Well, my guess is most of the world is currently addicted to their technology, and it’s causing a whole lot of smarter but stressed out people with subsequent health problems.
I call it the Digital Addiction Syndrome, and it seems like everyone suffers from it. Certain hormones, like dopamine, serotonin, cortisol, and adrenaline, are released and depleted with excessive technology, providing over sensory stimulation, decreased sleep, agitation, and neurological irritation. Excitement, gratification, and reward occur all without having to get off the couch followed by subsequent apathy, muffin tops, and over caffeinated insomniacs. This “stress” is a great predictor of future cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimers. Yikes.
My top 10 “digital detox” and stress reduction methods.
I like to give my patients reminders to help them make small but significant changes that will prevent disease and improve quality of life, and it's a good reminder for my own family. Remember this addiction is shared by many young and old, and truthfully we don't know what it's doing to our health over the longterm.
1) Unplug. Take time away from all media. This will decrease dopamine destruction, balance cortisol, and stop the constant need for immediate gratification. When your dopamine gets used up faster and faster, your body needs more to get the high (dopamine becomes adrenaline). Take a break at least once a day, a full day a week, and don’t sleep with the phone next to your head or put it on airplane mode. Unless you are the president, that email or text can wait until after breakfast. This is very important for ADHD and ADD!!
2) Eat adequate, clean, protein rich foods. This helps build good hormone transmission supporting your thyroid, brain, and adrenal glands and battles the “bulge”, helps your mood, and stabilizes cravings. Examples are grass fed beef, free range eggs, wild salmon, spirulina, nuts and seeds.
3) Eat the RIGHT fats. Coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, and grass fed butter are a great way to feed your brain and make sure you have proper absorption of fat soluble Vitamins like A, D, and K. Fats are also essential for cholesterol formation, dopamine, and hormone production.
4) Consume more colorful veggies and fruits. Greens, reds, purples all boost antioxidants and help fight stress and repair your cells. YouthH2O has purple corn which is power packed and full of antioxidants!
5) Avoid caffeine. Caffeine stimulates adrenaline production and overtime burns out the adrenal glands. This is a must for regulating insulin and preventing diabetes!
6) Exercise. Move at least once a day for an extended period of time. I love weight training and HIIT workouts because of the brain boosting benefits. Really exercise is a no-brainer!
7) Get outside. The planet has an electromagnetic force that we need for healing- thus why a walk in the woods or a swim in the ocean makes you feel like a new person. Get away from the concrete jungle and breath fresh air and connect with what you are- alive!
8) Make time for family and friends WITHOUT technology. Go skiing, swimming, play games, read, paint, talk- the old fashioned way. This helps build specific neural pathways in the brain, and is vital for us to relax. This is ESPECIALLY important for children’s brains.
9) Stop. Each day stop and be quiet, turn off the noise, and let your mind relax. Close your eyes. Breathe, Pray, Sleep. Focus on the positive in your life, and let the negative go if even for a minute. I call this the Accept Myself in the Moment Minute- try it, it works.
10) Write. This means exactly what it says, but use a pen and paper. Send a handwritten note to that special someone or write in a journal. it will boost your dopamine and give you the rush of giving without depleting you. It may also help relieve stress just by getting “it all” out.