7 Ways to Relax Without TV

Itís not uncommon these days for the average American to watch five hours of TV a day. Television has become the new American pastime. So much so that people often associate†relaxation with TV watching.

Scientists donít know everything about our brains on TV, but they have learned that while some parts of the brain rest other parts are still active.

Watching some TV is fine, but giving your mind time to fully rest is crucial, especially you have a mentally-taxing job. Try these ways to relax without TV.

How to Relax without TV

1. Walk in nature.

In recent years, weíve come to learn that being in nature allows your body and mind to relax more deeply than being in the city or indoors all day.

David Strayer, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Utah, believes that being in nature allows the prefrontal cortex of your brain to rest. Your body is better able to let of stress when surrounded by nature than in the noise and hubbub of daily life.

2. Nap.

Not everyone is napper. Some complain that napping makes them groggy or disoriented. Thatís fine. But if your body takes well to napping, then its an appropriate form of rest that works wonders for you mind and body.

For those in cognitively demanding fields, a nap can help to reset your memory, improve your stamina, and increase your alertness. And overall, naps boost your immune system.

3. Meditate.

Rest can best be defined by brain waves. Alpha waves are synonymous with a restful brain. Theta waves are linked with the first stage of sleeping or daydreaming. And beta brain waves are associated with an engaged brain.

Meditation has been found to promote both theta and alpha brain waves. So the more you meditate, either formally crossed-legged on the floor or with your daily activities, youíll promote a more restful state of being.

4. Lay by the pool.

Spring is here, and summer is on its heels. It’s a time to be outside, but if it’s too hot to go for a hike or sit by a fire, then the pool is a great option.

Find a community pool or even use the one in your own backyard. Lay by the pool (with sunscreen), and listen to the water, feel the warmth of sun on your skin, and breath in the fresh air. Allow your body to relax and release tension.

5. Work in the garden.

Similar to how walking in nature can help you relieve stress, working in the garden combines the power of nature with the power of meditation. It’s a great way to relax without relying on the TV

It does dual-duty. You relieve stress simply by being outside while you meditatively work the dirt, plant seeds, or pick weeds.

If youíre new to gardening, this may not be the case since youíre most likely uncertain of what youíre doing. But a playful approach could dial down the stress of trying something new.

6. Sit by a fire.

Whether at a campsite, fireplace, or in a fire pit in your backyard, a fire is caveman TV. Itís a way to rest and relax without TV while still giving the overactive parts of your brain a focal point.

As those parts become hypnotized by the natural flickering and play of light, your body and mind can begin to unwind. Itís especially helpful for those who have difficulty relaxing without TV.

7. Get a massage.

You probably don’t need much†explanation here, as the relaxation power of message can attest to itself. But how often do you remember that this is an excellent option?

You can†look for inexpensive massage places, or – if you like to get fancy – you can go all out at a high-end spa. If you visit a chiropractor regularly, then some offices have massage therapists on-hand which are covered by some insurance.

Massage can be an important part of your wellness routine.

Final Thoughts

Each of these ways to relax offers your mind a chance to rest without turning on the TV. More rest equals better brain health and increased productivity.

In our overworked culture, we need rest now more than ever before. Do yourself and our society a favor: take a break away from TV. Get connected with nature or yourself in a new way.

Image via Thinkstock

53 comments

Amanda M
Amanda Mabout a month ago

I already do a bunch of those, although it IS a bit difficult to sit by the pool when ours is one of those little metal-frame above-ground pools. (The town can't build an aquatic center soon enough for me!) I do do all the others except for #7 (can't afford a massage on a deep blue collar budget, sadly), and when it's a calm day (unlike today, where the tones for the firehouse have been going off nonstop all morning) they are VERY enjoyable! Another method of relaxing is one I am looking forward to-opening the windows and listening to the morning birdsong before all the neighbors start up their lawn mowers or leaf blowers and totally ruin the quiet for me!

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Janet B
Janet Babout a month ago

Thanks

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David C
David Cabout a month ago

thank you, not for sitting by the pool and not a big fan of massages......otherwise thanks....and remember to use your butterfly points for good

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Winn A
Winn Aabout a month ago

Thanks

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One Heart i
One Heart incabout a month ago

Thanks!

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Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

I have never found watching television to be relaxing.

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Kathy G
Kathy Gabout a month ago

Thank you

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Clare O
Clare O'Bearaabout a month ago

stupid spam flagged

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Clare O
Clare O'Bearaabout a month ago

Light the fire. Eat dinner. Pick up a book. Nice evening.

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