If we choose to, we can focus on empowerment and change.

A Positive News co-owner, Bristol-based Cole is also a counsellor and a life coach

A huge part of my work is helping people reframe their mindsets and examine their belief systems. What really helps this shift? Finding inspiring role models and causes that help us live passionate lives, while reducing exposure to things that make us feel anxious or not good enough. We all internalise hundreds of messages every day – we need to be mindful about whether they help or harm us.

Positive News is a co-operative owned by readers in 33 countries. To register your interest in future ‘community share offers’, visit



This article is featured in issue 93 of Positive News magazine.

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