Are you like many North Americans who get home from a hard day of work and sit in front of the television to numb the day away? I know I used to be. There is comfort in tuning out the mind and just letting go. The television is the quickest way to escape our daily routine and forget all our troubles and now with whole seasons of shows available online, binge watching has become a big part of some people’s lives.
I used to watch an average of 4 hours of television each night. How many do you watch? About 12 years ago I moved from Toronto, Canada to a small town in British Columbia, Canada called Golden. That was my first experience without having a television. WHAT A SHOCK! No TV? Why not, how do you live without it? What do you spend your time doing? These were my first reactions and my friends and family back home where just as confused. It never occurred to me that I could live without television. So much of my youth and adult years revolved around using the TV to escape my days and avoid reality. I know now that many of my health ailments such as being overweight, pre-diabetic and suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder had to do with my many hours in front of the television.
Here are just a few of the many reasons why television has negative consequences to your health:.
1. Eating while watching
It almost seems as if eating goes hand in hand with watching television. Don’t you agree? Not only did I consume large amounts of processed food while watching television, my portion sizes where way over the top. How many of you have trouble controlling what you eat and how much you eat while vegging out in front of the TV? This only leads to weight gain as well as many other ailments when done long term.
2. Not active
This is a no brainer. It is hard to be active while sitting on the couch eating chips, cookies and peanuts all night. If you use the television while working, that is a much healthier option.
3. Never really got to know yourself
I do not recall a time in the past where I took a moment and spent some real honest time with myself. There was always a TV or video game running to ensure that I did not have to face how I was truly feeling, which was very unhealthy and depressed. Being disconnected from your relationship to yourself and how you feel is only exasperated by the use of television.
Limit Your TV Time
It’s amazing what you can discover about yourself when you no longer have a television or reduce the amount of time you sit in front of it. I often get asked, “what do you do without it?” I love this question because it gets to the heart of reconnecting to your relationship with who you are and how you feel. So many of us do not want to acknowledge how we feel. WHY NOT? For most of us, if we ask this question we will not like the answer and that also means we will have to do something about it.
Having to do something about our health often brings pain and we will do everything to avoid pain and anything to gain pleasure. The television is instant pleasure. When you find yourself saying “everything is OK”, you are essentially giving up. If this is you, it is time to create something different.
Since I stopped saying “everything is OK” and began engaging how I felt, my life has evolved into a healthy, beautiful and vibrant existence. You can experience this as well. If you want support along the way, give me a call and I will set you up with a coaching program that will make it easy for you to experience a healthy shift. You just need to want it bad enough.
Next time you go to sit in front of the television or your computer, why not STOP and do one of the exercises below.
1. Put on some music and cook
Put on some tunes and pick up that recipe book you always wanted to try and chose a healthy option for dinner.
There are thousands of free guided meditations available online. Pick one and enjoy a 20 minute meditation.
3. Get outside
Go for a walk, ask a friend or a family member to join you for some quality catch-up time.