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Why We All Need a Digital Detox

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Can you imagine life without your iPhone or laptop.? We rely on our tech to tell the time (anywhere in the world), to be our alarm clock, our personalised music channel, our GPS navigation system, and so much more.

There’s no going back; technology is firmly engrained in our everyday life. And if it’s here to stay, how can we embrace it as a tool to grow and expand our minds, to build a healthier mind and mindset?

Keep connected:

Technology platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, and WhatsApp help us remain connected to those we care about in the absence of seeing them in person. These tools are even more critical now in the new normal of COVID-19.

As the new norm evolves, the evolution of avatars and social video experiences will blossom. While Virtual Reality is nowhere near a mainstream tech solution and still predominantly utilised in scientific and medical environments, what we may see evolve is a more user-friendly, social adaption. A blend of Augmented Reality and VR, where we create virtual social settings to connect us anywhere in the world in any time zone.

Increase your mental performance

There is a growing trend within mental health to focus on prevention, rather than acting too late – creating a philosophy of embracing mental wellness proactively to create mental robustness and support mental capacity and performance.

 Technology can help this with this pursuit – from the many fitness and workout apps, to soothing sounds or ASMR sounds for calming, peaceful moments, and sleep time. There are also apps to monitor weight and food intake, and more.

The Mindology App has a series on building a Calmer Mind and sessions to help with sleep, particularly if you awake in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. 

The interest in neuroscience and how our brains work has grown significantly over the last decade, and with this growing interest comes more research and development. We have only scratched the surface of understanding how our brains function and how we can best optimise our brains for a healthier, more fulfilled life. We know our brains can change over time; new neural pathways are created and strengthened depending on usage. 

The human brain is continually rewiring itself. Our actions create neurological pathways that form habits, feed emotions, shape beliefs, and drive our behaviour.

The saying goes – what fires together wires together. Meaning when we do (or visualise doing) neurons are fired in our brain that create neural pathways. In simple terms there is a chemical reaction and process in our brain that serves as a process of forming habits, maintaining them, and creating new behaviours for ourselves.   

The first things placed into our brains at the start of a day are the fuel our mental engine will run on. If you start with a flood of Facebook, Instagram, emails, and news alerts – your brain is being wired to believe that the things found there are the most valuable and important to you. Which leads to my next point – moderation.

Warning – keep in tune with reality:

But, like so much in life, it’s important to have moderation and create boundaries for yourself around technology usage and reliance.  

Here are some helpful tips for maintaining a Healthier Relationship with Technology:

  • Avoid beginning and ending your day on your phone – choose something more meaningful that sets your intention of the day. Enjoy your coffee or tea and wake up to the day calmly, not with a flurry of pings and notifications. Our Smartphone use can increase heart rate and decrease autonomic nervous system activity.   
  • Turn off alerts and notifications – when we hear that ping our sympathetic nervous system are activated – which gives you a little shot of adrenaline and sets off a cascade of chemicals that increase heart rate, pulse and muscle tension. It can take 30 mins for your body to get back to baseline after a ping. So if your phone is constantly pinging you are not coming back to baseline. 
  • Build in as a daily habit, a regular break time from tablets, phones, and computers to stay balanced and focused.
  • If you are WFH, create rituals that symbolise to you that the workday is over – such as closing your computer and packing away your desk. Or go a step further – walk around your neighbourhood for 15 minutes and come back home – think of it as a faux commute home.
  • Create limits around how often you engage with social media and online news. Set the alarm on your phone to help remind you it’s time to come out of the rabbit hole.
  • Your iPhone has a screen time alerts – make us of this and really take note of how many hours you are on the phone. Make an acceptable time limit of when you are in ‘ON’ mode, and make time to switch ‘OFF’ – your mind-body needs this downtime.

The future will be exciting and innovative with technology as it keeps on evolving. Balance and boundaries will be the key to maintaining a healthy relationship with the tech in your life. 

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