#34: Life Isn't Like On TV
Sunday, August 02, 2009
On television, the script seems to always be the same. When a woman is stressed and depressed, she talks about her problems with a girlfriend while they eat ice cream from a container. When a man has a problem he heads to the local bar to commiserate with his drinking buddies over beer.
The talking part is fine. It helps to have another person's point of view and support. But the ice cream and beer can kill your day's fitness plan.
What we don't ever seem to see on TV when a character faces a stressful time is the person heading out for a long walk or run or to the gym to blow off some steam.
These would not only be healthier options than choosing ice cream and beer but will contribute significantly to a fitness plan. So why do TV script writers not include them? Because it's not as dramatic to have someone run or lift weights in order to help relieve their stress. Both are solitary pursuits and do not lend themselves to discussion that will carry the TV story forward.
In your own life, though, having a trusted confidant is not always an option. And, trying to handle your problems by yourself can be very difficult.
So what do you do if no one is around to talk to and you need to let go of anger, frustration, irritation or worry?
Here are a few options that will keep your fitness plan on track. They may not be as glamorous as those offered on television, but they have been proven to work in the past.
Walk away from the problem. Even a short walk outside has been shown to contribute to better health. Take a long walk if time permits. Walk, or jog, until you have mentally released the problem facing you and have relieved yourself of your negative feelings. Experience the endorphine high that comes from exertion.
Work in the yard. Cut grass, trim bushes or plant new flowers. Anything to get your body active.
Clean house. Not as classy an act as on a soap opera perhaps but a hard cleaning of the tub or floors or de-cluttering not only helps ease away tension but also contributes to a more enjoyable living area.
Soak in hot water either in a tub or in a shower or a sauna if one is available. Let the heat soothe your muscles while it helps your mind gain the peacefulness you need. A shower sends off massive amounts of negative ions that contribute to a feeling of well-being and the hot water massaging your neck and shoulders works wonders at relieving tension.
Ice cream admittedly tastes great and drinking, for a while, numbs the senses to a degree, but physical activity or relaxing moments will not only help you better cope with your difficulties but will also foster better mental and overall health.
These activities most assuredly are not as glamorous as those shown on television but, after all, you're not on TV. You have a real life with real problems and you must find ways to cope with these problems. If you don't, they will lead you into unhealthy behaviors, poor mental health and the self-loathing that very often comes from getting off track and giving in to temptation.
It's easy to go for the quick fix to a stressful situation, but try one of the activities described above instead.
Your mind and your body will be better off because you did.