I was sifting through my daily e-mail when I got to the Yoga Journal Daily Digest:
The abiding and self-congratulatory myth regarding Americans and relaxation is that we’ve got too much on our plates. But as a culture, clearly we have underdeveloped ideas about nothingness. While we’re indeed busy, most of us aren’t too busy, not by a long shot. More than half of Americans spend at least four hours a day watching TV, according to Nielson reports.
“The majority of Americans are doing what I call default relaxation activities, which yield lower levels of process benefits,” says Juliet Schor, author of Overworked American (Basic, 1993) and a professor of sociology at Boston College. Process benefits are the pastimes correlated with higher levels of human satisfaction. “Watching TV and shopping, for example, are shown to have low process benefits,” says Schor.
Tara Mathur, a meditation teacher at the international Art of Living Foundation in San Francisco, says, “In modern society, when we say we’re tired, we usually mean our mind is tired.” Often, though, we fail to listen up and give it a rest. Instead, we hunker down on the couch with the remote in hand. “With TV, you’re adding input rather than clearing out or cleansing. In a way, your mind is going to be even more tired when you’re done.” Liz Newby-Fraser, academic dean at the California Institute for Human Science, explains this in physiological terms. “Watching two hours of television is not relaxation. With TV, there are stimuli that activate the sympathetic nervous system, rather than the parasympathetic, which is associated with real rest.”
It really makes you think…what am I doing to my body? But then I don’t worry because I have a VCR and I tape my shows all week and then sit there on Friday nights watching TV before going to bed early. Can I just say I can’t wait for the NEW CW! Fall Season starts Sunday Sept 24! Ok and I’m done. Back to work with me.