Living in an increasingly fast-paced society, we tend to neglect our wellbeing. What we intake and what we give out affects our overall quality of life. Today’s technology is a part of that equation. Much of our behavior and ideas is significantly influenced by the information we consume from screens on a daily basis.
As we may take a moment to detach from the digital world, we sometimes get that feeling of FOMO, as we fear missing out on certain aspects; pivotal moments on social media, virtual connections with family and friends, and important news. It may come from not participating in this collective memory the digital space allows us to able to relate to others. Though as humans, as we have an inherent need to be a part of a community, you shouldn't allow these probable circumstances to dictate your feelings. Understand that it's important to take a break to focus more on yourself, first.
According to McLean Hospital, a 2018 British study found that social media usage was linked to decrease and disruption in healthy sleep patterns. Thus, leading to depression, memory loss, reduction of professional and academic performance, and physical health. (1).
Another study in 2018 argued that blue light emitted from our smartphones and screens actually can cause further cell damage from the result of oxidative stress, as it accelerates skin aging and can ultimately result in cell death (2).
Overall, technology is always going to exist hand in hand with how we view and treat ourselves, which its why it's important to create balance and know when to separate.
Below, we share tips on how you can be more mindful outside of technology and create balance for a better self.
The internet is a constant cycle of movement and data. Overstimulation affects overall wellness and how present you are in reality. The best way to deal with the effects of overstimulation on your wellbeing isn’t as simple as disconnecting. Like many things in life, it requires balance, being mindful, and creating boundaries for yourself. That means being completely present in your daily routine and start to become aware of your habits.
- Start by taking about 5 to 10 minutes out of your day to create a simple routine or habit. Make a vow to not check your notifications within those first ten minutes after you wake, before or after a meal, or after your shower. Speak with your family or friends in person, if you're able to, a take a moment to fellowship and be present with them. Stretch without listening to music. Do your skincare routine without interruptions.
- Remind yourself that every minute of every day does not have to be spent with consuming digital information We get so much information by fear consumption driven media at such a fast pace, it's hard to remember what we owe to ourselves. We owe ourselves time to unpack whatever it is were carrying, that means taking the time to learn about it. Focusing on the sensations, feelings and issues that we have and what that means for us is where we can start.
- Centering and acknowledging your purpose through aspirations is a great way to start breaking out of the harmful cycles constant media consumption can perpetuate. Affirmations is a significant way to transform your relationship with yourself.
You, First Always
Remember you are in control of a small screen that seemingly carries all the answers and that it's not in control of you. Once again, it's important to create boundaries in your life as it pertains to better mental and physical health. Winding down on screen time and digital influence is one of the ways to start so you can be more present within yourself to better understand your own needs.
(1). The social dilemma: Social media and your mental health. Here's How Social Media Affects Your Mental Health | McLean Hospital. (2022, January 21). Retrieved August 15, 2022, from https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/it-or-not-social-medias-affecting-your-mental-health#:~:text=A%202018%20British%20study%20tied,physical%20health%20even%20more%20directly.
(2) Arjmandi, N., Mortazavi, G., Zarei, S., Faraz, M., & Mortazavi, S. (2018). Can Light Emitted from Smartphone Screens and Taking Selfies Cause Premature Aging and Wrinkles?. Journal of biomedical physics & engineering, 8(4), 447–452.