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Seven positive conversation starters

Good news facts to start your week
Blog 136 Good news nathan dumlao L86vy42 TB w unsplash

As we continue to grapple with all the emotions brought on by the pandemic – fear, anxiety, uncertainty – it’s all too easy to lose ourselves in negative news stories. You know the ones: the daily infection rates, lockdown developments, more cancelled events (really not helped by the fact that some of us are watching, green eyed, as other parts of the world open up).

Important as it may be to stay on top of certain updates, it’s also beneficial to tune out some of the noise to make way for all the positive stories out there. People doing incredible things. Coming up with fresh ideas. Finding innovative solutions to problems. After all, research tells us that positive emotions are linked to increased wellbeing and resilience. And the more you look ahead to the future with optimism, the more positive emotions you’ll experience in the next episode of your life.

To help you get started, here are seven stories worth cheering about.

  1. In personal development news – There’s lots of learning happening right now as people prepare for their post-COVID chapter. According to Edison Research, 37 per cent of the Australian population listened to a podcast in the last month and 26 per cent listen to podcasts weekly – more than double the numbers from last year. And with four of the top 10 audio books available at Audible.com.au coming from the self-development space, it’s clear that people are looking to expand their knowledge and hear new ideas.
  2. In global news ­– At the time of writing, roughly a third of the global population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and almost a quarter is fully vaccinated. Crunching the numbers, five billion doses have been administered globally and 33.56 million are now administered each day. Considering the virus came to light less than two years ago, that’s a mind-blowing feat of human accomplishment.
  3. In environmental news – You’ve no doubt heard about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) latest report, which delivered a ‘code red’ warning to humanity. But it’s also important to look at where we are making progress. In Alaska, for example, a massive new oil drilling project has just been blocked due to climate concerns. Greenland just banned new oil and gas exploration, despite being home to billions of untapped barrels. Nine countries already use, or are very close to using, 100 per cent renewable power. Earlier this month, the combined output of rooftop solar and large-scale solar farms exceeded that of coal generation for the first time in Australia’s main grid. All proof that change is afoot around the world – and at a much greater pace than ever before.
  4. In innovation news – It’s always wonderful to hear about new inventions that can change – and even save – peoples’ lives. And how amazing is it when the invention comes from somewhere unexpected? Seventeen-year-old Dasia Taylor from Iowa, US, has invented a new type of suture, using beetroots, which changes colour when a surgical wound becomes infected. Having come across ‘smart sutures’ that use technology to detect infection, Taylor wanted to find a natural alternative that could be used in low- and middle-income countries, where surgical site infections affect up to one third of patients who have undergone a surgical procedure.
  5. In community news – Unsurprisingly, charitable donations dropped in 2020, with many fundraising events put on hold due to the pandemic. However, a new Australian report reveals that the worst may be behind us, with donations from high net worth individuals and the corporate community making up for the fall in mass market giving. Further afield, earlier this month a New Yorker started a GoFundMe campaign to organise rescue flights for Afghans at risk of being targeted by the Taliban. Proving that people are still willing to dig deep, the campaign raised $6 million after just one day.
  6. In more happy news – Did you know that in Wales the government plants two trees every time a child is born or adopted: one locally and another in Uganda? The initiative started in 2008 to create more woodland spaces in Wales, but expanded internationally in 2014. To date, the Welsh government has planted 15 million trees in Uganda and helped protect an area of tropical rainforest twice the size of its own country.
  7. And finally – Tasmanian Devil joeys have been born on mainland Australia for the first time in over 3,000 years! With the species now endangered due to the deadly devil facial tumour disease, conservationists launched a rewilding project 10 years ago, transferring 44 devils to a captive breeding site, Devil Ark, in Barrington Tops, New South Wales. More than 300 joeys have since been born on the site under human supervision.

See, hearing happy stories can have such a profound impact on how you feel and think. It might take a bit of digging to find them, but it’s worth it.

- The Coach Place Global.

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