It is very difficult, but I have been working hard to not be so glued to stimulating entertainment. I did a curious, non-judgmental experiment for myself.
It’s only been 35 days without stimulating entertainment and it has provided me with a more vivid imagination, a greater patience for mental health issues, more calm during stressful/tense situations, and more dedicated time to spend on my connection with myself/health, other relationships, and my passions.
I see how this may look. But, my thoughts on sharing this truly came from seeing so many people being thrashed and torn up by the anxiety, depression, and loneliness in their lives, and it made me remember that I wish someone long ago shared the negative mental health impact of filling my downtime with entertainment like video games, movies, tv shows, and (the biggest mental health killer) porn.
I believed that veg-ing out after a long day, etc was downtime…was helpful…was healthy…that it released my stress. But, I have been realizing that, overtime, it tends to cause the opposite. As if I were running away from a problem, but I was attached to the problem by a massive rubber band (like Wile E. Coyote), and the farther I would run, the more elastic I would stretch to eventually be pulled back even farther and deeper into the problem.
The anxiety, stress, depression, and loneliness just stood still, stewed, and built up over time. The entertainment was distracting me from processing my day…connecting with myself and others…and it stole so much time from my potential inward and outward-action as “Kevin.”
I’ve had this thought and wanted to experiment with this since I was 20 years old…but maybe I never believed it…maybe I didn’t have any examples…and, truthfully, I remember being too scared to let my mind indulge in the pain, tension, anxiety, and loneliness. But, I’ve learned that if I just leave my mind alone as I observe it (without trying to control it)…it goes through a powerful and beautifully natural process to bring me back to the present after visiting with all that comes up.
Just throwing it out there as a dude working through levels upon levels of his own shit.
I may go back to watching a tv show or playing a game. But, I hope these experiences that I’ve had open the door to removing the glue.
P.S. I should mention that this doesn’t get rid of pain or suffering. Maybe that is obvious. But, I want to make it clear that negative emotions and experiences are a part of life. Removing the glue from stimulating entertainment has only helped with a more calm, collected, and clear response to pain.