Last year was a hard year for me.
One of the hardest in my life. Certainly not the hardest, but enough for me to shut down.
Our mind and body can only take so much trauma and stress before they take the wheel and put the emergency brake on.
I can remember the exact moment it happened. I was sitting on the edge of the chaise lounge in my living room, and I was having chest pains and extremely high blood pressure, headache, heartache, and utter disbelief of what had happened. Yes, even mindful people have this happen. I needed to get my mind off the current situation and rest my body at the same time. Reading wasn’t an option. So, Netflix it was.
I was not a TV watcher or a binge-watcher—until I needed to be. I watched a mini-series that was one of the best stories I’d seen in a long time. I was on edge and couldn’t wait until the next episode. I needed something other than the violence that is normally on TV.
I needed something cathartic. I knew I needed to cry. I’ve been a natural cryer all my life. Crying is something I do when sad or happy. This time it felt impossible. No Drano for a stopped-up emotional clog.
I knew full well that I was using Netflix to help me do what I knew I needed to do. Amazingly enough through the year of healing, it has been wonderful. The things I couldn’t put my fingers on just happened to show up in whatever show I was watching. Synchronicity!
Throughout that time of healing, I have cried, and it has been a wonderful experience to release—to use something that apparently is a vice for some as a healing tool. My therapist said it was inspiring. For me, it was just what I needed to do.
Really anything can be used as a tool or an addiction; it depends solely on how you use it, and how mindful you are of how it is being used. But then, in time, it too will need to go.
If you are going to be addicted to Netflix, then use it to your best ability to help you and not to cover up some issue that needs to heal or be heard.
Here are some tips:
>> Choose the show wisely.
>> Connect to yourself and have a clear understanding of why you are doing this.
>> Be mindful.
>> Pay attention to your feelings in response to what you are watching.
>> Pause and reflect on what this is showing you.
>> Parent yourself and notice when you are doing too much.
>> Take breaks from it.
>> Understand fully and make a conscious contract with yourself that it isn’t a habit you will continue forever.
>> Write or journal about the positive aspects of the show and also what triggers you and why.
>> Avoid shows that cause stress or tension. If you notice violence is causing you to tense up, choose another show.
>> If you need to get in touch with your heart, choose shows that will be a catalyst in that way.
Being mindful is wonderful, and so is making conscious choices to use what you need to use to help you continue to be self-loving and self-compassionate.
It’s easy to use our binge-watching as a weapon against us. If you’re going to have a habit of Netflix, why not create a healing environment for it?