Let’s face it, many people of the world can be described as being addicted to their iPhone or Android device and as unhealthy as it sounds, you’re probably reading this on your device as we speak. Smartphones have become our gateway to the world, but recent studies are indicating that it could be detrimental to your health, mentally.
About a year ago, the University of Illinois conducted a study that found high interaction with mobile technology is associated to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. In this study, more than 300 university students were surveyed. The goal was to seek out whether their engagement with their mobile devices affects their psychological wellness and turns out that students who identified as having addictive behaviors with their smartphones scored higher on the anxiety and depression spectrum, according to psychology professor Alejandro Llearas and honors student Tyana Panova.
There are many benefits to utilizing your mobile device. Many of us use it for connecting with others, placing orders, or passing time; however, too often users turn their device into something that barricades them from the rest of the world; which can hinder a healthy face-to-face interaction. With this being said, here are a few suggestions to help break the negative habit and strive for a healthier mental state of mind:
Take a Trip
Social media has made it easier than ever to share memories that last a lifetime and we often tend to like other’s post about an exotic trip or adventure. Instead of scrolling through your feed take advantage of the new year by saving for an affordable vacation. Consider asking a few friends to join in order to reconnect and even split the cost.
This is a great opportunity to break free from the cold and enjoy some warm weather somewhere else. It may even benefit you to consider taking a road trip instead of flying in order to spend more quality time with the people you care about. Again, if you decide to take a road trip, be sure to go unplugged. Countless people are hurt and even killed on the roadways due to distracted driving. Be sure to navigate your route before getting on the highway.
If your finances won’t allow you to take a trip, consider something more financially affordable. Consider turning your phone off for a few hours after work or if needed, leave your phone at home for the day and spend time with friends and family. Social interaction can be a healthy activity and gives you the opportunity to reconnect. Perhaps you could venture out into your own community and give back by volunteering or experience a new local attraction with your friends or family.
Reconnect with Yourself
Putting the phone down can also allow for the opportunity to connect with yourself. Over time we experience new things about ourselves that can elude to great discoveries. Perhaps you might find something that you really enjoy that sparks a new passion within you. Taking up a new hobby is a great way to reconnect with yourself. If you enjoy our alone time, this is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with activities that you’ve always been passionate about or discovering something you never knew you would like.
Mobile devices are great advances in technology and help us in so many ways, but we have to keep in mind that our mental and physical heath is a priority. Maintaining a healthy mental state of mind will allow you to be your best self.