Five ways to fight device addiction and reduce stress


With the pandemic, we have become more dependent on technology. While most of us work from home, we are socially connected with our colleagues, friends and relatives through our phones. This addiction has led to what experts call “device stress”.

With no physical movement and the luxury of getting out of the house, device stress has negatively impacted our mental health and physical well-being.

What can be done to combat it?

Namita Piparaiya, yoga and Ayurvedic lifestyle specialist and founder of Yoganama shares with indianexpress.com five effective ways to reduce device stress burden and lead healthier lives. Read on.

* Don’t start your day with mobile

Reaching for the phone as soon as you wake up might seem trivial, but it’s probably a sign of addiction. People often have little control over their device – they’ll check it as soon as they wake up or within 15 minutes. It is an unhealthy practice because it drains the brain, increases stress levels and reduces productivity. So make sure you don’t start your day with the phone. Push it for later, like after a workout or after breakfast.

* Don’t end your day with the mobile

Ending the day with the phone interferes with the quality of sleep and also keeps stress levels high. It interferes with the circadian rhythm and has negative long-term physiological effects. So, at the bare minimum, use a blue light filter but definitely keep devices aside for at least 45 minutes before bed.

* Give your eyes a break

Our eyes deserve a good break after staring at multiple screens throughout the day. One of the best ways to do this is to go to a window or balcony and look into the distance. You can also look for something green that is soothing to the eyes. And if none of this is possible, practice the technique of palming. Rub your palms together until you find some warmth, then cut your eyes, letting them rest in the heat and darkness. Stay 5 breaths, then remove your hands, opening your eyes with a few gentle blinks.

* Take mindfulness capsules three times a day

Constant use of gadgets, ringing phones, or even email or message notifications creates stress. They can increase our cortisol levels, which is why taking short mindfulness breaks during the day is essential. Being aware means being in the present moment – and a good way to do that is to focus on the breath. So, three times a day, for three minutes each, take the time to breathe deeply. Deep belly breathing helps activate our nervous system’s relaxation response and is a great way to rejuvenate.

* Find off-screen activities

Sometimes we turn to screens when there is no other way to fill our time. Even with small breaks in the day where we can relax, we end up using gadgets. One accessible off-screen activity that anyone can do is doodling. Whether you’re on a Zoom call or taking a break from a presentation, doodling is a good way to stay sharp. It improves memory, concentration and teaches you to stay in the present.

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