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How Smartphones Affect Your Brain And Body Without You Knowing

How Smartphones Affect Your Brain And Body Without You Knowing

There is no doubt that our technology has evolved dramatically compared to how it was in the 19th century. Given all the advancements we have seen in recent history, we seem to be enjoying the luxury of having smartphones the most.

Smartphones have changed how we live. We now enjoy the liberty of connecting to the world as we carry our smartphones in our pockets wherever we go.

But, as our technology improves the way we live, our health may be deteriorating. Here are some disturbing facts about how your smartphone affects your brain and body health without your knowledge.

Your Psychological Health

1. Smartphone Use Demotes Our Social Interactions

The use of smartphones effectively kills your mood and pace, especially if you’re in a group setting. It steals away your attention from the people around you as well as your surroundings.

It diminishes your cognitive ability in connecting and socializing with other people. This often results in further withdrawing from society and increasing the likelihood of being a “shut-in.”

2. Smartphone Use Decreases Your Memory

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Smartphones are a very good vehicle for capturing the best and most memorable moments in our lives, but sometimes they are also the culprit when it comes to our memory loss.

This is due to the fact that we’re solely reliant on technology to remember things for us — we stop bothering to remember things by ourselves. Therefore, these “special” moments become linked to digital photos rather than internal memories.

3. Smartphone Use Weakens Your Inductive Reasoning

Today, it is incredibly convenient to just Google the things we don’t know and get the answer in just a click. But this over-reliance on Google and on the internet to solve our problems and questions backfires on us.

Dr. Gordon Pennycook, a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Waterloo, expresses that our over-reliance on the internet has diluted our mental intelligence and abilities to logically solve and determine correct answers on our own.

This is because we are truly dependent on what the Internet is giving us. Rather than reading about things and making conclusions analytically, we assume that the answers we garner from the internet are simply correct.

Your Physical Health

Mental and psychological health are not the only things languishing because of our usage of smartphones — our physical health is deteriorating too.

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The convenience the smartphone provides eliminates some of the physical activities we do every day and converts them into one of our destructive “lazy” or “procrastinating” moments.

4. Smartphone Reliance Can Lead To Excessive Weight Gain

The smartphone lets us access our favorite movies, games, and social media apps digitally. In just a few clicks, we are able to do whatever we want. This just worsens our sedentary behavior and lack of physical activity. These factors contribute to obesity and risks for chronic illnesses.

5. Smartphone Use Can Cause Disruptive Sleeping Patterns

The blue light emitted from electronic devices disrupts our production of melatonin hormones. These hormones are the ones responsible for promoting sleep.

6. Smartphone Use Can Lead To Increased Physical Injury

If you are physically less active, the muscles in your body begin to weaken, along with your endurance and immune system. This, in turn, makes you prone to physical injury.

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We’ve all heard about the accidents caused by driving and texting, but did you know that you are also prone to accidents while walking and texting? Smartphones can lead to physical injury by distracting you from your physical surroundings.

Productive Ways To Take A Break From Your Smartphone

1. Enjoy Some Outdoor Activity

Get out of the house more and re-establish your connection with nature. Go out for a walk or a run. Invite your friends over and play your favorite sport. Or try something new, like mountain biking or camping.

Do all the outdoor activities that you love. This will also encourage your social interactions with your friends and colleagues.

2. Read A Book

Instead of reading your favorite novel on your smartphone, head to the library or bookstore and get a physical copy. Nothing beats the relaxing feeling of reading a physical book beside a window with a hot beverage.

3. Get A Pen And Write

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Do you ever miss those moments of writing a letter to your special someone using a pen and paper? Or expressing all your thoughts and sentiments in a diary?

It’s time to bring them back. The old-fashioned way of writing is still the best way to convey your feelings.

4. Spend Some Time On Your Hobbies

Do you love to cook, bake, or paint? Whatever you love doing, it’s time to get back to your hobbies and spend some time on yourself.

5. Bond With Your Pets

There’s a reason why dogs are considered “man’s best friend.” Spending time with your pets is a great way to relieve stress and feel happier.

Featured photo credit: Luke Wroblewski via google.com

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how smartphones affects mind and body health How Smartphones Affect Your Brain And Body Without You Knowing

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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