Why do people like Hillary Clinton Love Watching HGTV?


Originally appeared in Dow Jones Moneyish interview  Sept. 19, 2017

Of all of the magazines that I have in my waiting room at my psychology practice, HGTV is the one that everyone reads! And the HGTV channels are the ones that everyone watches because they can they can lose themselves in a sea of possibilities. Many Pinterest pages are really about decorating and home projects, as these topics are very appealing to a large number of people.

Home Improvement and even the idea of it is very nurturing and satisfying. Hillary Clinton, in her new book, says she likes design projects because they have a beginning, a middle and an end. There is also a tremendous satisfaction in doing, or even in imaging doing, something that is totally your idea and over which you have full control. And Hillary has used this de-stressor following the election as part of her self-care regimen.

From a psychological perspective, home improvement shows use a part of the brain that takes us out of our normal routine and allows for imagination. Thoughts such as, “Well that would work in my office, and even though I won’t do a full do-over, that one thing would work for me,” Or “I never thought of hanging that on my wall,” and “Wow, that color is beautiful, I never thought of that!” allow for an openness and variation from normal routine that is inspiring and invigorating, yet relaxing. A sense of Flow occurs during creativity that uses a different part of the brain than normal daily activities that keeps you young! Studies on longevity and happiness have a related flow to accomplishing these states of being.

I shared with Meera Jagannathan at Dow Jones: Moneyish that home improvement shows also open viewers’ imaginations as they picture how they might use a particular color or position a shelf in their own home. Even imagining doing a project of your own can give you a sense of control, reducing stress. Networks like HGTV, National Geographic, PBS and the History Channel provide educational viewing experiences with few disturbing images, offering a positive viewing experience. Beautiful images are powerful and can create a sense of calm. There are so many things about it that are just nourishing.

Kathleen Finch, the chief programming, content and brand officer for HGTV parent company Scripps Networks Interactive explains how every show has a happy ending. Projects end and look beautiful. Not to mention that the contractors are pretty interesting themselves. Overall, HGTV delivers the experience of consistency, a trait that is treasured by the heart, mind and soul!

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First, let me start out by saying that this article contains no bias. Second, I will venture to say that those who read it may find it biased in one direction or another. Third, I would ask you to notice that while there was no intentional bias, that your perception of bias is something that may alert you to your “perceptual filter.” It is that filter that hears things in a certain way, based on your ideas and experiences that is different than how is is actually said or meant. And it drives your life. Read More

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Click here to listen to an interview on Hayhouse Radio

Get Reel and Produce Your Own Life with Deb Scott and Dr. Nancy
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Before you click the remote one more time, let me tell you that media is one of the top three things that shape your life. Let me also tell you that this news could be the best news you have ever heard, if you know what to do with it! Think of the power you have will have to make decisions! After your parents and teachers, the television, Internet and movies shape what you think, who you become and your level of happiness. Why does it matter? Because your goals, ideas, motivations, thoughts, and personal strengths and insecurities have been influenced by your media viewing choices.

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Perhaps you recently walked by the newsstand and noticed the magazine covers with the model-thin women on the cover that read, “Lose 10 pounds this month” and “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes.”  Does this sound like a mass of contradictions?  It is!  The mixed messages about food in our society suggest that decadence and total health can happen in the same package.  Well, maybe they can and maybe they can’t but there is definitely room in the middle for a wonderful relationship with food.
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