Day 47 ~ 177 Days of Unexpected Health Project

Televised Health

I am not one to sit around and watch TV. I am uninterested in almost everything aired on cable (although I admit I still love a good “Grey’s Anatomy” episode). But tonight, as I plopped on the couch and turned on the ‘tube,’ I found the Unexpected Health appearing in ad, sitcom, and reality form…while watching television.

Now just to clarify, I am not advocating turning in your bike for a new 50″ plasma. I in no way think that watching TV should be your new hobby. But, I do find that sometimes a little ‘vegging out’ is necessary. Television programs and commercials (especially on SuperBowl Sunday) can be quite hysterical at times, and laughing–however and at whatever possible–is healthy. Laughing causes us to release feel-good chemicals called endorphins; being able to chuckle relaxes muscles, eases tension and lifts our mood; and laughing out loud increases your immune functioning. And if nothing else, TV definitely makes you laugh.

I get a kick out of all the ‘reality’ shows on TV these days. The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol…every time you change the channel, there is a new reality show that is as far from realistic as an Ashton Kutcher movie. But however unrealistic, they can be really funny. Cut to commercial:  why I find a guy’s gum flying out of his mouth while shooting down the side of a building in a painting scaffold hysterical is beyond me! But every single time I see that commercial, I cannot help but laugh out loud.

Sometimes we take life too seriously. We can dwell on all of our hardships, all of our stressors, and our endless To-Do lists. For that reason (and it may be one of the only reasons), TV is healthy. A little time ‘checking out’ of our hectic lives can actually be very beneficial time to remind ourselves to lighten up. When we are able to check out of our craziness if even for an episode, we allow ourselves a healthy diversion. So the next time you are teetering between working an extra half hour or calling it a day, consider a little laughing time–even a little TV time–a worthwhile use of time. If nothing else, watching these endless unrealistic reality shows might make you feel a little better about your own life. -Until tomorrow, Jaime

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