You’ve gone on diets and sworn off alcohol and caffeine for your health, but have you ever considered taking a break from technology? Maybe it’s time you did.
Check off all the things that apply to you:
(1) You spend your workday in front of a computer screen.
(2) You consult your phone multiple times an hour from the moment you wake up till your heard hits the pillow at night.
(3) You spend a fair chunk of your leisure time watching TV or streaming content on your tablet.
If any or all of these apply to you, then you are at risk of digital burnout – and your tech habits could be making you sick.
In fact, we spend more time in front of screens than we do sleeping, and even when we go to bed, we take our mobile devices with us. Collectively, this behaviour not only ruins your posture and gives you “tech neck”, it can impair your ability to concentrate, stress out your nervous system, suppress hormone production, damage your vision, harm your brain, reduce your fitness levels and wreak havoc on your sleep cycle.
All this increases your risk for insomnia, anxiety, depression and possibly even heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
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As technology use becomes ever more ubiquitous and our smartphones accompany us everywhere we go – demanding our attention whenever we receive an email, text, tweet or status update from various friends – studies are showing just how toxic all the constant distraction and screen exposure can be.
Try The 5:2 Digital Detox
The idea is to give yourself a complete break from screens of any kind for two days a week. The results will surprise you, says Jo Formosa, an established Ayurvedic practitioner who devised this detox.
“You feel calmer and at peace,” she says. “It allows your nervous system to slow down and relax. And it encourages you to be in the moment, giving you a lot more time and opportunity for thought and reflection.”
Here are 10 tips for kickstarting your 5:2 digital detox and sticking with it: