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Adulting: The Wisdom in Watching Netflix Kids

One of my dear friends was having an incredibly rough day. You know the kind of day I’m talking about, I’m sure.

Her nephew, Marci, heard about her frustrations and called to try to give help and comfort; it was through Facetime, because he had wisely declared to his mother that it was not enough to just call. Marci knew roughly what happened, and based on his 5 ½ years of understanding, he felt they needed to see each other.

Once on Facetime, this is essentially what he told her: “You know when things are this difficult and it doesn’t want to work, at the end, in my experience, it always works out.“

How fantastic is that? Only on this earth a little over 5 years, and he was sharing his knowledge. He continued with, “I think what you should be doing is get the remote control, [and] start pressing buttons until Netflix kids comes up. And then just watch Netflix kids because that will cheer you up.”

My friend marveled at how wise he was (and NOT just because she is a proud Auntie). At the very heart of his advice is the proven benefit to stepping away from our problems for a bit and immersing ourselves in something else. Even if a solution doesn’t emerge while we are focused on something else, we can later re-face the situation with fresh eyes and a less anxious heart.

But often, our unconscious mind is set free to work. According to Dr. Peter Gray:

There are various theories about what the unconscious mind is doing. One prominent theory is that it is checking out a broad range of potential links between elements of the problem and other information stored in memory, including links that are too remote for the conscious, logical mind to consider. Suddenly, the mind hits a link that works, that solves the problem, and this awakens the conscious mind—“Aha, I see it now!”

Dr. Gray doesn’t suggest Netflix watching, but he mentions his own activities he likes to do which might include gardening or chopping up wood. He explains that even if he doesn’t walk away with a solution to his troubles, he will have freshly cut wood or delicious tomatoes! And I would argue that while Netflix might not result in something as tangible, immersing ourselves in a good story can do wonders for our state of mind.

Just ask Marci; may we all follow his helpful advice.


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