Disconnect to Connect: How Decreasing Screentime Improves Health 

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Getting real about screentime, health, and staying present. Plus some tips about how to disconnect to connect.

In a world of constant exposure to social media, we are definitely saturated with screens of all sorts. From iPhones to our laptops to television, screen time is omnipresent in our society. While all of this connection via social media and texting can be great, it can also make us feel the opposite of connected. With our heads down and our minds on our phones, it can feel impossible to be fully present in the moment. In turn, our mental and physical health suffers. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the reasons why decreasing screentime can greatly improve both mental and physical health, as well as practical ways to reduce your own amount of screentime.

Benefits of Decreasing Screentime

The Pew Research Center conducted a study and found that teens who spent 5+ hours online were 71% more likely to have at least one suicide risk factor (depression, thoughts of suicide, or attempting suicide) as compared to teens who spent less than an hour online each day. Cutting down on screentime is an easy way to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression. Additionally, less screentime can actually mean more social interaction with friends and family members. When we’re not distracted by our phones, we can have more meaningful, present, and engaging conversations and connections with people we care about. Lastly, reducing screentime will likely decrease physical symptoms such as screen-related headaches and lack of good quality sleep. 

Ways to Cut Back on Screentime

Awareness is the first step. Pay attention to how you’re using your phone and computer. Are you using it for work, socializing, scrolling social media, or research? If you’re engaging in any screen-related activities that aren’t adding value to your life and/or aren’t necessary, think about cutting it out. Additionally, you can carve out specified time to use your phone during the day. That way, you can be fully present instead of thinking about your text messages or Instagram status. Lastly, avoid looking at your phone, computer, or TV right before bed and set a screen curfew. 

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 844-857-5992 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you – it’s never too late to begin taking steps towards a happier, healthier life.

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