Friday, November 21, 2008

Not sure if you're happy? How much TV do you watch?

The NY Times just put out an article discussing a recent study about an activity that happy people do less of - watch TV.

This doesn't really surprise me because happiness tends to be an active, engaging state. And let's face it, there aren't that many amazing things on TV that leave us feeling upbeat.

Crime shows, news, reality TV, infomercials, lame sitcoms are the majority of what's available - these are not themes that lead us feeling upbeat - usually because we do it far longer than our interests really last.

Unlike socializing, going to church and reading newspapers (some of the other activities the study mentions) - where we take an active role, and when we're feeling done we move on, the shows keep coming, but it's hard to turn off the TV.

What can you do? (in increasing order of TV time)

  • Get out of the house
  • Throw out your TV so you're forced to do other things
  • Make activities around the home as easy to initiate as turning on the TV (and put reminders on the remote to remind you of them)
  • Set up a timer so you only watch a certain amount - turning off the alarm should require getting up
  • Only watch shows you find uplifting

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