Can Watching too Much TV be the end of a Happy Life?

One of our interviewees in Don't Forget Your Sweater, Girl shared the following story:


I know many of us don’t have a lot of things to fill our day but have you ever considered the downsides of watching too much TV? Just think… you are sitting and not being active. You are sitting there not burning calories and potentially adding to any weight issues. I don’t know about you but when I watch TV, I eat lots of junk food. And what about the stress TV can generate? Sometimes after watching the news I can barely think straight. One day I added up the amount of TV I watched in one week and just about fell over. Monday-Friday I was watching 5 hours and then on the weekend up to 6 hours with football and movies for a whopping grand total of 37 hours. Yikes, that’s well over a full day of watching TV. I knew I had to do something because 37 hours told me I was wasting my life. I made a rule for myself, which I am very good at, and said, No more than 2 hours a day. That’s it… no more than 2 hours. Oh was that ever hard. The hardest part was finding something to fill up the remaining (37-14=23) hours I had to spare. Cutting down on TV felt almost like when I quit smoking; lots of nervous energy with nothing to do. Well, I read a ton of books, gardened, tried to bake some new recipes, and then signed up for a photography class at the Senior Center. I tried to find things to do that involved being engaged in something rather than passively sitting in front of the TV. It’s been almost a year now and I feel so much better about my life. I have more friends, am happier, and think my mind is even sharper than ever. I can truthfully say, cutting down my TV time was one of the most challenging things I have done in a very long time. But I can also say gaining back (23 x 365) = 8,395 hours per year has been a real plus for me personally. Maybe next, I’ll start on cutting back on my wine intake… nahhhhh!

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