Top Reasons to Consider Cutting Back on Television
The vast majority of us walk around in a state that can be described as ‘wired but tired’. That is to say that we’re constantly alert, jittery and focused. We’ve spent all day focused on work, on a screen or one some other kind of technology and we find it very hard to switch off.
At the same time though, we’re also burned out from this experience and find it very difficult to switch off and relax. It’s like you’re a zombie being kept alive on pure caffeine and technology – unable to sleep.
But the problem is that we don’t seem to recognize this. Or at least we don’t recognize the nature of the problem or how to fix it. And as such, we end up making matters worse for ourselves.
For example: if you’ve spent all day working at the computer and you can’t switch off as a result, the last thing you want to do is to then come home and watch another screen. That’s right: I’m talking about the TV and it’s time you cut back!
The Problem With TV
The problem with TV is that it causes us to experience a stress response, very similar to the one that we experience when we’re working or doing anything else that requires lots of focus. The reason for this is firstly that watching TV requires a lot of focus and energy. It’s a moving image that tricks your brain into thinking something important is happening. Your brain produces dopamine and norepinephrine as a result and you end up fixed to the screen.
At the same time, the screen itself also increases cortisol. When you watch the TV, the light that gets produced is very similar to the light created by the sun. As such, your brain thinks it’s day and prevents you from feeling sleepy later on.
Worse, the TV prevents you from talking with family, from letting your mind wander or from just kicking back and relaxing. You’re still ‘on’ right up to the moment you go to bed and you’re missing out on everything around you!
The solution is to cut back. That doesn’t mean that you have to cut out TV entirely but just learn how to watch it less and how to avoid the kind of ‘mindless’ TV watching that you really don’t need. Watch things because you want to watch them and make it into an event. Don’t watch TV for the sake of watching TV!