Milk and Honey Magazine article on how our diet, media (tv/facebook/instagram) consumption - aka binge watching can both be harmful for young, Christ-following women!

What Are You Consuming?

Jennifer Le

Have you ever considered the effect that television show you’re watching has on you? I remember, a few months ago, I “binged-watched” an entire first season of a horror show in one weekend. I know, I know — productive much?

To my defense, it takes a lot for me to commit to any television show besides Law & Order, but that weekend, I was bored. I was skimming through the list of shows, and found this particular one. It was so warped, twisted and had me on the edge of my toes that I couldn’t stop watching. While I knew that it was mentally affecting me in a not so good way, I was addicted. I finished the series that weekend, and ended up having nightmares for the next two weeks. The images and scenes were giving me flashbacks. I’d wake up in the middle of the night in a panic from the nightmares I had just had.

Basically, I haven’t watched a horror show since (intentionally, of course), but it’s got me thinking about how what we consume has an overall effect on our mental states and overall well-beings.

This is not to say that I don’t sometimes watch TV, myself, because I do. I listen to music that you’d hear on the radio. I’m #basic — I’m well-aware of that. This is also not to say to never watch reality TV, listen to music, or whatever. However, I want to raise a point to start paying close attention to our input and output.

Input — what you’re consuming. Output — how you respond as a result of your input.

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to watch TV and listen to music, but are you spending more time on those activities than building habits and consuming what builds you intellectually, mentally, and emotionally?

Watch your input and output. There has to be a healthy balance of the kinds of things you’re consuming.

It’s okay to have a cheat meal so long as it’s not outweighing the “good”/healthy foods you eat because then, it just becomes a bad habit. Same with TV, music, and any other types of media or experiences you consume.

Here are a few key reminders to being conscious of what you’re consuming and how it affects you.

➳ Be selective

Being selective in terms of what you’re consuming is essential in maintaining a healthy balance to monitoring your input and output. We are selective about everything else in life whether it’s who we decide to marry, what car we drive, and where we live. Why not even pay all the more attention to what you’re allowing affect your mental state?

Speaking for myself, I always make sure what I consume has an overall more positive effect on me than negative. I make a conscious effort to make sure my mental state is staying healthy and stimulated through educational books, podcasts, and Youtube videos. These resources are what sparks my creativity and fuel my desire to keep on creating. I’m aware that if I go too long without any of these, I’ll start entering a major lull in creativity and execution in my work life.

➳ Practice mindfulness

When I say mindfulness, I’m referring to the awareness of one’s own state, thoughts, and experiences. I’m clarifying this because I realize mindfulness can also refer to meditation, but essentially, when you meditate, you’re making a conscious effort to being present and aware of your present surroundings. It’s all interconnected.

It takes a conscious effort to practice mindfulness — being aware of yourself, your surroundings, and how your experiences emotionally affect you. Here’s an obvious example for me: “When I watch scary movies, I have nightmares and can’t sleep for weeks.”

How does your input affect your output? 

This could mean putting restrictions on how much time you spend on social media.

When I spend too much time on social media, I start playing the comparison game.

This could mean spending less time eating junk foods.

When I eat unhealthy foods, I feel lazy and unproductive.

Practicing mindfulness will be key to recognizing what areas of your life needs improvement, how you’ll be able to make these improvements to grow, and, be a better person. That’s our goal after all — we want to reach and soar to new heights!

➳ Start applying

Once you’ve been selective in terms of what you consume and paying attention to how what you consume affects you, it’s time to start applying — a.k.a. acting on it!

Application — the practice of applying what you’ve learned and putting it to good use. We want to always be making strides for positive changes that encourage self-growth and intellectual advancement.

I listen to a lot of business podcasts on building a brand and growing a business, but it’s one thing for me to listen to all these feel-good podcasts and read motivational books, but if I’m not implementing what I’m learning to my business, the good that I’m consuming makes little difference.

It’s good to be in a positive state-of-mind, but it’s even better to take actions and living out a positive life whatever that may look like for you.

Has there been an instance in your life that made you come to the realization that what you consume affects you? How can we be more intentional of our input and output?

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