This pandemic has made us all become much more accustomed to indoor lifestyle. We spend less time out in public and engaging in outdoor activity and much more time Netflix binging and Instagram scrolling at home. Don't get us wrong. There are benefits that have come from time at home such as increased family connection, remote work productivity and healthy home cooked meals. But, we must not forget that the cornerstone of health comes from connection to nature. And, being too invested in our screens can negatively affect our ability to do this, as well as our overall health.
Multiple scientific studies show that dependence on technology, especially social media, is a major contributor of depression and anxiety, as well as, lack of present parental behavior, which can disrupt proper brain development. Plus, the more we spend glued to our screens, the more exposure we get to electromagnetic frequencies. According to mindbodygreen:
"210 million people are struggling with internet and social media addiction, which is associated with negative changes in multiple brain regions. Teens and young adults who log five hours a day on their phones (which is way too easy) are twice as likely to have symptoms of depression. And media multitasking (think checking emails on your laptop while watching Netflix and periodically checking Insta to see if your post got more likes) can diminish our working and long-term memory."
The answer is that we must disconnect to reconnect. Perhaps a digital detox is just the ticket!
We think a technology cleanse is to the mind as what a juice cleanse is to the body. When we disconnect, we shift our focus from the filtered photos of life to actually living. The slate of business and anxiety is wiped clean, making us more receptive to living fully in the moment.
We should all make a habit of putting down our phones and dial into ourselves.
If you can consciously make time for a digital detox, it will give you a chance to recharge your mind, body, and spirit. Here’s all the things that happen when you unplug.
You’ll feel less stressed.
After a long day at work, you need time to mentally recharge and fully relax. Continuous communication through texting, emailing, or calling after hours builds on your stress and anxiety, rather than helping you recharge for the next work day. Instead, try putting down your phone and dialing into yourself. Reflect on the day and how you can improve tomorrow. Cut the cord and it will help you strengthen your healthy mind. Try looking at cleaning, cooking or other routines as meditation without technology.
You’ll sleep better.
Regular use of screens late at night are associated with sleep disorders, due to the light effecting your melatonin levels and mimicking sunlight, thus disrupting your circadian rhythms and not alerting your brain its time to sleep. Instead, turn off your phone or put it on airplane mode for the night, and you’ll have a much easier time falling asleep. If you need to use your phone, blue-light glasses are a must, but for the cleanse, try replacing your screen habits with reading a book or a relaxing hobby such as playing a game, knitting or drawing.
You’ll be happier.
Research continuously has shown that social media can make us feel lonely, jaded, jealous, and mentally unhealthy. This is likely because of that buzzword FOMO (fear of missing out). Seeing the fabulous lives others are leading tends to make us feel less than adequate when it comes to our own. But, we need to remember, this isn't real life - plus, we are in this pandemic together, so social media lifestyles maybe are not as accurate as we think! Stop living vicariously through your screen and you will feel happier and will successfully combat those FOMO feelings. Trust us, turn off the screen, BE PRESENT and you won't worry about what others are doing.
You’ll be more creative and productive.
We live in a consumer-based society; we are constantly consuming everything around us, especially through technology. But, our world doesn’t need more consuming, it needs more creating. Cleanse yourself of technology for awhile and begin creating and contributing to a better world. The world needs your passion. Dive into your hobbies, get inspired by new interests, find an organization to donate your time safely to. You will even find yourself more productive and passionate at work when you give your brain creative nourishment.
You’ll feel healthier.
Not only will your mind get a healthy break, but your body too. The physical effects of technology can be detrimental to our health such as radiation, bad posture, muscular strain and heart weakening from lack of exercise, tendonitis, migraines and vision impairment. When we distance ourselves from technology, we give our bodies a chance to rebuild and heal. When you notice any pain or inflammation, try going outside for 15 to 20 minutes, taking off your shoes and earthing. earthing is a free health practice that connects us to earth and promotes blood flow, removes inflammation, relaxes the nervous system, stimulates dopamine release, regulates the endocrine system and promotes a greater sense of belonging.
A digital detox is just what you need to not only find a mind body connection again, but also to help you live a healthy lifestyle. Start small: turn your phone off for an hour a day and see how it makes you feel. Chances are, you’ll feel less stressed, you’ll sleep better, you’ll create more, consume less, and overall be a happier person. Try choosing a day for you and your friends or family to completely shut off your phones and dial into yourselves, even if it’s only for an hour. However, if you really do not have time for a full technology cleanse, do not fret! Working on mindful behavior around technology can be just as useful by limiting your time, being intentional about your usage, and being fully present of your emotional and physical responses to technology.