Emotional well-being, technology and you!
Emotional well-being is the first step towards an eternal happiness. But balancing emotions and thoughts comes to most people in fits and starts these days. Exposure to unnecessary information has increased, no thanks to technological advancement! That’s one of the main reasons why so many people fail to have a harmonious life.
How often do you witness people getting enraged over events happening in another corner of the world? Or spouses and partners stalking each other on social media? Or even siblings competing for likes on a profile picture?
No doubt that technology has some great benefits and advantages. But the flipside to it can make you emotionally crippled, constantly looking to external factors for attention and approval. Or it could put too much pressure and stress on your thought-feeling-action system.
Balancing emotions and thoughts: What makes it difficult for you?
1. You’re connected all the time
Isn’t it a heartening feeling to stay connected with your friends living in different continents? You can reach out to people at any time. With just one click you can call, connect, and chat with your loved ones. Such round the clock availability of your near and dear ones makes you feel secure and comfortable.
But this constant use of technology can also be exhausting for your heart, mind, and body. The Pew Research Centre conducted a study in 2012, that was titled- Millennials will benefit and suffer due to hyper-connected lives. This ‘Internet and American Life Project’ included the surveying of technology experts and stakeholders. And the survey revealed that increasing impatience, frequent distraction, and a desperation for constant entertainment are a few ill-effects that such constant connectivity can have on the millennials.
Here are a few things you could do to unplug yourself from technology
- Find as many real-life-alternatives as you can to your technological devices. Take at least one activity from your schedule into the offline world. So, you could read books in hard copy instead of straining your eyes over e-books. Or join a Yoga class instead of learning from online videos.
- Identify the triggers and keep them out. Observe what you do in your free moments. Do you check your social media accounts during meal breaks? Or text when driving? Keep your phone physically away from yourself. Every time you feel the urge to check your phone, look around, observe, and enjoy the present moment.
- Throughout your day, keep some time that’s technology-free. Just after you wake up, right before you hit the bed, and meal-times should always be peaceful. And that means you can’t be glued to your phone. Instead it is the time that you should dedicate for your own well-being and avoid using mobiles, television, radios, and so on.
2. Keeping up with the Joneses
Social media has truly changed modern lives. Whether it’s a school friend or a colleague who moved countries or a relative living in a far-off village. You can get to know about everyone’s lives even without regularly talking to them. You still get reminded to wish them on birthdays, anniversaries, and all other important occasions. And you also get to be with each other in tough times, albeit in spirit. In a way, interpersonal relationships have never been better than now.
A recent report by BBC Future explains how social media is negatively impacting its users. Some of the common emotional problems that it mentions are: stress, mood swings, anxiety, depression, sleep-related problems, addictive behaviour, self-esteem issues, negative impact on overall well-being, and inculcating negative feelings like envy and loneliness. Apart from all these, it also harms relationships.
Here’s how to rid yourself of social media addiction
- The constant pinging of your phones will never allow you to break this vicious cycle. So, first things first. Put all your social media notifications on silent. You need not know how many people liked your profile picture while you’re having a romantic dinner with your spouse.
- Check your social media handles at fixed time in the day for a fixed duration. Better even, if you keep your phone apps-free. Make a rule to check updates only on a desktop or a laptop. That can help you automatically reduce the time you spend on social media.
- Nothing can be better than real life conversations. So, restrict your social media usage only for people who are far away from you. For everyone else, try meeting, catching up in real life instead of social media chatting. Do you think they love your profile pictures more than the gorgeous smile you flash at them upon meeting?
Remember, you’re not in a contest to see who’s living the best life. But a life that is lived by being in the present moment will keep you emotionally stable. So, stop striving to enhance your social media page than that of others. Rather, focus on making each day in your life better than yesterday.