Thanks to smartphones, we are constantly connected to our friends, our family, and our work. As a result, we are less happy and more anxious.
A new Kent State University study of college students shows those who spend hours each day online, texting or talking on cellphones are more anxious, less happy and get lower grades. The students who were “less addicted” to checking their phones were better off.
Speaking of addiction, another study shows that many people suffer from anxiety if they lose or forget their phone, even if only for a few minutes. That rush of anxiety and fear some feel once they realize their disconnected is called nomophobia -as in no-mo(bile) phone-phobia.
How do we break our addiction to technology? It won’t be easy. According to a Pew Research Center survey, for the first time, a majority of American adults (56%) own smartphones. And people are checking them everywhere: while watching TV, at the movies, at the dinner table, in church, in bed, and while driving.
How to Feel Happier and Less Anxious
Do we really have to talk, text, tweet or post so much? No we don’t.
Andrew Lepp, one of the researchers in the Kent State study says, “You need time to be alone with your thoughts, and recover from the daily stressors in a way that doesn’t involve electronic media.”
Ways to Disconnect:
- Go for a walk without your headphones
- Read an old-fashioned hardback book
- Do some household chores
- Journal with pen and paper
Quiet time lets your mind rest. Stress diminishes, attention and memory improve, endorphins are released. Your creative process is allowed to work. You can explore meaningful thoughts which can provide important direction in your life.
Use this time to refresh, and realize it will take practice to achieve. To get started, try to dedicate at least fifteen minutes a day for quiet time. Keep track of the days you do this. Pay attention to your stress levels on the days you unplug, versus the days you don’t.
It’s your choice! You can be constantly connected and feel less happy and more anxious. Or, you can disconnect for a short time every day to feel happier and more at ease, which leads to BIGG Success!
Will you commit to disconnecting daily? What will you do with your quiet time?
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