Mindwire Brain Training Series: Week 11- Limit Tech/Phone Use

Excessive use of phones, social media, and other tech devices can have detrimental effects on your brain and mental health. The constant stimulation from these devices triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, leading to potential addictive behaviors. This also impacts baseline dopamine levels which can lead to decreased enjoyment in normal things we have loved.

The fragmented and shallow focus encouraged by these platforms can negatively impact attention span and concentration abilities.

The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt sleep patterns, affecting cognitive functions and mood regulation.

Social media often promotes social comparison, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and decreased self-esteem. Excessive device use can also reduce face-to-face interactions, resulting in loneliness and isolation.

Research suggests that higher rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems are associated with excessive tech use. To mitigate these issues, it’s crucial to set limits on device usage, prioritize real-world interactions, engage in activities that promote well-being, and practice mindfulness. Finding a healthy balance with technology is key to preserving brain health and maintaining good mental well-being.

Challenge Exercise: Select one or more of the following exercises to implement this week to limit tech use.

1. Go on a week-long phone fast. Only use your phone as a telephone for an entire week. Write each night about what you experienced and how you feel as the week progresses.

2. Turn off all non-essential (this is subjective but try to turn off everything that you don’t absolutely need for work or to communicate with family or work) notifications on your phone or other devices.

3. Set a bedtime for your phone and other devices and plug them in a different room than you are in and don’t retrieve them until the next morning.

4. Write a list of at least 20 things other than turning to your phone, tech or device for entertainment that you could do when bored. Include physically and mentally active tasks as well as meditative or restful activities.