It is the time of year when one hears so many people sniffing and spluttering on trains, tubes and at work. I both despair and have sympathy with the tissue clutching hoards who I come into contact with every day.
Digital detoxes have never been more necessary. With around 94% of adults in the UK owning a mobile phone and more than 50% of todays jobs requiring some degree of technology skills, it’s time to introduce a regular digital detox as part of our health and wellness MOT. Here’s why:
Recent studies have found that “excessive use of our phones may be leading to greater incidences of depression and anxiety”. While phones can be a useful and very important part of our daily lives it is important that we are aware of just how much time we spend on them. Start by tracking your phone time with apps designed for this purpose, such as Forest, then reduce by 30 minutes a day and see if you feel better, happier and more connected to the present moment.
Phone, laptop and ipad screens emit a blue light which disrupts our circadian rhythms. “Our circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of our brains. It's also known as our sleep/wake cycle”. When we look at phone or laptop screens too close to bedtime, our production of melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy, is inhibited. Try a no technology rule 45 minutes before bedtime.
Reports show that people who continually check their phones feel higher levels of stress than those who do not. The constant barrage of notifications, emails and texts can leave us feeling "tired and miserable” and mean we are unable to concentrate on one thing for more than five minutes, before we choose to switch to something else.
An estimated 58% of people who work on computers experience Computer Vision Syndrome. Symptoms include blurred vision, headaches and neck and back pain. Take a 15 minute rest for every two hours of computer use, to help avoid this syndrome and improve blurred vision.
How often do we see groups of friends or families staring at their phones, instead of talking to each other? Holidays or days out with no interaction, is an all too common occurrence. Make a pact to have an hour, a day or even a whole week without technology. In an age where human interaction is at an all time low, this kind of pact could have a huge positive impact on your family and friends. Join us on retreat to embrace a digital detox together and reap the rewards for months after.