How to use your TV to increase happiness in your life…really!
I hate the month of January, and I know I’m not alone. The holidays are over, it’s dark and freezing outside, and I’m generally in the midst of three or four miserable resolutions aimed at getting back to my pre-December trouser size. It pretty much feels like a case of the Mondays—for 31 days straight.
For the less enthusiastic amongst us the thought of physically trying to drag ourselves out of the winter blues e.g. snowball fights, skiing, slipping on the ice in the park, whatever, is not as palatable as a passive way in to gearing up for the New Year.
As proud couch potatoes here at AB Aerials we like to advocate (only for a short duration of course!!) some serious “getting to know your TV” and get happy doing it whilst banishing the heavy over hanging cloud that is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
In terms of hours, watching TV is probably the world’s most popular pastimes and it’s the most common free-time activity – for an average of about five hours a day. It’s a source of relaxing fun.
But while television is a good servant, it’s a bad master. It can swallow up huge amounts of time, without much happiness bang for the buck.
Here are nine tips for keeping TV-watching a source of happiness:
- Watch TV with someone else. We enjoy all activities more when we’re with other people, and we tend to find things funnier when we’re with other people. Use TV as an excuse to get together. Sports TV, awards TV (the Oscars), competitionTV particularly on ITV, cult TV (Luther BBC1), and event TV (Dancing on Ice ITV) in particular, are a lot more fun to watch with other people. In fact, you can even…
- Use TV as a bridge. If you’re having trouble connecting with someone – your sweetheart or your teenager, say – try joining that person when they are watching TV (even if it’s football or Jeremy Kyle (heaven forbid )which may not necessarily be your favourite). Watching TV is companionable, you share an experience, you can comment on the action here and there for a bit of conversation It’s a way of showing someone that you want their company and engaging in a low-key, pleasant, undemanding way.
- Recording allows you to watch a particular show according to your own schedule and mood. Most important: if you’re sleepy, don’t stay up late to watch TV! Record a show, and finish watching it another time! Since I started my happiness project, I’ve become a sleepnut. Sleep is so crucial to energy, mood, and health.
- Don’t record shows. Anticipationis an important aspect of happiness. Looking forward to a certain day and time so will heighten the pleasure you’ll take in your favourite show. And it’s fun to think that you’re sitting down at the same time with people across the country to see what’s next on Eastenders. Also, you’ll be able to enjoy reading about it right away (see #6), without worrying about spoilers.
- Enjoy the commercials. This is particularly easy if you rarely watch TV. An enormous amount of ingenuity and creativitygoes into commercials, and they can be fascinating if you pay attention. Not only that surprisingly we enjoy TV more when it’s interrupted by commercials – in my opinion.
- Learn about TV. The more you know about something, the more interesting it becomes. Read some TV criticism, read some interviews with the creative people involved in the show, become more knowledgeable.
- Don’t surf. Especially if you’re feeling frazzled and overwhelmed with multi-tasking, sit down, start watching, sink into the experience and stay on one channel. Let the show unfold in its time slot; don’t keep switching around to catch bits and pieces of other shows.
- Do surf. One of the joys of watching cable TV is the cornucopia of shows on display. As is oft remarked, “So many channels, yet so little to watch”, but nevertheless I loveseeing the variety of sports, music, pop culture, dance, movies of all sorts, old TV shows, religious programmes, history – it’s fascinating.
Of course there are a myriad of ways to watch TV nowadays and we at AB Aerials are here to help whether you want to watch programmes via Freeview (through an aerial) or Freesat or SKY (through a satellite dish). Increasingly programmes are streamed through Netflix, Amazon Prime and the like which require a decent Wi-Fi signal – again we can help you with that too.
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