How much time do you spend on your phone each day?
It’s probably a lot more than you think unless you’ve taken an active role in stopping the snowball that can happen. This unchecked habit actually can have a significant impact on your health.
Just this past week my sister called me in a panic. “There’s a gas shortage! What are we going to do about getting Milo to school?”
My response was of course. “Uhh I dunno, I was unaware of a gas shortage. You know I don’t read things on the internet!!”
A while back I really did stop reading “news” on social media. It was more than I could handle. AND this was BEFORE the pandemic started. So once the pandemic hit I had to shut it down completely to prevent full on panic attacks from sensationalized headlines. I do still get on social media but it is very curated and only for work and connecting with friends. NOT for reading about current events.
But this is just a micro example of how much your screen time might actually be affecting your overall well-being.
Excessive screen use can lead to the following unhealthy side-effects:
Leads to anxiety & depression
Excessive phone use is shown to create negative feedback loops that cause you to feel anxious and then the only way to relieve this anxiety is to then check your phone. This kind of cycle perpetuates anxiety and can lead to long term depression.
Excessive phone use, especially at night, can disrupt circadian rhythms and make it difficult to fall asleep or to get deep sleep. Blue light from our screens sends a “wake-up” message to the brain instead of a “time to sleep” message that should be received from red light as the sun goes down or from natural fire light.
It also creates dopamine excitement which causes you to wake up and become aroused. That means you will need a longer period of relaxation in order to drift off to sleep.
Which leads to weight gain and other metabolic dysfunction
Lack of sleep and stress from the above issues also leads to weight gain and metabolic dysfunction.
Effects on physiology
Excessive phone or screen use can lead to increased headaches and eye strain. It can also have a negative impact on posture like slouched shoulders and “text neck.” Spending too much time on the couch or in bed in awkward ways for long periods of time can lead to neck strain and back problems.
Rewires your brain in a bad way
Excessive social media use specifically can rewire your brain for dopamine addiction or burn-out. As humans we are hardwired for social validation. Social media triggers these reward systems in a way that causes you to need more and more feedback (likes, shares, etc.) in order to receive the desired dopamine hit. Once higher and higher dopamine hits are reached it can be very difficult to break the cycle and return to a normal baseline.
These are only just a few of the health effects of screen time. Do you feel like you are in a screen time overload? We address these issues as well as nutritional and wellness issues in our group program. Contact us today for a free call to see if the group program is right for you!