What you see determines how you think.
How you think is determined by what you expose yourself to; TV is one of them.
It is kinda strange to think of watching TV as causing hurt because watching TV is fun, right? It's like the de-stress button for a lot of people. That is where you unwind. And so whether it's grabbing the edge of your seat while watching a suspense-filled thriller or reclining with a comedy flick, there's always something to entertain you on TV.
But the fact remains that too much TV watching is bad. Not just for your health but also for your self-esteem.
Your self-esteem is your inner mirror. It is how you see yourself. Whether you think you are smart or dumb, beautiful or ugly, fat or slim, it's all in your mind.
It can be influenced by upbringing, peer influence and opinion of colleagues or superiors at work.
But it is totally under your control.
You are responsible for how you feel about yourself. Not your mum, your best friend or teacher in grade 3.
The TV influences to a great deal how you think about yourself because it is one of the ways through which information enters your mind.
Studies have shown that while 99% of homes own at least one television, the average person spends 5 hours a day watching TV.
From this, we cannot deny the impact of TV. Although, some may argue that there are benefits to watching TV, the negative effect is usually in the number of hours spent and what is viewed in that time.
3 Major Ways that TV impacts negatively on our lives, and our self-esteem are:
It's not who you are that's holding you back, it's what you think you are not. -- Anonymous.
The TV today portrays images that suggest how you should look, feel, dress, eat, in fact, live your entire life.
So you have reality shows, movies and adverts that imply that beautiful women are tall, slim and voluptuous, with a size 6 waist. Haaa.
This leaves one with a feeling of less-than-perfect. Lacking.
A young woman who constantly sees this will feel compelled to be like the model she admires. And she will do just about anything. This results in eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
This also works for the men. You mull over images of how a successful man should look, dress and what car he should drive. When you compare that image with yourself, you become depressed because you are a far cry.
A lot of guys go into shady deals and crime because they want to live up to a certain image of success in their minds.
A study conducted by the Indiana University found that TV viewing can alter a child's self-esteem. Some kids tend to feel worse about themselves after viewing various shows on TV. Of which black kids and white girls seem to top the chart.
If teens and adults can be affected by what they see on TV, you can just imagine the impact on children, who are at a very impressionable age.
For children, it's important for care givers and parents to screen what is being viewed so that they can help correctly interpret the messages passed.
For the adults, it's a bit easier. If it makes you feel bad about yourself, turn it off.
Reduced Mental Alertness
Mental alertness is the ability of the mind to be attentive; wide awake, keen.
Studies conducted on a group of young people showed that people who watched more than 3 hours of TV per day on average over the next 25 years were more likely to perform poorly on certain cognitive tests, compared with people who watched little TV.
And so you not only waste valuable time when you spend hours in front of the TV, you are hurting your mental ability.
Your self-esteem is boosted by your ability to think smart and participate in meaningful conversations.
When this ability is taken away from you by TV, you lack confidence in yourself and find ways to hide from people or refuse to engage with people. You become withdrawn and anti-social.
Instead of watching TV, you can read.
When you read, you discover new things, understand more about what you already know and are able to see new perspectives to issues.
Reading develops the mind. The mind is like a muscle and reading is to the mind what exercise does to muscles of the body.
Learning a new language and playing mentally-challenging games like puzzles and crosswords, are also great for developing your mind. Aside the traditional games like Sudoku, many others are now available online and as mobile apps.
For instance, the brain games offered by Neuronation, are mentally challenging and fun to play. the thing i like about them is that you can play them anywhere and when you get back to your work/task, you feel more alert and energized.
This is as obvious as it gets. For majority of people, they spend hours watching TV.
The reduced activity causes weight gain especially for those who spend more than four hours a day watching TV.
It takes up the time you could have been exercising or engaging in a physical activity.
It has also been linked to increased risk of diabetes. You sure don't want that!
Your health is important to your self-esteem and when you become sick, you don't feel motivated or empowered to do even the tiniest of tasks.
In order to boost your self-esteem, try out new activities, challenges or do something for fun. Outdoors, I mean. Hahaha.
Put a hold on "me time," and get to know the next person. This will do miracles for your self-esteem.
And also applies to mobile devices too. When you take the time to get to know someone, pay a sincere compliment or do an act of kindness, you feel good about yourself.
Wouldn't you rather end your day feeling like you made someone smile? Like you actually made a difference. This is something your TV will not give you.
It's up to you.
You decide the direction your life should go. And if it means turning off the TV, please do.
Your future self will thank you for it. *winks*
Ruth Zubairu is a Mindset Empowerment Coach. She helps young women identify and overcome limiting mind patterns so they can live the life of their dreams.
PS: 4 out of 5 people struggle with low self esteem? Get the checklist to find out your status!