There are many ways to detox the body, but what about the mind? It's 2017, and we live in a world that is constantly connected via social media and the net. For most people, checking their smartphones as soon as they wake up, throughout the day and just before bed is normal, but how healthy is it?
People forget that while being connected is important, it isn't essential. Also, cyber bullying and hacking are becoming big issues for lots of people, from teenagers to adults. You can protect yourself online easy enough, but this doesn't get you away from the stress associated with constant connectivity.
Here are ways a digital detox can do you a world of good:
Unplug for peace and quiet
Would it be so scary to turn your phone off and leave it untouched for 24 hours? Would the whole world crumble? Of course not, and most likely after getting over the initial withdrawal, you'd feel a lot better. How many times have you quickly checked social media and seen something that upsets or irritates you? Yet before checking, you were in a great mood. Forgetting about your phone for even just a little bit can help you avoid these troubling moments and will help you gain a fresher perspective on life.
I like to perform at least one digital detox day per week. This means no phone, no internet and no activity on any other devices connected to the net. After the detox day, I limit my time spent on my phone, tablets and computers. I try not to check my phone when I first get up and right before I go to sleep; doing so takes away from the natural wonders of those moments.
social media increases stress
Social media is filled with videos, bright images and brain-straining information, and it can all get pretty stressful. Studies have shown overactive use of social media to increase stress in both adults and teenagers. Ask yourself, is this activity and the information you see really worth the stress? Isn’t life already difficult enough without this additional emotional baggage?
Petty problems that once were not apart of our everyday realities are now major issues thanks to social media. For example, people complain about getting likes or replies to social media messages, or post whatever is on their mind, any time, any day.
Social media also creates a false sense of reality. We see pictures or videos of people doing amazing things, as if their life was all glamour. But this isn’t real; these people go through the same stresses as everyone else, but seeing only the exciting parts can make us feel bad about ourselves and induce stress we don’t need. Save yourself and switch off from that environment every once in a while.
Distractions from reality
I'm sure you've encountered the frustration of talking with a friend while they are checking their phone, knowing they aren't really listening to you. Perhaps you've even been the one checking your phone? When did digital interaction become more important than face-to-face conversation?
Relationships become watered down when we don't fully engage in conversations since we do not have the chance to show our compassion and genuine interest in what others are saying. It's easy to become distracted by the shiny content, pictures and videos on our phones, but do they really provide you with more satisfaction than the opportunities that surround you?
Alerts and notifications can be distracting when working on a variety of tasks. If your phone is constantly beeping and you're stopping to look at it every five minutes, it'll be tough to build momentum and get anything done. Even short digital detoxes of just a few hours can give you the peace and quiet you need to get things done.
When dealing with all the technology in our lives, the important thing is to find a healthy balance between using them and putting them aside. Through moderation, you can prevent yourself from becoming stressed and addicted to your phone and social media. My digital detoxes start with a 24-hour period of no phones, tablets or computers, and the relief from the frenzy of my day-to-day life is invigorating. I highly suggest you give it a try; I'm certain you'll find your life improving as a result.
Caroline is a health and wellness blogger with a keen passion for healthy living. She enjoys spreading awareness about the different ways people can live a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. Get in touch with her on Twitter at @ehealth_inform where she shares healthy living tips and loves a good discussion! You can read more of her thoughts on health and wellness at eHealthInformer.com
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