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How A Digital Detox Can Help You Connect With Your Inner Self

Written by Dr. Pramod Mane on Sat, 02 December 2023

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It is safe to assume that the previous years have been tough on us. The pandemic locked us inside our homes and took a toll on our health and productivity. Most of us have been guilty of binge-watching shows, endlessly scrolling social media, or being glued to video games. A Nielsen research revealed that an average adult spends around 11 hours each day listening to, watching, reading, or interacting with their devices. All these seem normal to us until we realize how much of an addiction this has become, and how detached we actually have become from reality, content in our alternate bubbles!

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As we get into another year full of uncertainties, all thanks to the Omicron variant rearing its ugly head, it would certainly be a good idea to look beyond your mobile phones and find newer ways of connecting with yourself and the world around you.

Understand your addiction!

It is important that you understand your problem before you can attempt to find a solution! A self-analysis is usually the best way to recognize and rectify your addiction.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I on social media when I'm supposed to be working?
  • Am I constantly checking my messages?
  • Do I want to fire up my gaming console instead of completing my tasks?
  • Do I feel stressed and anxious if I can't find my phone?

If your answers to the above questions are in the 'yes', you may be a digital addict, and could do with a digital detox!

How to do a digital detox

1. Detach from social media

Social media and the internet have indeed made the world a smaller place. You have access to almost everything that is going on around the world at your fingertips. However, not everything you see online is true!

Misinformation and toxicity are one of the major problems of the virtual world. Constant comparison to those unreal standards you see online can severely affect your confidence and emotional health. Also, hate speech, cyberbullying, and trolling which are now prevalent on social media platforms can have detrimental effects on your mental health.

Try taking a break from all these social media apps and focus on your emotional health, overall growth, and reconnect with your loved ones!

2. Choose the book over the movie!

Let's face it, most of us spent the lockdown binge-watching movies and TV shows. However fun it may be, excessive movie watching has quite a negative effect on our mental capacity and lifestyle. Excessive TV affects one's sleep, memory, and thinking capability.

So, instead of switching on the TV or firing up the computer, try reading a book. A good book will always force you to imagine the story! Even though you can't see the events happening you'll be able to experience them in ways a movie can't portray. Apart from this, reading books are easier on the eye, helps improve grammar and can improve your knowledge. We hope this this encourages you to give the old paperback a try!

3. Disconnect to reconnect!

During the lockdown, most people, especially children, resorted to video games to stay in touch with their friends. Although it is a good way to stay connected, excessive gaming also has its downsides.

A study has shown how excessive TV and game exposure can negatively impact children's sleep, learning, and memory! With the lockdown lifted and relaxed guidelines in place, encourage children and youngsters to go play outside and get in some physical activity.

4. Assign gadget-free hours

Allot a few hours in a day as "me" time. Try switching off all gadgets and devices that may cause distractions and focus on yourself. During this time you may try focusing on your hobbies!

Music is a great stress reliever, try playing or learning a musical instrument. Exercise or playing some sport with your friends is also a great way to refresh your mind! In addition to this, try to avoid using any electronics before you go to bed.

5. Keep a track of your usage

For most of us, self-control doesn't come easily. We all are bound to slip up sometimes. However, it is important for us to not repeat the same mistakes! Keep a track of your cellphone usage with the help of an application or nowadays phones have inbuilt usage tracking programs.

6. Socialize with your loved ones

Humans are social animals and are wired to connect to other people. Being hooked on our phones has eliminated the opportunity to socially interact with one another which is quite important for mental health.

Try eating together with your family at least once a day rather than being glued to the TV. Such small changes in your lifestyle can help with your stress and bring improvement to your lifestyle.

We hope that after reading this you have understood the negative effects of excessive use of technology! However, worry not these addictions can be easily fixed with the help of the tips mentioned above! This new year, let us all try digital detox to reconnect with our lives!

Click here to know more about wellbeing.

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Dr. Pramod Mane

A Doctor of Medicine (MD) in Pharmacology., currently based in Mumbai, India, Dr Pramod Mane, comes with an experience of more than 20 years of working in Medical Affairs in the Pharmaceuticals & Nutraceutical Industry. Director of Medical Services at Mega Lifesciences since 2008, Dr Mane has been associated with several MNCS in the areas of Medical Affairs, Medical Services, Medico-marketing, Pharmacovigilance & Clinical trials in his illustrious career.

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            1. "How to do digital detox for less stress, more focus". Available from: Clevelandclinic
            2. Katarya R. Analysis of Online Toxicity Detection Using Machine Learning Approaches. arXiv preprint arXiv:2108.01062. 2021 Apr 23.
            3. Dworak M, Schierl T, Bruns T, Strüder HK. Impact of singular excessive computer game and television exposure on sleep patterns and memory performance of school-aged children. Pediatrics. 2007 Nov 1;120(5):978-85.
            4. Young SN. The neurobiology of human social behaviour: an important but neglected topic. Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN. 2008 Sep;33(5):391.

            Our team of experts frequently monitors developments in the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

            Current Version

            Dec, 02 2023

            Written By

            Dr. Pramod Mane