Jess says: How many times do you see a roomful of people staring at their mobile screens, ignoring everything that is going on around them? We have become so caught up in the over-stimulating online world, that many of us have forgotten how to take time out.

Sometimes we need to unplug and fully experience and enjoy the world around us. Be human beings, not human doings. Going out in nature is one of the ways to do this, but imagining you are somewhere beautiful can often work just as well.

Mindfulness is the act of focusing on being present in the moment, not distracted by modern life, smartphones, computers or TV. Being present (mindfulness) is an important concept to help us deal with stress and something that we should all teach our kids, too.

Spending long periods of time on smartphones and computers can change our brain chemistry, reducing our ability to focus and concentrate. Excessive smartphone use is associated with negative effects on our focus and concentration, and the more we use them the more impaired our ability to learn becomes.1 We get less smart (the irony)! It may also negatively affect our ability to relate to other people and understand their emotions.2

References:

  1. Wilmer, H. H., Sherman, L. E., & Chein, J. M. (2017). Smartphones and Cognition: A Review of Research Exploring the Links between Mobile Technology Habits and Cognitive Functioning. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 605. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00605 
  2. Chun JW, Choi J, Kim JY, Cho H, Ahn KJ, Nam JH, Choi JS, Kim DJ. Altered brain activity and the effect of personality traits in excessive smartphone use during facial emotion processing  Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 22;7(1):12156. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08824-y. PMID: 28939856; PMCID: PMC5610339