#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.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you. I agree with the prayer but have to ask what Morning Pages are. I've never heard that term before. Love your idea of finding the cause of your stress. That's something I'll try, likely this week. :)
    4277 days ago
    Hello Lou,

    I liked all your suggestions except the housework. LOL

    Walking is great for anger. Walking is good for problem solving , maybe it is the fresh air getting to the brain. LOL

    A long soak in a tub with Epsom Salts great for tension.

    Stress: I try to figure out what is making me feel unhappy. I take a clean sheet of paper and draw a unhappy face at the top. Under it I list on the left side everything I can think of that makes me feel sad. On the right hand side I list all passable solutions then take action.

    Worry plus all the above I take my problems to The Lord. Others might not be available to us but he is on call 24 hours a day.

    I also find that writing Morning Pages does great for depression.
    4277 days ago
    This very true. I found that going for a short 20 min "hike" down and then up a steep hill when im very frustrated eradicated all my negative feelings at the point of high stress. I leave the walk more clear headed, knowing jy position and peaceful, sometimes even happy but never filled with negativity.

    You get a good short workout and you clear your head and deal with your problem. Much better than sitting down, wallowing in self pity, swallowing up an excess of unneeded calories and then going to bed filled with hate....
    4277 days ago
    You are so right!
    4278 days ago
  • SCORPION1352
    Great blog thanks so much

    4279 days ago
    All very good suggestions, Lou. Very helpful, indeed. I notice, too, that very rarely does the entertainment industry show anyone turning to God in prayer, turning to a Bible for instruction, turning to a pastor for wise counsel. Our nation could use a lot more of that, too.
    4279 days ago

    Um? Got me to thinking:)
    4279 days ago
  • DAISY910
    Great tips! Walking is my number one way of dealing with stress.
    4279 days ago
    This is brilliant and so true. Thanks for the gentle reminder. I stopped drinking almost 5 years ago and food has become somewhat of an alternative. Excercise has also. And yes, its tough to deal with problems solitary thats why I bring my cell phone on my big long walk!~ :) emoticon
    4279 days ago
    Right, Cindy. A new beginning can stat at any time. Doesn't have to be a new day but can be any time of day. A new beginning, a fresh start. -- Lou
    4279 days ago
    Recently I was struggling and feeling overwhelmed so what did I do I ate the candy bar. I really could have used this blog then. There is always today and tomorrow though Right? Thank you for this blog.
    4279 days ago
    Thanks for sharing, that is very insightful
    God Bless
    4279 days ago
    Amen and thanks!
    4279 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.