Two of our staff members at Goodwin Investment Advisory, Tara Bruce our Creative Brand Manager, and Justin Pitcock, one of our Certified Financial Planners, do not watch TV. Why have they decided to turn off the TV?
Justin said, “I don’t watch TV because it’s an easy distraction from things that matter. Whether it’s doing chores around the house, investing in the relationships with important people in my life, reading/learning, or having down time to think and create. Watching TV sucks me into a “black hole” and ends up being a waste of time. I would rather relax by browsing through an interesting magazine or reading about an interesting topic.”
Tara says she doesn’t watch TV because, “I realize it didn’t align with my priorities and it was a distraction and not something that gave me rest and rejuvenation after engaging with it. I instead use my rest time to be outdoors in nature, meditating, reading, playing with my kids, and spending quality time with my husband. This means being intentional about creating conversations, or time to dance, time to play games and interact, as well as family walks in the woods. We do however have an occasional family movie night with popcorn that we eat with chopsticks because it is more fun, and you don’t get the butter all over you.”
We would like to encourage you to give up watching TV for a few days or even for a month and replace it with something that actually gives you rest and relaxation. You should always work from a place of rest instead of resting from work. In addition, choosing not to watch TV allows you to dictate the things you allow to affect you, especially if you are choosing to watch the news with all the focus on fear and negativity. Our access to knowledge today is a blessing and a curse. We know at super-fast speed all the terrible things happening all over the world. This affects us and although we don’t like to admit it, the brain is much more interested in bad news than good news. This has a lot to do with the amygdala – a.k.a. our lizard brain, which is doing its job in helping us survive. For ancient cave dwellers this built-in interest in bad news was helpful but today’s overflow of bad news increases our stress levels, and reduces our joy and connectedness to our family and friends. If the amygdala is like an appetite the best way to kill it is not to feed it.
Have you ever heard of the Tale of Two Wolves?
An old Cherokee was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This is true — what you allow into your mind and what you choose to feed your mind with grows and ultimately wins! So, if you do continue to watch TV and the news, pay attention to what you are allowing to fuel you and what you are listening to and watching. Ask yourself: Is this good for me to give my attention to? Could I be doing something more enriching, or uplifting?
Some practices to replace watching TV that help bring rest:
Practice meditation by having at least a one-minute pause throughout the day in between different activities to combat the noise.
Exercise – this always helps reduce stress and can get you out of fight or flight response.
Read a book – scrolling on your phone moves your eyes up and down which does not promote rest, it actually gives you dopamine hits. When you read a book the left to right eye movement helps calm your body and is a good practice before bed.
Laugh – did you know that laughter has been scientifically proven to heal – it really is the best medicine. Each different sound of laughter brings healing to a different part of the body. HA, HE, HI, HO, HU…
Spend quality time with people you love – interact with a game, or by dancing, or just enjoying intentional conversation. Here are some game suggestions from our staff families: