Multitasker? How To Keep It Healthy

woman multitasking

How to multitask without letting it stress you out.

How can you relax in a world of increasingly intrusive pings, rings, pops and RSS feeds? A relatively large-scale study out of the UK found that Internet addicts had a higher rate of depression than non-addicts, while a recent study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University found that high school students who text excessively or spend extreme amounts of time on social networking sites are at risk for depression, alcohol abuse and other problems. So turn off the BlackBerry, shut down the computer, switch off the TV, and focus on your family or just yourself — if only for a few hours a night. "This can be a discipline you have to train for," says Birndorf, who has met the challenge herself. She and her physician husband put all electronics out of reach for two or three hours a night before their kids go to bed. On vacations, Birndorf recommends turning on an e-mail away message and tucking away devices. "The brain needs time to unplug," she says.

Get in Your Flow
Happiness expert and psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has a term for immersion in a focused task: flow. Csikszentmihalyi famously theorized that those fully engaged in a creative or skillful task experience joy, fulfillment and replenishment. For some people, it's dancing, working out or riding a bike. For others, it's a creative pursuit, like reading, writing or painting."Doing what you love is not selfish, it's self preservation," says Birndorf. One thing's for sure: You can't have an optimal experience if you've got one eye on your e-mail in-box or an appointment in 10 minutes. So set aside some time and mental space to follow your passions and pleasures without letting other aspects of life intrude. "This is how you revitalize yourself," says Birndorf.

Written by Justine van der Leun for AOL Health

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.