Does your partner always complain that you are on your phone all the time? How many hours do you spend on Facebook every day?
Technology has given us the ability to stay connected and social media has become the center of our social world today, demanding us to stay logged in, posting, and reading our social media pages to ensure that we are not staying out of the loop. The 24/7 connection to networking sites, creates an excessive use of technology, leading many individuals to develop problems such as obsessive-compulsive disorders and depression. Furthermore, the constant access to the Internet causes interruptions in our daily routines that may impact our bodies negatively. Some of the problems you may experience include headaches and sleep problems. Moreover, the more connected we are to technology, the more isolated we become and eventually the technology use will start to impact your relationship with your partner, friends and family.
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Signs that you might be addicted to the Internet:
• The amount of time you spend on your computer and on Internet activities keeps increasing
• You crave more time on the computer/smartphone and Internet
• You have started to neglect your friends and family
• You feel restless when you are not on your computer/smartphone or Internet
• Your use of the computer or Internet is starting to interfere with your job or school performance
• You feel guilty, ashamed, anxious or depressed due to your use of technology
• You have withdrawn from engaging in pleasurable activities
So what is the solution? Getting rid of your computer or smartphone will not solve the problem; it actually may cause you to feel even more anxious. Therefore, the goal is reset your brain and be able to control the compulsive behavior. Here are three tips to keep technology from overtaking your life:
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Set boundaries. Smartphones are constantly stimulating us to be checking our emails, text messages and social media profiles. Give your mind some technology breaks during the day to alleviate the anxiety and to train your brain to disconnect. For example, you can put the phone away during your meals, also at nighttime when you are with your loved ones.
Get in touch with the nature. Everyday we are overloaded with information stimulating our brains from the time we get up until the time we go to sleep. All of this stimulation can keep us from getting good sleep and it may impact our productivity. Therefore, it is important to give your brain some time away from all the stimulation by going for a 15-minute walk outside and getting some fresh air. Exposing yourself to nature, it will give an opportunity for your brain to restore its ability to focus.