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It seems like every single aspect of our lives is dependent on technology. We’re constantly looking at screens. Did you know that too much technology led to stress, symptoms of depression, and sleep disorders? That’s what scientists say.
Young adults, who are excessively using mobile phones, are the ones who suffer the greatest consequences. Researchers from University of Gothenburg found that mobile phones and computers affected the mental health of young adults. That’s serious!
How Technology Makes You Stressed
- Too much smartphone use increases the occurrence of depressive symptoms in both men and women;
- Here’s an interesting fact for you: the same study showed that men who intensively used computers were more likely to suffer from sleep disorders;
- The combination of heavy smartphone and computer use further increases the risk of depressive symptoms, sleeping disorders, and stress.
Why does that happen?
Here are 4 ways technology can increase your stress without you even noticing:
- It makes you rush. Workers and students are expected to use productivity apps that help them do more in less time. It seems like we’re being pushed to become faster and more productive by the way and we fail to understand our own limits.
- Technology is constantly evolving, so we feel responsible to be on track with the latest devices and software. We’re continuously adapting our methods and skills, and that leads to additional stress.
- Connection becomes an addiction. We see smiley faces all over Instagram, and we don’t realize that most of them are fake. We feel like we have to match that ideal life, but our reality is different. Those comparisons make us depressed.
- The light from computer and TV screens throws off our circadian rhythm. That’s why it’s hard to fall asleep after looking at the screen for the entire day, although you’re very tired.
You’ll Do Better with Less Screen Time
You’re doing everything to relax, but you’re still stressed out every single day? Have you tried to take a break from technology? That’s exactly what you should do if you want to experience the following benefits:
You’ll be more productive
Yes, some productivity apps can help you do more work in less time. However, they also keep you tied down to the screen, and you don’t need that. If your day involves less technology, you won’t waste time on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and all other distracting websites. Instead of wasting time, you’ll be using and saving time. Suddenly, you’ll notice there’s more space for reading, exercise, conversations, and a nap in the afternoon.
You’ll experience life
You’re hiking and enjoying beautiful views high in the mountain. Do you feel obliged to post photos of that day on Instagram. Don’t! Just, don’t! Take a deep breath. See the nature through not through a phone camera, but with your eyes and soul. Memorize that feeling. Relax. Taking photos for Instagram doesn’t give you that deep connection with nature and life in general.
Written communication is useful sometimes, but it doesn’t convey the emotions your voice does. If you start writing fewer messages and start making actual phone calls, you’ll feel much more connected with your friends and family.
Life with Less Technology: How to Do It
That’s the hardest part. When technology becomes part of your life, it’s difficult to stay away from it. No one is telling you to through away the iPad and every other device you own. Use them when you need to. However, you’ll make a huge difference in your life if you use them less. Start with small steps:
- Do you feel compelled to post lovely photos on social media? Remember: you have nothing to prove. There’s no need to fake your life for the online audience. If you’re happy, feel it. If you’re not, do something about it. Social media won’t help you there.
- Ban email after working hours. There’s no need to check your inbox for messages when you’re done with your work.
- Take an afternoon nap. It will relax you more than the usual Twitter session.
- Make a reading list and read for at least half an hour per day. That will keep your mind off social media. Don’t share your progress on Goodreads. You have nothing to prove, remember?
- Start exercising. If you’re stressed out, that’s the best thing you could do for yourself. If you’re not committed enough to exercise under your own terms, then sign up for a class and show up every single time. Find a local yoga studio, pay up front and you’ll do yourself a huge favor.
Since technology makes you stressed, the solution is simple: use it less. Try this experiment: a weekend with no technology. Then, take it further: no technology after working hours. One TV show is okay and half an hour on social media is okay. However, promise to yourself that you won’t break those limits. You’ll improve your overall lifestyle with that simple decision.