It doesn’t take a scientific study to showcase the effects of video images on our health. However, I’ll share with you a tidbit from a Psychology Today article that I read on the topic of screen time. While there are both positive and negative influences of video interface, I’m going to focus on the ‘negative’ consequences, both from a personal social study, as well as studies done by other professionals.
As most of you have probably read, screen time can lead to similar addictive behaviors as drug addictions. This means that, the same chemicals that lead to that need for ‘just one more’, has the same effects in our brains and nervous system. More screen time leads to more need for screen time.
Additionally, watching events unfold onscreen whether they’re real or dramatized, our brains don’t actually know the difference. What happens, is that the brain processes the information, and it’s stored there for future reference. Simultaneously, because our unconscious mind doesn’t decipher what we’re seeing as real or fictional, your body’s physiology will respond accordingly…this is why we cry at sad scenes, get excited during a car chase, or yell at the villain onscreen. We actually go to watch something because we desire the emotions that they create in us. Years later, those same movie images can run across your mind’s screen and evoke the same emotions.
You’ve had all of these experiences, right? I know I have over a very long lifetime of movie and TV watching. I still get chills from remembering scenes from ‘The Exorcist’ and laugh when I think of Will Ferrell in ‘The Land of the Lost’ (yes, now the cat’s out of the bag….I’m a huge Will Ferrell fan).
The purpose of the information I’m passing along to you is this:
If you’ve been following along with me to this point, I hope that you’re learning to listen to your own body when it comes to facing any situation. Media is another one of these life-areas to watch out for.
If you’re having difficulty winding down after a long day, I have some suggestions for you.
If you’re at a place in your life that you’re working on staying in a relaxed, neutral, calm place (as much as possible), I’d suggest finding some uplifting documentaries, easy ‘Masterpiece Theater’ programs, and light shows. I’ve loved watching Eckhart Tolle right before bed, because his energy is so calm and his message is all about living in the present, which, I believe is one of the greatest way to self-heal. There’s SO much out there that’s uplifting, enjoyable, and fun!
My Challenge to you this week:
Every single time you sit down (or stand) to watch ANYTHING, take a moment to do a self-assessment. This is what to check:
If you’re noticing any of the above ‘symptoms’ of stress, here are some suggestions:
I’ve been wanting to share this with you for awhile now. I think that what we watch has an incredible, invisible impact on our mental and emotional states. This is just one more area to be aware of while on your journey to overall health.
I hope this gives you another tool in your tool kit to help move you that much closer to being present with yourself and heal.