How to Have More Life in Your Time

TELEVISION IS A GREAT device for creating a little diversion when you want to give your mind a break. It's one of the few things we can do that doesn't present any challenge whatsoever. The problem is, the people who design the programming and the commercials don't want you to just take a little break and get back to living. They want you to keep watching. And over the years, they've developed hundreds of effective techniques to keep us hooked, and they're getting better at it all the time.

Studies at the University of Chicago found that when people are engaged in an activity like reading, talking, or pursuing a hobby, they become happier. Research also shows that the longer a person sits in front of a TV, the more irritable and dissatisfied they become. TV is entertaining, but it presents no challenge. Our minds and bodies start going stir crazy without a challenge. That's bad enough, but on top of that, commercials are specifically designed to make you feel dissatisfied (so you will buy their product to satisfy your "need").

You've got better things to do. If you want to gain more freedom from your television, try one of these ideas:

  1. For one month, only watch videos no TV with its seductive and addictive programming.
  2. Cancel your cable: You'll save money and you'll have fewer stations to entice you.
  3. Unplug the TV for a week.

Everyone in your household may thrash about like an addict in withdrawal, but hold firm and you'll see something remarkable: more human interaction, more walks together at sunset, more pursuits of hobbies, more reading. These are all things that aren't as easy as TV, but are more satisfying and rejuvenating.

Wean yourself away from your TV. Make it merely a peripheral activity something you do once in awhile. Try one of the ideas above to protect yourself from the carefully-designed-to-be-addictive programming. You'll be glad you did.

Watch TV only once in awhile.

Here's a conversational chapter on optimism from a future book:
Conversation on Optimism


If worry is a problem for you, or even if you would like to simply worry less even though you don't worry that much, you might like to read this:
The Ocelot Blues

Learn how to prevent yourself from fallingMinto the common traps we are all prone to because of the structure of the human brain:
Thoughtical Illusions

next: How to Melt Hard Feelings

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, January 5). How to Have More Life in Your Time, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Last Updated: March 31, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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