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How Your Smartphone Is Ruining Your Posture And Your Mood

How Your Smartphone Is Ruining Your Posture And Your Mood

Smartphones are a large part of our lives whether we like it or not. They are a necessary evil to be a part of this century. Evil is a strong word because we love our smartphones and the way they keep us connected with everyone. We are the most connected human beings have ever been! We can’t help but to keep these gadgets by our side at all times.

There is an unspoken joy when we get a notification that an old friend from school has just commented on a picture asking how we are doing. It creates an addiction to check our smartphones every time we feel the buzz in our pockets. We can’t help but to continuously check them over and over. Sometimes, we feel the dake buzz in our pocket and start to think we are going crazy! Smartphones have been around for quite a few years now and they don’t look like they are just a fad. What are they doing to us now and how do they affect our lives moving forward?

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If you are in a public place, take a look around. How many people do you see with their heads down starring into their screens? Do they look powerful and confident? Do they look approachable, nice, caring, and kind? If we we are really honest with ourselves, we act like zombies when we are walking and trying to type a text!

Smartphones are physically hurting us

The average head weighs 10-12 pounds (unless you are Donald Trump, yours weighs A LOT more). When we slouch our heads down at a 60 degree angle to look at our phones, we are putting the strain of 60 pounds on our necks! That is the same weight of 6 gallons of paint! Long term how do you think that effects your neck muscles, your vertebrae, and even the rest of your body helping to stabilize?

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A physiotherapist out of New Zealand, Steve August calls it the “iHunch.” He’s been treating it for years and sees it effecting our bodies for the worst. Especially in teens and kids that have been growing up with smartphones

Smartphones are effecting our self image and happiness

When someone is depressed their head is down, shoulders forward, their back is slouched and their foot strides are short. Sounds like the smartphone zombie walk to me! Studies have shown over and over that your posture perfects the way you think about yourself. Have you seen the Ted talk by Amy Cuddy about how your body language effects who you are? In it, the professor speaks about different body poses and how they can positively and negatively affect your mood and your self image. It’s science, your phone is effecting your body language and that is effecting who you are.

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Smartphones are ruining our posture

“Johnny sit up straight!” I think we can all here the teacher or our parents saying that to us when we were young. Who knew it would be this important? there have been plenty of studies done on this but one in particularly done in 2010 in the journal of the Brazilian Psychiatric Association that had interviewers sit in a certain posture both in a good and bad posture and asked the same questions. The interviewers that had the better posture gave better and more positive answers than their counterparts. The researchers then concluded that sitting up straight with good posture will help combat stress.

As noted previously, the smartphones are not doing anything to help our necks and head but they are effecting the way we sit, stand and how we come across to others.

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How can we fix this?

This is a topic for an entirely different article, but for starters, there are a few quick and immediate things to keep us all happy, healthy and once again communicating in a better way with each other.

  • When you are in a public place, unless you absolutely NEED to, stay off your phone
  • When you are at the table sitting across from someone, stay off your phone. Even if they are on theirs, make an example.
  • Have a day of fasting every week. Pick a day of the week and make it your “Smartphone Sabbath.” Once I did this, I realized how addicted I really was and it made me much more conscious of the amount of time I am locked on to my smartphone.

Smartphones are not evil or bad. They are a great tool to do a lot of things but we can choose if they will negatively effect or positively effect our lives.

Let’s not get rid of them but when we are in public or with someone in person, let’s get back to the basics of talking 1 on 1. It will help us in the long run more than we think.

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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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