Digital Detox - 5 Benefits for Mind and Body
Did you know that Blue Light is just as harmful as UV rays? We'll show you how to Digital Detox properly and what benefits it has for you!
Have you ever caught yourself when all you wanted to do was look at social media for 5 minutes, but got lost in it all over again? These days, we spend more and more time in front of a screen, be it in our free time on the cell phone or at work in front of the PC.
But this can negatively impact your health and longevity on multiple levels. We’ll show you how to do a Digital Detox and what positive effects it brings.
The importance of a digital detox in today's world
In today’s world, where digital technology is taking up an ever-increasing space in our lives, a Digital Detox is more important than ever. Often we find ourselves scrolling endlessly on our screens, realizing that time is annoying us more than it entertains us.
With a Digital Detox, we have the opportunity to take conscious breaks from all digital devices. When we log out and set clear boundaries between the digital and real worlds, we enable ourselves to clear our heads, reduce anxiety, and sleep better.
Incorporate moments of deceleration into our lives and enjoy time with yourself and loved ones instead of losing your precious time in the digital world.
You'll find the most valuable connections offline, not on the screen.
What is Digital Detox?
According to the EHL Insights the word “digital” refers to anything that requires a screen. Be it your TV, your PC, or your cell phone, everything is connected to a screen where you look at it with your eyes every day. The word “detox,” on the other hand, refers to removing addictive substances and temptations in order to refocus on ourselves, our bodies and our loved ones.
But when do you know you need a detox from the digital world? To realize this, you need to pay attention to yourself and your daily actions. If you “doom scroll” out of boredom, constantly look at your phone while eating with friends, watch a few videos “briefly” before bed to get tired, or look at your screen right after waking up, it’s time for a Digital Detox.
What effect does the digital world have on us?
1. blue light has the same effect as UV rays
By now, you’ve probably heard that the light coming from your screen not only has a negative effect on your sleep patterns, but also damages your cells. Blue Light has the same effect as UV light, which is why there are now also sunscreens and skin care products with Blue Light protection.
Even though we can’t completely escape sunlight, it’s important to take a break every now and then and reduce the blue light on our screens.
2. your eyes get worse
Excessive screen time strains your eyes and leads to problems like dry eyes, irritation, and blurred vision. In the long run, this will have a negative impact on your eyes as it will cause your vision to deteriorate.
3. your posture gets worse
Bending over screens for hours on end, whether at your desk or on your phone, an overabundance of screen time leads to poor posture. This in turn will cause you to have back and neck pain and it will lead to long term posture problems.
4. your nerves are overstimulated
The constant flow of information, notifications and visual stimuli from digital devices overstimulates your nerves and causes stress. This chronic stress negatively impacts your mental health, leading to anxiety and sleep problems.
5. you are less in nature
If you sit in front of a screen more instead of getting outside in nature, you reduce your opportunities to get fresh air and absorb vitamin D through the sunlight. Less sunlight also means you’ll be in a worse mood and your overall physical health will suffer.
6. you make fewer social contacts
When you connect more with the screens around you instead of friends and family, you lock yourself into your own world. Constant immersion in the digital world leads you to have fewer conversations with others that can give you new insights and recognitions. By isolating yourself from others, this in turn has a negative impact on your mental health and well-being.
Why you should do a Digital Detox
When you do a Digital Detox, you positively impact your health and well-being. First of all, a Digital Detox improves your physical posture. Better posture is an important aspect, because less time in front of a screen means less bending over and less strain on your back and neck.
Your mood also benefits significantly from a Digital Detox. By freeing yourself from the constant barrage of negative messages and social comparisons, it leads to an overall more positive attitude towards yourself and others. You also reduce stress and improve your concentration. When you have fewer distractions from digital devices, you increase your productivity and complete tasks better.
A digital detox also has a positive effect on your mental health. Less anxiety and feelings of missing out (FOMO) are common results of this. A Digital Detox allows you to focus on your own life and reduce anxiety. At the same time, you cultivate personal social contacts more, strengthen relationships and reduce feelings of isolation.
Finally, a Digital Detox contributes to better sleep by minimizing the disruptive effects of blue light from screens before bedtime, contributing to deep and restful sleep.
The side effect of too much screen time on your longevity
However, too much time in front of a screen has a negative impact on our longevity. Blue light emitted from screens is known to damage skin cells and promote premature aging. In addition, our eyes suffer from long hours in front of the screen, which leads to fatigue and vision problems.
By sitting for long periods of time with the wrong posture, we not only neglect our physical exercise, but likewise create a sedentary lifestyle. This in turn is associated with a variety of health problems and, thus, has a negative effect on our longevity.
The stressful nature of modern digital life also leads to poor eating habits, as we often reach for unhealthy snacks or skip meals when trapped in front of screens. With the wrong diet, we quickly realize that our body is changing, which in turn leads to a negative body consciousness. We often lose touch with our physical selves, which causes us to ignore health problems or fail to recognize them in time.
5 tips on how to incorporate Digital Detox into your everyday life
- Set fixed screen times
Set specific times when you limit your screen activity. For example, do not use digital devices after a certain time.
- Set up phone-free zones
Create areas in your home, such as your bedroom or dining room table, that are free of electronic devices. This allows you to better separate your online and offline life.
- Use screen time tracking apps
Use apps that help you monitor your screen time and set goals for reducing your online activity.
- Plan digital timeouts
Schedule intentional breaks from the digital world. Use this time, for example, to go for a walk, meditate or read a book.
- Schedule screen-free evenings or weekends
Set aside specific evenings or weekends each month for digital downtime. This gives you the opportunity to focus on other activities and social contacts.
In the book Digital Detox for the Soul by Dr. Daniela Otto you can learn more about how to use screen time more consciously in your everyday life and reduce the total time spent in front of the screen.
What can you take from here
Doing a digital detox is more important than ever, as we use screens more than ever in our daily lives. This has a negative effect, because we often get lost in doom scrolling, are online eating instead of consciously eating it, use our phone for a while before going to bed, or use it compulsively in everyday life.
The effects on our health include deteriorated eyesight, postural problems, increased stress, reduced contact with nature, and social isolation. A Digital Detox can improve your mood, increase your concentration, reduce anxiety, nurture social relationships, and optimize your sleep. That’s why it’s important to find a balance in your use of digital devices to promote your health and longevity.