How modern technology is s bad for anxiety

How Modern Technology is Bad for Anxiety

 

How modern technology is bad for anxiety. In the current world, people’s minds are as busy as they’ve ever been. The relatively recent invention of the internet and smartphones has resulted in an almost constant bombardment of many things.  Facts, opinions, and often pointless data, causing a chronic case of information overload.

Despite the main purpose of technology being to make people’s lives easier and provide them with more free time, it has ended up making the majority of Westerners’ lives more chaotic, stressful, and exhausting. Expectations and productivity standards in the workplace have only grown. Keeping up with social obligations and an increasing amount of personal requirements has become a full-time job.

In the workplaces of recent history deadlines were not so tight. Tasks were more specialized and spread across larger teams. Staff were not expected to be reachable 24/7. In personal lives, engagements such as booking holidays or troubleshooting technology were usually passed on to dedicated professionals. Many major aspects of modern life such as updating social media or keeping up with a never-ending news cycle simply didn’t exist.

Society today feels more productive than ever. They would probably agree that having a powerful pocket device such as the smartphone has changed their quality of life for the better. Now allowing them to multitask in ways that were unimaginable 25 years ago. Is it really the case?

How Modern Technology is Bad for Anxiety

Traditional Eastern philosophy and modern neuroscience agree that multitasking is in fact an illusion. The human mind will only focus on one task at a time. Everything else fades into the background. This means that when you think you are helping your kids with their homework, while listening to your favorite podcast, and going forth between Instagram and emails, you’re actually just switching your attention at fast speeds between each task. This leaves not only your child frazzled and irritated but yourself as well.

Engaging in tasks in this way reduces productivity by reducing the ability to retain information. It lowers the standards at which tasks are performed. It is also known to increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Also adrenaline, which are the causes of anxiety.

The pre-frontal cortex operates on the dopamine reward system.This tends to favor new stimuli. It results in it being easily hijacked by the novelty of a notification ping, or a new YouTube video. The result of this is an addiction to multitasking and a lack of ability to focus.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, or ADAA, estimate that anxiety disorders effect 18.1% of the population every year.  It isn’t too surprising that SSRIs, benzodiazepines such as Xanax, and therapy for anxiety are more prescribed than ever.

 

How To Cope With Technology Today

One of the ways in which you can cope with this technology induced anxiety, is a regular meditation routine. Meditation is the practice of sustaining your focus on one object for extended periods of time. It directly combats those induced by multitasking.  Meditation, when learned and practiced correctly, has been proven to reduce levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the blood. This leads to reduced stress and anxiety, as well as a plethora of other benefits. If you can devote just 10 minutes in the morning to meditate you will set your day up to be more mindful. Most of us wake up, roll out of bed and grab our phones first thing in the morning.

 

If meditation proves not to be enough, you may want to follow the trend of many burnt out Westerners. We see many starting to detox from their phones. They are doing this by completely removing certain aspects of technology from their lives. At a minimum they are limiting their usage of it as much as possible. You may opt to set up restrictions on your PC, laptop, or smartphone. This will limit screen time. The result is less checking and answering emails. You will find that what you thought was so important and immediate not so much. Feeling of calmness and a decrease in anxiety is a major benefit.

 

Another possibility could be to revert to using old fashioned phones. Such as dubbed ‘dumb-phones’, This is a trend which has sparked Nokia and Motorola to re-release older mobile phone models that had previously ceased production.

The human brain hasn’t evolved much in the past 200,000 years. There are conscious groups of people seeking a release from the technology induced anxiety that exist. It seems that they are the minority.  The Western society only seems to be looking for ways to be more connected, and multitask faster. We feel this constant desire to stay plugged into mindless chatter and information that just isn’t that important.

 

How Modern Technology is Bad For Anxiety and Where to Seek Help

Be aware of the effects technology is having on your mental health. Seek professional help today. That is a good place for you to start. At High Expectations Counseling we have trained professionals ready to help you. Why not put yourself and your family first. Call us today at 407-967-1327.