Media is a major stressor. This script (that reads like an exercise) helps its readers and listeners to engage more consciously with media. It is a mindfulness practice different than formal meditations. However, it offers us deeper insights into the way we engage with technology.
Just as you take food into your body, consuming both healthy and not-so-healthy options, you also consume media throughout the day by listening to music, watch TV, read the news, and so on. Although these may provide knowledge and entertainment, they can also create anxiety and stress in our minds and bodies or take us away from our connection to the mind.
The Mindful Media exercise offers a few different ways to bring mindfulness to these moments of consumption. They don’t necessarily need to be done step-by-step but it’s an easy way to organize things ;0)
First, consider what the impact may be of what you are choosing to consume.
- Are you reading the news to inform yourself, or to fuel frustration?
- Perhaps the television show you watch has quite a bit of violence and gets your nervous system going.
- This isn’t to label a show, story, or song as good or bad. It’s merely about recognizing the effects of your choice.
Second, as you consume the piece of media, notice the response of the mind and body.
- If you are watching TV, mute the volume during commercials to check in with yourself.
- When reading a news story, pause every few paragraphs.
- Watch for stress, anxiety, or increased energy in the body.
Third, try to be fully present with your experience whether you’re watching television, reading news, or listening to music. We understand this is difficult right now because everyone is trying to find a way to disconnect but it is important to recognize if media is exacerbating feelings of anxiety, stress, isolation, or depression.
- Watch the individuals on the TV, pay attention to the details of the news story, and hear the individual instruments of a song.
- Dive into the experience with your full attention, you may be very happy with the results ;0)