In today's digital age, technology has become an integral part of our lives. From smartphones to laptops, we are constantly connected to the digital world. While technology has made our lives easier, it has also brought with it a new form of stress - digital stress. Digital stress is caused by negative interactions in emails, texts, social media, chat rooms, and forums. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. In this article, we will discuss what digital stress is and how to beat it.
Causes of digital stress
We are constantly bombarded with notifications, emails, and messages, which adds a lot of pressure on us to stay connected and make it difficult to focus on important tasks. Let's explore some the reasons why we need to take more breaks from the online world.
1. Information Overload
Spending too much time consuming media through screens can make it hard to process the information being taken in, leading to digital overload. The digital technology has evolved at a far quicker rate than the physical evolution of the brains we use to decipher and put it to use. Our brains aren’t built to cope with the ever-increasing volumes of data we are trying to cram into them, leading to brain malfunction in the form of stress. A new study found that over a third of people feel that having to keep up with today’s “information overload” leaves them feeling stressed out, unable to relax and anxious.
Overwork, burn-outs, depression, reduced productivity, and creativity are some of the consequences of information stress. When individuals are constantly bombarded with information, their brains can become overstimulated, leading to feelings of anxiety and stress. In such cases, overload of information will make the human mind confused and unsure, leading to poorer decision-making capacity and memory loss. To prevent information overload, individuals can take breaks from screens, prioritize important information, and practice mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and anxiety.
2. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
FOMO is the feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing important opportunities that one is missing out on. This fear is generated by the amygdala, the part of the brain that detects whether or not something is a threat to survival. When the amygdala perceives the impression of being left out as a threat, it creates stress and anxiety. Digital stress can be caused by various factors, including social media, digital addiction, and the constant need to stay connected.
The rise of social media has increased the prevalence of FOMO throughout recent years, and it is most widespread throughout the millennial community. It often leads to feelings of unease, dissatisfaction, depression, and stress. It can become problematic, leading to anxiety, interrupted sleep, lack of concentration, and dependence on social media. When we see other social media users' highlight reels, we experience anxiety which is caused by the fear of not getting the right interpretation of some social interaction, the fear of dealing with different social networks at one time, and the fear of missing temporarily available information and timely interactions.
To handle this, individuals can take steps to limit their social media use, practice mindfulness, and focus on their own goals and experiences rather than comparing themselves to others. It is important to recognize the impact of digital stress and FOMO on mental health and relationships and take steps to manage them.
3. Disconnection from the present moment
Ways to cope with digital stress
To beat digital stress, it is important to take breaks from technology. Set aside time each day to disconnect from your devices and engage in activities that you enjoy.
⭐️Use blue light filters. Sleep dysregulation is another cause of digital stress. The blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with our sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. To beat digital stress, it is important to establish a bedtime routine that does not involve technology. Turn off your devices at least an hour before bedtime and engage in relaxing activities such as reading or meditation.
⭐️Set boundaries and take breaks. Work/life balance is another area where digital stress can creep in. With the rise of remote work, it can be difficult to separate work from personal life. To beat digital stress, it is important to establish boundaries between work and personal life. Set specific work hours and stick to them. When you are not working, engage in activities that you enjoy and spend time with family and friends.
⭐️Prioritize self-care. Creating events of varying scale is another way to reduce digital stress in your life. By filling your time with something to look forward to, you can break the digital stress hold on your life. Events can be as simple as a walk in the park or as complex as a vacation. The key is to have something to look forward to that does not involve technology.
In conclusion, digital stress is a real issue that affects many people in today's digital age. By taking breaks from technology, establishing a bedtime routine, setting boundaries between work and personal life, and creating events to look forward to, you can beat digital stress and improve your mental health. Remember, technology is a tool that should make our lives easier, not more stressful.
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