TV Addiction: How to Tell If You're Addicted to Television And How to Break Free From the Tube
The average TV set is on for eight hours and 14 minutes a day in U.S. homes, according to Nielsen Media Research. Meanwhile, per person, Americans watch an average of 4 hours and 35 minutes of television every day.
If this seems a tad excessive, consider that the Nielsen survey also found that the typical American home has more TV sets than people; an average of 2.73 TVs for 2.55 people.
What's wrong with watching all that TV? Studies have linked it to everything from obesity to aggression in children to even interfering with your hormones. Not to mention that it puts your mind into a sort of sedated state.
'When we watch TV we deaden ourselves to the world and find we need more and more external stimulation just to get going,' says Hale Dwoskin, author of 'The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-being' and CEO and Director of Training of Sedona Training Associates.
Are You Addicted to Television?
TV addictions can sneak up on you and take hold before you ever realize there's a problem. This is because TV is so pervasive in our lives that you can easily spend hours in front of the tube without it feeling like you did. There are warning signs, however, which include:
- Using the TV to help you fall asleep or wake up
- Leaving the TV set on all the time (or most of the time)
- Not calling friends or talking to your family because you're watching TV
- Canceling (or not making any) plans because a TV show you like is on
- Finding that you spend hours watching TV when you only intended to watch for 15 minutes
- Having a TV in every room of the house
- Knowing what time it is based on what TV program is on
- Finding it difficult to turn the TV off
- Using the TV as a distraction when you're upset, stressed, lonely or anxious
How to Break Your TV Addiction
If TV has taken hold of your life, here are the tips you need to set yourself free:
- Delay watching TV. To start, just try to put off turning on the TV and do something else enjoyable. Meanwhile, use The Sedona Method to let go of and release the feeling motivating you to watch TV.
- "You will find yourself gradually weaning yourself from TV," Dwoskin says. "Also, releasing generates the same inner relaxation you may have gotten from watching TV, but without the deadness. Instead you'll feel increased energy to live life more fully."
- Plan other activities. Arm yourself with fun activities, like going to the gym, playing board games with your family, walking the dog or reading a good book, so that you won't even be tempted to turn on the tube.
- Look at the bright side. Instead of focusing on the fact that you won't be able to watch so much TV, focus on the fact that you'll have more time (maybe even four hours or more per day) to get things done, relax and spend with your friends and family. You may even find you have time to take up a hobby you've always admired, like gardening, gourmet cooking or collecting.
- Rearrange your living space. Most of us have homes that make it very easy to turn on the TV from bed, from the kitchen table, from the couch. Move around your furniture so the TV is no longer the focal point of the room, or get the TV out of the room altogether. You'll be much less tempted to watch TV if you have to, say, go down in the basement to do so.