Switch off your Phone – It will Improve your Mental Health
Your phone might be one of your best friends, but it’s also keeping you from having a healthier mind. Studies have shown that simply being aware of your smartphone can put you in an anxious state, and that an over-reliance on digital devices can lead to mild anxiety and depression. In fact, one study showed that people who spend the most time on their devices are three times more likely to experience depression than those who spend less time online. A study by the American Psychological Association found similar results; the more time teens spent watching screens, the more likely they were to experience stress and anxiety and have symptoms of depression - even after controlling social media use (though social media use was still linked to increased risk of depression).
The ability to disconnect is a huge part of mindfulness and its paramount for improving your mental health. As digital natives, we’re constantly connected to one device or another and soon it seems we’ll be spending even more time in the metaverse. Leave your phone at home when you go for a walk. Unplug from technology as much as possible and do it more often. Being disconnected from our devices not only improves our well-being, but also teaches us how to be more present in both our personal and professional lives.
One of nature’s greatest gifts is its ability to improve our mental health. A single walk outside can improve focus and well-being, as well as give your brain a much-needed break from our digital lives. If you’re feeling trapped in your phone or computer, it might be time to reconnect with real life – pet an animal, feel the sand between your toes at the beach, start a conversation with an elderly stranger at the supermarket…
Have better quality conversations
In our digital age, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sustain meaningful conversations. The best way to combat that is by getting outside and talking to people face-to-face. Maybe the thought of this makes you nervous, but it’s an essential human skill we need to nurture. Studies have shown that when we take breaks from our phones, we tend to engage in better quality conversations and are able to spend more time with family and friends.
Getting outdoors is a great way to cut down on your screen time, improve your mood, and disconnect yourself from technology. There’s another benefit too: Going outside forces you to use different parts of your brain than what you use when staring at a screen all day. So, get outside and get your body moving. You’ll be healthier for it.
Learn how to meditate
Meditation helps us disconnect from our thoughts and reconnect with our bodies. It can take years to learn how to meditate correctly, but one of my favourite and simple meditation techniques involves connecting with nature instead of sitting in a quiet room. I find that taking a short walk in nature—especially while listening to birds chirp or waves crash against rocks—helps quiet my thoughts and refresh my mind. This way, I’m able to come back to work feeling more relaxed and focused.
Take short breaks
Studies have found that most people can’t concentrate for more than 45 minutes to an hour before their minds begin to wander. In fact, even if you’re engrossed in your work, you’ll still lose focus after about 52 minutes. Giving yourself short power breaks not only helps you maintain your attention span, but it can also reduce stress and boost creativity - And this doesn’t mean taking a break from your computer screen to look at your phone screen. Put away all your screens and get outside or do something creative with your hands until you’re ready to focus on the screen again.
So the moral of this story is, if you want to practice healthier habits for yourself, try unplugging from your phone and reconnecting with nature and real people face-to-face! You’ll be much happier in no time at all!