How To Balance Technology and Mental Health
Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives over the past few decades. We use it for work, school, communication, entertainment and more. While technology can be a great tool, it can also have a negative impact on our mental health. Things like screen time, social media and personal and professional connections are all factors to consider when balancing technology with mental health. We’ve identified some tips below to help you find that perfect balance:
Set Limits on Screen Time
Did you know that an average person in the United States spends over 10 hours a day looking at a screen? The American Psychological Association recommends that adults limit their screen time to two hours per day. Even four hours a day would be a step in the right direction. This screen time includes hours spent on computers, smartphones, tablets, and TVs. It’s important to take breaks from technology throughout the day, especially if you are feeling stressed or anxious. Get up and move around, go for a walk, or connect with others in-person.
Connect With Others
Find healthy ways to connect with others. Technology can make it easy to connect with a wide variety of people, but it’s important to also make time for local, in-person interactions. Get involved in your community, join a club or group, go to networking events, or volunteer your time. In a face-to-face conversation, be sure to engage by actively listening and acknowledging people’s presence. Participating in conversations around you may help you form a deeper professional connection than you could achieve from a digital conversation.
Be Mindful of Social Media
Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it can also be a breeding ground for comparison and anxiety. Try to limit your time on social media and focus on using it for positive purposes. You can curate your feed to your values and interests, follow people or pages that help you expand your knowledge base, or even limit certain notifications that cause distractions or negative thinking.
Technology can be a powerful tool for learning and connecting, but it’s important to use it mindfully and intentionally. If you find yourself struggling to balance technology and mental health, try using some of the tips above to develop healthy screen habits and find a schedule that works for you.