Is your use of technology (mobile phones, laptops, television, etc.) excessive to the point of addiction? Is it running your life? You are not alone in dealing with this – smart phones, smart watches, laptops, cell phones, email and the internet dominate our modern world.

Most people are available anytime, anyplace 24/7 – on holiday, at the movies, at the beach, eating a meal, the golf course, you name it…

Are you one of those people who cannot leave technology alone for a second for FOMO (fear of missing out)?

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Then let’s discuss some strategies to regain a healthy balance and reduce the electronic overload.

Our use of technology may be linked to rising levels of sleep deprivation, 95% of people have reported using some type of electronics at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed, checking Facebook, watching a favorite TV show, responding to a text message in bed or reading on your electronic device. It seems harmless enough, but the sleep disruption caused by these light emitting devices is significant and potentially harmful to your health.

The “blue” light that is emitted by your phone tricks your body into thinking it is daytime. A pigment called melanopsin, in the cells of the retina are most sensitive to blue light, your retina filters through the light and passes messages to the brain and this blue light has a very stimulating effect.

If you wake up in the middle of night, although you may wish to do so, don’t reach for your phone as the light will disrupt your sleep even further.

We also face the dangers of Electromagnetic Fields.

EMFs emanate from anything electric. These electric fields can affect the electrical communication in your body, such as your brainwaves, or the ability of your neurons to fire and communicate. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has labelled magnetic fields a class 3 carcinogen.

Mobile phones also expose you to both electric and magnetic fields and should never be kept in your sleeping area.

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Using a smartphone after 9pm has been associated with decreased sleep quality, not only due to “blue” light but because they keep us mentally engaged making is hard to relax and fall asleep. We may also be suffering from Hypervigilance. This is where we are continuously tense and on guard waiting for the phone to ring or a message to arrive leaving us less prone to relaxation and a good night’s sleep.

Decreased sleep quality and quantity then leads to poor performance the next day.

 GETTING RID OF YOUR ADDICTION TO TECHNOLOGY

It is possible to disconnect, I have done this and speak from experience. I went from not being interested in technology, social media, to totally immersed and addicted, to taking back control of my life.

If I can do it you can too, so follow these steps and break the addiction:

• Start having one technology free day a week. I decided this was going to be Sunday’s and guess what – your life won’t be over, I promise!

• Set intervals for your email, check them twice or three times a day and set those times e.g. 10am, 12 and 4pm. Use an auto responder so people know you have received the email and will get back to them. Mine goes something along the lines of “in order to be productive I only check my emails once a day”

• Unsubscribe from all those emails that clog up your inbox but you never read, you just have them “in case you miss out on something”

• Learn moderation: you are in charge of your life, not your phone, tablet or computer, don’t let others dictate how you live your life.

• Get support, ask your friends, partner, spouse to help you make the changes they may decide to join you and break their own addiction.

You will be amazed how more in control and less anxious and stressed you feel. You stop worrying about what may or may not appear in your inbox as you have set times to deal with any emails, you don’t jump every time your phone beeps or squeaks at you and the best side affect is that you may actually start talking to real people.

It may seem scary at first but I promise your life will not be over. Clients, colleagues and friends will get used to the idea that you do not respond right away.

Need more help and support to break your addiction and take back your life? Connect with me by clicking here, and get my 7 Tips for a Balanced Life and learn more about how we can help you achieve balance, health, harmony and happiness.

Contact WatchFit Expert Kerry Madgwick

 

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