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Email, social media, business documents, school reports, streaming services, productivity apps, the list goes on and on with the technologies we use in our daily lives. But at what cost? While phones and computers may simplify our lives, experts say spending too much time on these devices can activate our stress hormones and cause anxiety. It is more important now than ever to balance our digital and real lives.

Here are 7 ways to find some digital balance and make sure our computers work with us, not against us.

Tip #1: Accept Parental Controls
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Tip #2: Practice Digital Self-Care

Just 15 minutes of social media and then you can work on the project, right? No. Do it for 30 minutes. You already have 45 minutes, why not make it an even hour?

Except it’s a trap.

“Self-care can be technology on and off if you need it,” says clinical psychologist Jeffrey M. Cohen, Psy.D. Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “Self-care is turning off your computer at the end of the day, even if you have more work to do. Stop watching TV, put down your phone, and get off social media.”

Tip #3: Get (Meta)Physics
Physical and mental health are interconnected; stay away from the computer and develop healthy habits like meditation. Research shows that people who meditate are less likely to experience anxiety or depression.

“Do a self-soothing guided meditation or listen to an uplifting podcast,” wellness advocate Candy Washington told Yahoo Life. “The main thing to do is focus on what you can control while protecting your energy and space.”

Tip #4: Think About Sadness

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a specific category of depression as defined by the American Psychiatric Association. Compared to the “winter blues,” people with the disorder report a loss of energy, sleep too much, or feel worthless.

People who experience these symptoms often turn to technology to find a sense of calm — which can be shortsighted; increased technology use can actually make people cranky and irritable.

If you think you may be experiencing SAD, cognitive behavioral therapy may be helpful, Cohen said. Another option is light therapy.

“Light therapy involves sitting in front of a light therapy box, which emits bright light (and filters out harmful UV rays),” explains Cohen. For those working from home, Cohen recommends replacing your home office.

“Try to put your workspace in an area with plenty of natural light,” says Cohen. “People can try opening all the blinds or curtains in the home to increase the amount of light.”

Tip #5: Turn off notifications

Unless you’re a brain surgeon or an air traffic controller, you probably don’t need notifications on your phone or browser. Research shows that these types of interruptions can lead to stress.

“Stress affects every part of our being: mind, body and spirit. It tends to make our minds less flexible,” said Seth J. Gillihan, director of therapy at the mental health app Bloom. ) told Yahoo Life. “The brain triggers the sympathetic nervous system to release adrenaline, so we get the urge for energy and activation. It also causes the release of cortisol, which further integrates our resources to deal with threats.”

Turn off all unnecessary alerts on your phone and computer; or if that’s not possible, check for notifications only during office hours.

Tip #6: Become a processor
News on digital, broadcast and streaming services can be grim and stressful.

Consuming media stories we find disturbing or disturbing affects our mental health. While it is important to understand current events, it is equally important to discern the difference between opinion and news.

“People often blame other people’s problems on their personal problems and think their own problems are caused by the situation,” explains Gillihan.

Redefining these ideas can help our digital experiences become more enjoyable and compassionate. “It would be helpful to remember some version of ‘there, but for God’s grace, I’m,” Gillhan said.

Tip #7: Prioritize People

dude. Stop binge-watching that true crime series and talking to people in real life. Time to meet face to face. When it comes to social media, reconsider groups or interactions that may actually be harmful to you.

“Some digital spaces can be really toxic and can affect a person’s mood and overall well-being,” says Dove Pressnall, a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Assess how you interact with technology – and be prepared to answer your questions honestly. Ask yourself “Is this connection or group good for me?” Presnar says.

Then turn the same question to your relationships. Ask yourself “How will [my digital habits] affect the rest of my life and relationships?” Presner says.

Then, make a plan. “Set boundaries with your online friends and colleagues that reflect the values ​​you hold about people in real life,” she said.


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