With cable news available 24/7, it’s no wonder we are opening our windows and screaming, “I’ve had enough and I can’t take it anymore!” Yes, this may be a bit of an exaggeration but it is important to understand how what you see can play a part in your tension.

On any given day, you can turn on your TV news and the onslaught of information is not only hard to process, but is filled with grim realities. At a time when the nation is at war, the economy is in a state of flux, the stock market is fluctuating, and more and more homes are in foreclosure – it’s no wonder that you may feel tense and uncertain.

Have you ever noticed that during the holidays the news focuses on pleasant and heartwarming stories, good deeds, and acts of kindness? Today, however, we are embroiled in a political election process that has become skewered by the media and offers no relief to the many problems we face globally.

Switch the channel and you may find reality programs that are idiotic at best, and offer no escape from what we experience ourselves. Other programs offer car chases, stories about offenders and their experiences in jail, courtroom dramas, and the like.

It isn’t enough that the real world can put us in a state of angst, but trying to find a show on TV that offers some relief from everyday stresses is another problem altogether. While there are cooking shows, comedy shows, and shows which inform and educate, there is a growing fascination with reality shows that begs the question: Are these shows offering relief or contributing to the tension in our lives?

A person can say, “Change the channel; don’t watch these shows that cause you undue stress,” and that person would be right.

What we see on a daily basis does play a part in our tension. Can we avoid it? Certainly we can avoid TV shows that have no relevance to our lives, but are merely meant to exploit. Do we simply stay home, lock the doors, and never go out again? No, we can’t do that either.

What we can do is use our own meditative skills to relieve the tension. We can’t control the actions of others, but we can control how we feel and respond to certain situations.

There will be situations we can’t avoid, but we can still choose not to let an unpleasant event dictate or determine how we ultimately feel.