Do You Have a Media Addiction?

Seeing President Obama and President Elect Trump shake hands this week may have felt like watching your parents make up after a grueling fight. You can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief! But how much is the political drama distracting you from moving forward in your own life?

During the election did you waste hours a day following the bitter brawl between the candidates? Are you now feeling a little empty that it’s all over? Is the madness continuing with the endless bantering back and forth between the followers of our political leaders?

Are you repeating dire predictions about the planet’s future, or defending the assertion that the world’s problems are now on their way to being fixed, to anyone whose ear you can catch?

Do you find yourself incessantly seeking information about what’s to come? Is your mind flashing constant images of the news of the day?

Or, now are you caught up in the endless media commentary—was their handshake sincere, awkward, tense, reconciling? Wow!

Today I asked myself, “When will it be enough?” Following the news is an addiction worth looking at with your conscious, analytical mind and asking yourself, “Is this how I am best served spending my time?”

Your Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind is just like a loyal servant following the boss’ command—the boss being your conscious mind. Until you consciously make a decision to stop, you will keep feeling the compulsion to continue, just like with any other addiction.

Our mind likes to rationalize our choices and the most common rationalization for staying glued to the news is, “I need to stay informed.”

Step back for a moment and ask yourself, “Why?” During some of the most productive years in my life, while I raised my two amazing daughters and traveling to hospitals and corporations all over the country delivering my hypnosis Wellness Seminar for Weight Control, inspiring thousands to lose weight and stop smoking, I never turned on the television (except when my weight loss program was being featured!).

While I lived in New York as a young adult, finishing my college education and beginning my career as a hypnotherapist, speaker and biofeedback therapist, I never even owned a TV. And there was no internet to speak of.

Are you afraid you’ll miss something?

Your mind is so worried that you’ll miss something. Trust me, when there was any news that I needed to know about, it was never a problem. When 9-11 happened, before the second plane hit the Trade Center, my phone was ringing.

I’m sure the same is true for you. You will not miss out on anything important by taking a break from the news and the social media chatter about who’s right and who’s wrong.

Why is taking such a break important? Because, in my view, the most important thing we have in our lives is our health – our mental, physical and emotional health.

Every time you see something upsetting, your body reacts. As a biofeedback therapist, I have seen the physical evidence of how a single thought can increase your blood pressure, elevate your heart rate, constrict your blood vessels and make your brain wave pattern erratic.

These responses in your body in turn increase your stress response and cause you to feel agitated. When you’re agitated you can’t think clearly and you’re more likely to get into an argument or choose an unproductive behavior.

It’s only with conscious awareness and mindfulness that you can witness yourself and realize that your choices don’t make sense.

When your body is in a high stress mode is when you are most likely to engage in overeating, binge eating, snacking, emotional eating, drinking, smoking, recreational drugs or any other unproductive behavior.

Isn’t it time to ask yourself, “Who am I and what do I want?” “What does my life stand for?” “How can I best use my time?” “What is the service I am here to provide?” If the service you are providing requires you to be uber informed with the moment to moment happenings in the media, then maybe it makes sense to stay ultra focused on the news.

Change Your Focus

But for most of us, taking a break and focusing on what we love, what we are here to share with others, and who we are becoming, makes a lot more sense.

I’m happy to see the politicians make an effort to reconcile past differences. They are setting a great role model for all of us. But the issue for me is, just as it didn’t make sense as a child to put all my focus on how my parents were getting along, why does it make sense as an adult to live vicariously through the lives of our leaders?

You are the leader in your own life. Freeing yourself up by taking a break from the chatter in the mind and the noise of the media can allow you to tap into your deeper heart and soul, connect to your higher purpose, and begin to emanate the qualities, thoughts, words and actions that will bring you closer to your dreams.

Doing so will also allow you to better serve the people around you and share your talents and gifts with the world, instead of staying addicted to other people’s dramas.

Please let me know your comments below. I love to hear your ideas which are as helpful to me as I hope mine are to you.

To Your Health & Happiness,

Rena

About the Author RENA GREENBERG

Rena Greenberg has had the privilege over the last 25+ years to work with over 100,000 people in 75 medical centers to help them lose weight without surgery.

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2 comments
kathleen says November 11, 2016

Hi Rena, I must thank you for this insightful article regarding Media Addiction. You are right on target. Many times while viewing campaign updates, I felt stressed and worried. It seemed that I was forced to recenter myself into my real world to break free! I found much more joy in my life by limiting viewing time and ignoring social media. As you remind me here in your blog, by engaging with my family and friends directly, I am living my own life, not someone else’s. Plus, as usual, following your suggestions are sure to help my frown lines disappear and bring my smile back!

Reply
    RENA GREENBERG says November 11, 2016

    Thank you, Kathleen! I appreciate your insights!

    Reply
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