Do You Need a Digital Detox?
According to Dr Chatterjee (from the BBC programme ‘Doctor in the House’) ‘information overload is playing havoc with our mental health’. He believes that although we nourish our bodies with the right food, we don’t think in the same way about nourishing our minds and that we need to give our mental health the same daily care we give our physical health!’
We need relaxation just as we need vitamins, fat and fibre! But most of us are just not getting enough of it! In our technological society the overuse of gadgets and the internet is eating into our down time to the point that the state of boredom is virtually non-existent and this is starting to have a negative effect on all of us.
A few months ago I would have skipped the Chapter on Technology Overload in Dr Chatterjee’s book and passed Digital Detox off as another detox fad.
However, as 2018 drew to a close and a new year began, I realised differently, and I am currently investigating ways I can do my own semi- digital detox.
I’m not prepared to fully give up my digital world. I started my working life in analogue: typewriters, tippex, dial-up and the like, and have embraced the digital world every step of the way.
I’m fascinated – and amazed – at computers, smart phones, Apps and all types of software. I am also convinced that social media is integral to promoting business these days. But….is my fascination and work dedication turning into addiction?
I’m beginning to realise that my iPhone and iPad are playing a large part in my current high levels of stress. I am also beginning to realise that the precious time the brain needs to process information on a regular basis is being eaten up by grabbing my phone to check emails, Facebook posts, and the like and that they are also stealing a lot of my ‘me’ time, my relaxation time and my reset time – spaces in my life that I have been taking for granted.
‘Me’ time, stillness and relaxation are indispensable parts of our lives in order to destress and reset our hormone levels. It is in these times that we recover from life’s unavoidable daily stresses which can mount up and bring our stress threshold down and if not dissipated, leads to more serious health issues.
Stress was originally needed for fight or flight in the face of dangers such as wild animals we were hunting for supper but our physiology has not adapted to the constant stress we are now experiencing in our daily lives and the lack of recovery which keeps our stress hormone – cortisol high.
There are many ways we can control digital stress:
Here are just a few of them that I have chosen to implement into my own life in order to lower my stress levels and thereby not only live a more productive life but to also live a more healthy, disease free life.
- Use a battery-operated alarm clock (or a light clock)
- Introduce a 60-90 minute digital ban before bedtime
- Eat without my phone
- Practise yoga/breathing/meditation first thing every morning in order to better set a focus and intention for my day
- Take one walk a week without my phone
- Never, never upgrade my smart phone on Christmas Eve!
- Ride my motorbike more
- Camp more
- Communicate with friends – less on FB and more in real life
Is technology having a negative effect on your life? Not sure? Then take note of how well you are sleeping, whether you are getting annoyed by the little things or perhaps you just want to lead the healthiest life possible.
If you answer ‘yes’ to one or all of the questions in the previous paragraph, then perhaps consider joining me on my upcoming 3-Day Wellbeing Easter Retreat in Cumbria. The Nordic Walkingsessions (experience needed) will be therapy in themselves by taking you out into nature and the beautiful countryside of Rydal, the Pilatessessions will not only make you feel and move better but will also help you to relax and be more in touch with yourself and the Workshops with give you the Mindset and the tools to take this wellbeing back into your everyday life. For more information visit https://www.wellforbeing.com/retreats-rydalhalleaster2019/