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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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