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Health 26 June 2020
By: Natasha Tanga

5 Reasons Why It's Important to Take a Break From The Digital World

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During this pandemic, a lot of of our work and errands are being done from a distance through online platforms, thus making our time in front of the screens significantly increases. While it can seem to be a practical thing to do and may save your time from commuting, spending most of your time online has also its major drawbacks. Therefore, on this week's journal, we will be listing a number of reasons why you should often plug out of the digital world every now and then, even though it is becoming a lifestyle most can't escape. Read on!

1. Increases productivity level

The development of technology allows you to perform your work anywhere, anytime. Before the pandemic started, a lot of people already were working in a cafe or other shared working spaces outside of the office. Nowadays, it almost mandatory to shift to a work from home scheme. However, the time constraint you have at home might not be as tight as you get in the office, where you clock in at a certain time in the morning and clock out at a certain time later.

While it may sound ironic, spending long hours in front of your computer screens to do work may actually lower your productivity level. Even more so when you have your phone nearby, as studies have shown that presence of a cell phone can reduce people’s intellectual level, even when not used. This is probably because of the mental effort spent to resist pulling and using a nearby phone is high. 

Therefore, any work that requires a focused mind will benefit from a digital break. When you set limits on use of technology, you increase your productivity. Try turning off your notifications or even shutting down the whole phone if you can, as cutting out these distractions allows you to focus on the task at hand.

2. Lowers stress

Sometimes, ignorance is a bliss. This can certainly be said for social media usage, which is a very common thing these days. While it can be a useful medium to promote your business or your work, it can also be a bragging place where people show off their things, consciously or unconsciously. Comparing your life to people on social media can give you a feeling of unsatisfaction with your own life, as well as anxiety and frustration. This unnecessary stress may also lead to other health and mental problems if you're not careful enough.

Therefore, take some time away from the internet and social media, enabling you to reconnect with your inner self and appreciate what you have. The digital world is not the real world, and you need to live in reality to see the good things the world has to offer for you.

3. Enhances real-life relationships

Our phone is usually the first thing we reach out for in the morning. We take them everywhere; it's basically the extension of ourselves. We even foster relationships through digital means, such as communicating through messaging apps or sharing snippets of our lives through social media. However, these means won't necessarily strengthen your relationship. Developing relationships with other people requires actual, real-life activities with other people, such as conversing and spending time with them.

While social media makes social connection seem simpler, the fulfilling part of human relationships is best found on face-to-face interaction. Studies have shown that people felt less connected to conversation partners when a cell phone is nearby. Therefore, it's important to not let a communication device hinder your natural ability to communicate with others in real life.

4. Better sleep

In order to be able to sleep, the body releases a chemical called melatonin, which enables you to relax and eventually fall asleep. However, usage of electronic devices before bedtime may cause you to have difficulty falling asleep. This is partly caused by blue light emitted from these devices, which disturbs the production of melatonin. Since sleep is very crucial for physical and mental health, limiting usage of electronic devices before bed can be very rewarding to nurture overall health. You can take herbal suplements to help you sleep better.

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5. Improves physical health  

Playing with your phone is certainly the most popular thing to do as a pastime nowadays. It's easy to just sit down and do minimal effort to keep yourself entertained for hours. However, this habit might not be good for your overall health in the long run, as inactivity can pose some serious health risks. For example, sedentary behavior may cause you to develop diabetes type 2, cardiovascular diseases, to metabolic problems. 

Moreover, slouching and looking down at your phone screen may not be good for your posture, as it can trigger pain and nerve problems on your neck and spinal area. Giving yourself time to spend without your phone is beneficial not only for your mental health, but also good for your outward appearance and posture.

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