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How Vital Is Digital Detox For Your Well-Being?

Digital detox can be referred to as a time slot wherein the person doesn't use any digital devices like tablets, social media sites, computers, and smartphones. Detoxing is seen as a process of ditching these virtual reality/ augmented reality mediums and instead focusing on the real life or the real time scenario/ environment around. It's been researched that digital overburdening can cause a lot of issues and a disassociation with reality. Here are some of the ways you can embark on a digital detox.

Why opt for a digital detox?

For most millennials, being a part of the World Wide Web in 99% of their waking hours is an automated response. Nielsen's market research says that the average person in the USA spends 10 hours or more, either reading digital content or interacting with it. Technology addiction is being researched and is on the verge of being classified as a behavioral disorder under DSM 5. 

Many experts believe that device overuse can cause psychological and social problems like extreme jealousy, envy, the build-up of a false reality, over-involvement in digital relationships, and finally, depression when the gap between reality and digital reality sinks in. Digital devices were pointed out to be the leading cause of stress in the lives of teens and young adults and result in unhealthy obsession, inflated perceptions, and ultimately personality disorders. If you or a loved one has been suffering from digital media overload, it's time to take action by setting up an appointment with our advanced psychiatry clinic in San Diego. One on one counseling sessions helps in easing the way towards a more balanced future.

The Association of American Psychology says that 1/5th of American adults feel the obsessive need to check emails and WhatsApp messages and texts, which gives rise to a phenomenon called tech stress. The blue rays from digital screens before bedtime worsen sleep quality and can lead to insomnia in extreme cases. 

Mental Health Issues arising from the device overuse

A heavy dose of technology use every day has been found to cause conduct disorders and attention deficit syndrome in kids. Children who are allowed overuse of mobile phones and tablets are 5 times more likely to develop attention deficits, low concentration levels, and learning disorders. In adults, device overuse can cause relationship issues as work-life balance is affected. Using a device all the time can lead to the perception of overwork. Social isolation arises out of extreme device use as the individual is always tied up to an alternate reality. FOMO or the fear of missing out is an actual psychiatric phenomenon where people are always tied to their digital devices because they fear missing out on experiences that other people are having.

Going for a planned digital detox will help most humans in creating less stressed, balanced, and practical lives.

Digital Detox Plan

While giving up on all your screen time in one shot may not be practical, a slow withdrawal is more recommended. Start by turning off all your push notifications. In this way, you are spared of notifications that you aren't actively seeking. Turn off as many notifications as you can and keep increasing the number daily. Keep aside tech-free hours as, without a proper plan, you will always find yourself with a phone in your hands. Start by putting aside 2 to 3 tech-free hours and then keep increasing the number of hours when you are more comfortable with going device free. Digital detox brings in the sense of renewed energy and creativity, and 60% of people feel happy with the change.

The bedroom and dining room should be strictly no tech zones as digital content interferes with both sleeping and eating patterns. Please don't use the alarm on your phone while waking up as it will probably tempt you into scrolling through twitter and Facebook. Keep your phone outside the bedroom and invest in an old fashioned alarm clock. Studies show that device free times lead to more intimacy and reduce dissent in a relationship. 

Use traditional paper books for reading and ditch the kindle. Studies have shown that absorbing information from paper makes the mind absorb them more quickly. Finally, if you really can't get through a digital detox alone, then consider getting professional help from a renowned psychiatry clinic like The Green Room Psychological Services Inc in San Diego. We offer behavioral studies, CBT techniques, and counseling sessions that will help you combat digital disorders and embark on a structured digital detox plan.

Author
Dr. Neda Khodaparast Neda Khodaparast, PsyD, QME, is the founder and CEO of The Green Room Psychological Services Inc. in San Diego, California. Dr. Khodaparast earned her doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in Boston. She has over 15 years in clinical practice providing individual and couple therapy, as well as conducting forensic evaluations for personal injuries, civil cases, immigration evaluations, and pre surgical clearance psychological evaluations. She has also been conducting medical-legal worker’s compensation evaluations as a Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) Since 2014. Dr. Khodaparast specializes in utilizing psychodynamic orientation and focuses on treating trauma and PTSD including childhood sexual and physical abuse, sexual assualt’s survivors, war truama, as well as eating disorders, and adoption related issues. She appreciates the complexity of human’s psyche and understands the process and the importance of “meeting the patients where they at.”

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