Have you heard of "flow"?
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote a book called, "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience."
When you're in the flow, you're happy, feeling connected, and focused on what you're doing. It's the intense concentration of enjoying an activity to the point that time stands still. Three hours means nothing.
"High-flow" is when you're doing things that fit the above description.
"Low-flow" is the opposite. You're not focused, not engaged, time drags. You're a lump.
This study brings us to this weeks lesson: Television.
Watching television is one of the lowest flow activities out there. It requires next to nothing from you, and it's addictive. The study confirmed that television viewing sucks your energy, not just your time.
And it does that to the tune of 6 hours per day for the average American.
That's 42 hours a week!
But you affirm you're not a T.V. addict. That you couldn't possibly be spending that much time zoning in front of the tube.
Have you logged the time? Make a quick mental run through of the hours the television is on. Letting the morning news rumble in the background as you get ready for work does count.
I'll wait. Have a rough number?
Now that you have a clearer idea.
How fast could you accomplish your bucket list if you gave up television?
No television for one week, none, zero, zilch.
Is the panic setting in, pulse racing, palms sweaty, anxiety crushing your chest?
Yeah, your not an addict--no.
Going cold turkey may not be reasonable. Can you breathe now?
After all, your spouse or kids may have a melt down.
You could let them watch, while you remove yourself from the siren's call and do other things.
What could we do in stead?
I have a neighbor that runs marathons. A friend takes classes. One in learning to knit, another is sewing quilts for charity. A few are writing novels. Start a business.
Here's a unique idea. We could spend time creating relationships with real people, rather than the empty, voyeuristic, fake connection with the television.
What do we do when we sit before the T.V?
We watch other people have a life.
Turn off the television and create a life of your own!
You deserve to experience the flow and joy of living.
Don't sit back as a spectator. Do!
In your journal, jot down the time spent in front of the T.V. or having it on to keep you company.
Many of us suppress emotions by checking out before the tube. Turning it off may allow feelings to surface. That's good. We have the opportunity to deal with things we've avoided.
Avoidance doesn't change anything or make it better.
As emotions come up, write about them in your journal.
I want to hear from you.
FYI: Reading is not low flow. It makes you visualize, use your mind, and think. It's a focused activity.
No need to feel guilty about a good book.