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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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