The effect of media on our life and our mental health
Have you ever felt after watching a movie on TV that you might be having an illness you didn’t even know about, having adrenaline running through your body because the sales is on tomorrow in your favorite store and dreaming about your next holiday as you just found out you could possibly get another loan from a bank?
We voluntarily sit down every day to be washed over by media. Movie that is usually 90 minutes long keeps you entertained for nearly 2 hours and a half. I know good old Netflix, right?
While you complain about all the adverts that keeps disturbing your experience by the end of the movie you know your favorite store has a sale on at the moment and you also wonder if you need those sleeping pills you saw earlier on as you haven’t been sleeping well for a while.
Not only you are annoyed, but at the same time excitement is running through your body as you are planning your shopping trip and you are stressed as you might be suffering from insomnia.
Then you sit down at your laptop to check your latest notifications on your Facebook and more adverts starts flooding your news feed, “super deals” here and there.
“Hmm… I was looking at a flight from Prague to Greece and now it’s here over on my Facebook page. What is happening?”
We feel like we’re being constantly watched. Life turned into a Big Brother show. You feel like people can read your mind. You can’t hide. You’re being followed and chased to another “50% special offer” as what if someone else buys it before you and it’s gone FOREVER.
It’s just another hunger games who am I trying to trick here. We end up buying things we don’t even need. Black Friday is the best example.
Media makes us feel to want things. They create the neediness inside us, that craving feeling like we can’t actually imagine living without that dress or that holiday.
But what if you can’t have it all?
Maybe you could get that loan you saw on TV but this chatter in your head will start talking to you “How would you pay it off? What if you can’t pay it off? What if something goes wrong with the house and you will need the money later?”
Or you really want to go for that holiday but you just can’t afford it right now.
Emotions start flooding your body and you feel hopeless. Your heart is beating fast and you feel anxious without actually taking any action.
It feels normal as we’re so used to stress in our lives that we don’t even realize its presence anymore. Stress at work, at home with kids, while having a conversation with your partner.
“Work was so stressful today.”
“Omg, you stressed me out.”
Have you noticed how often you refer to stress or being busy on a daily basis?
There is not such a thing as a stressful situation. Feeling stressed is our reaction to our everyday demands. It’s our choice we keep choosing voluntarily every single day.
The resistance to our daily demands according to a recent study is influenced by our ability to adapt to those situations according to external and internal resources we have available to us.
It’s obvious from this research that our ability to cope with situations and events in our life depends on our history, what we have been through as individuals, for instance, divorce of your parents when you were little, being abused in past relationship, being bullied at school etc.
When we are stressed we often react without thinking as we tend to use the left part of our brain more stopping the right part of our brain from its creativity from exploring our zone of genius.
As a writer, Emily Fletcher says “Why would we be given 50-50 brain if we were supposed to be using 80-20?”
The study also mentioned that people exposed to a daily stress can develop mental health problems like PTSD, anxiety, depression or even heart diseases.
But my question is: With the power that media has over our lives nowadays why they keep offering us just those “quick fixes”?
(Quick fixes = material things, alcohol, drugs, food just to name a few)
Would pharmaceutical firms go bankrupt once people will realize they have the power to heal within themselves? (in many cases)
Are we just keep walking through life blindfolded?
The work of media is to evoke emotions in us. Yes, you know you don’t need that chocolate bar but it just looks so tempting and welcoming and especially in that new packaging. You are on your way to your closest supermarket before you even know it.
What if the advert on TV would tell you “You can’t fall asleep every night? Do you keep waking up many times a night and you feel like you haven’t slept for weeks? Meditate daily! Here is an 8-week program to help you to better your sleep.”
I can just imagine people going crazy, “What? 8 weeks? I can’t wait that long. Where are my pills?”
There are studies in progress at the moment to prove that mindfulness-based meditation can help people who suffer from mental health illnesses – depression, PTSD or anxiety.
There are people who managed to heal from cancer and other illnesses just by changing their diet and their belief system.
We let the years of stress accumulated in our bodies to make us believe that there is no other way than those “quick fixes”. Years go by and with stress hand in hand also our scarcity level grows.
Have you ever wondered why when you were little you used to love skiing and now you can’t even imagine to stand at the top of a slope? The fear of breaking your legs, not being able to go to work and all the struggle this one day could cause.
You take loans because you don’t believe you could ever have a job that will allow you to make that kind of money.
You take all kinds of drugs because the adverts on TV or online make you believe that that’s the help you need.
You buy that beautiful dress because they made you believe you can look as beautiful as that girl in the advert.
The beautiful thing is that you are free to believe anything you want to.
I’ve myself suffered from depression and anxiety since I was little. Until 2 year ago. I had no clue how to solve my situation other than to find a professional help but the scarcity of spending the rest of my life on antidepressant stopped me.
I believed there is another way. I read books and started to search for people who went down a similar path as me or people who “magically” healed themselves from cancer.
I was amazed, but at the same time shocked that people don’t talk about this more. I knew if people could heal themselves from cancer I can heal myself from a depression.
I was experimenting with myself and with my body.
I’ve changed my diet massively and I’m partly vegan at the moment. I’ve implemented meditation into my daily routine and other mindfulness exercises like journaling and visualization. I’ve never been calmer in my whole life and I’ve not been ill since I quit eating meat and most animal products 10 months ago (previous my transformation I was on antibiotics 4 times in a space of 5 months).
Your mind is a powerful tool if you let it to be.
It’s easy to manipulate your brain as it easily believes what you tell it or what others tell it.
Be aware of what you keep “feeding” your mind with every single day as that’s what creates the reality you are living right now. Grow your self-awareness and be present in the moment.