A millennial needs their smartphone the same way a hat needs a head. A whopping 86% of Americans aged 18-29 own a smartphone while over 68% of the general populace also do according to the PEW Research Center. Head down, ear phones on wherever and whenever, over 84% can’t live without their phones. Too much of anything is a bad thing and a little time off from these digital screens is beneficial for your mental health in many ways:
Five ways turning off your tech improves your mental health:
1. Alleviates internet and social media addiction
Internet and social media addiction is real. Just because you have access to them almost anywhere doesn’t mean you have to use them. The use of the Internet/social media can give users a quick dopamine hit.
Dopamine is the chemical in your brain responsible for mediating the risk-reward aspect of your brain. Excess and deficiency can cause several diseases like addiction. Stop making constant Internet/social media usage a habit and in the event you find yourself addicted, there’s an app for that.
2. Clears your mind and improves mental abilities
Your devices is a gateway to countless sources of information. You’re on social media, you’re checking your email, you’re browsing Amazon looking for things to buy. It can get overwhelming real quick. Studies have already proven multitasking isn’t just useless, it also hurts you in the long run.
Disconnecting from all of that can help you free space from your head and recenter yourself to focus on the things that really matter. Do them one at a time as opposed to cramming them all similar to what your social media feed looks like.
3. Decreases stress levels
Technology today helps us stay connected with everyone including work and that’s both a good and bad thing. Studies show constantly communicating with colleagues even outside of work hours isn’t a good thing for you. And numerous studies have already showed how constant internet usage leads to a plethora of mental health issues: depression, fatigue, and sleep disorders.
If you’re feeling under-the-weather and don’t particularly know why, it might be time to ditch it. Momentarily.
4. Helps build real lasting relationships
The more time you spend on your devices the less time you spend connecting with actual people. Studies have found those who use their cellphones constantly exhibit less prosocial tendencies and lower social consciousness. In short, as Time put it, your cellphone usage is inadvertently making you a jerk.
Cut the Facebook time and have real face time with your family, friends, coworkers, and get to know them better. When it matters, it’ll be them, not social media you will turn to.
5. Leaves more time to live and explore the natural world
It’s not a real “vacation” unless you’re completely disconnected from your usual routine. And that means leaving all your tech behind (or having discipline to only use them when necessary). Spending time with nature is great for your mental health especially if you live in the constantly busy and fast-paced city environment.
Studies have also showed how green spaces help heal your mind from the negative effects of living in a city. Get as much green and nature as you can and leave the high-tech behind.