Do you need a digital diet? Take a look around you. How many people do you see, eyes down, engrossed, bewitched by their smartphone or device? Thought so. We’re constantly plugged in, whether we’re checking emails, refreshing feeds or spending longer than we intended on social media. Being constantly connected can have a darker side, increasing our stress levels and impacting negatively on self esteem. Discover 3 proven benefits of disconnecting from tech.
No one is suggesting that you should go full on luddite and disconnect completely. But there are clear benefits to limiting the time that you spend connected to technology from increasing your self esteem to boosting your resilience. Still need persuading? Here are 3 proven benefits of disconnecting from tech.
Detach From Work & Decrease your Stress
If you find yourself emailing late into the night, playing catch up with work contacts long after you’ve left, it might be time to get clear on redefining where work ends and home life begins.
Research from YoungAh Park, Assistant Professor at Kansas State University found that we need to create concrete boundaries between work and home. Her research revealed that remaining connected to work by using smartphones, tablets or laptops is the new normal for many of us. But that continuous connection to work creates the perfect environment for work-related issues to spill over to your downtime and family life, disrupting recovery from job stress.
Working on your commute has become so ubiquitous that the BBC highlighted a University of the West of England study which found 54% of commuters were emailing on their journey to and from work in an attempt to clear the decks. The study even went as far as to suggest that time should be recognised officially as working hours.
Take a step back, that need to catch up, to get on top of things and appear committed when you’re mailing into the night is just another form of stress and it’s feeding into burnout, depleting your resilience.
Reluctance to detach from work and allow renewal and real downtime to happen is really thinly disguised anxiety. You might think that you’re multi tasking and mastering your time management but you’re really just feeding into something more sinister.
Perhaps one of the most critical of the 3 proven benefits of disconnecting from tech, it’s clear that unplugging & detaching from work is crucial to the recovery of job stress. Choose a time when you will shut down work related activity and stick to it.
Improve Your Sleep
Hands up if you sleep with your phone next to your pillow? Pews Research Centre found that a whopping 44% us sleep with our phones by our side.
Ok, so you need an alarm in the morning but those alerts, updates, your FOMO and that need for constant connection will disrupt your sleep. The State of California has also issued guidelines advising the reduction of phone use due to fears of radiation exposure. Their advice regarding phones by your bed? Switch them off or on flight mode and place them at least 6 feet away from where you sleep. Better still, reduce the temptation to sneak a peak by leaving them in another room.
Increase Your Emotional Intelligence
A study of sixth graders found that after two weeks of disconnecting from technology their social skills had increased. They were better at reading emotions and connecting on a deeper level with others.
When we’re plugged in we’re only partially listening and communicating with those around us. When we unplug, we’re more mindful, we’re focused on the here and now, giving our full attention to life rather than dead walking through it.
Want to know more about disconnecting and increasing your wellbeing? Take a look at our Free Resilience Toolkit or get in touch.
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