Less Television = Happier and Longer Life


This article by Natural Maven called Ten Ideas for Enjoying Your Life More is pretty darn good.

Not surprisingly, one of the items is to ditch the television. I’ve recently read a more in-depth description of why tv watching reduces our happiness, and it was pretty interesting – it said your brain gets trained toward drama and makes your ordinary life seem boring by comparison, which leads to unhappiness and significantly increases the risk for depression.

If that’s not enough there’s the 2010 Australian study showing higher risk of death from television viewing! And if you need a bit more verification, the 2012 study analyzing data from the NHANES found that limiting time watching television to less than 2 hours per day added 1.38 years of life. Cutting total daily sitting time to less than 3 hours increased life expectancy by 2 full years. The study followed 166,738 survey respondents for almost 10 years.

Cutting tv time is something I want to start doing, but it’s difficult. I think probably because we are often tired in the evening and it’s become a cheap, lazy habit. I irrationally worry we won’t spend much time together if I go do something else instead. I don’t actually know that this is true. I do know that I will have to take the lead if I want to do this for myself, and that’s probably the hardest part.

It occurs to me that I might make a start by tracking the amount of time spent, so I can have the cold, hard facts for motivation! So here’s your challenge and mine: count your tv time for a week and share what you found!

About Cynthia M Clingan

Cynthia Clingan is a licensed professional clinical counselor in Columbus, Ohio who offers somatic psychotherapy, spiritual coaching, and meditation and mindfulness instruction.
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