Do you spend a lot of time online or looking at your phone?
We all do these days!
And even if you don’t, maybe your kids, grandkids, or loved ones spend a lot of time on the internet, this topic is important for them, also.
A group of scientists from around the globe just released the results of a study on how the internet is affecting our brain... and there’s a TON of info in it about how it is impacting our thinking both over the short- and long-term.
Now, obviously they still have a lot to learn about this, but here’s one thing that really struck me from the results, because I am 99.999% sure that you and I both have probably experienced it, too!
Like checking emails and then popping over to another tab to check your Facebook. Or having a conversation with someone in your house, but picking up your phone to check your notifications while you’re mid-conversation?
You are NOT alone. In fact, this was one of the findings of the study!
One of the scientists working on the study said in a press release: “The limitless stream of prompts and notifications from the Internet encourages us towards constantly holding a divided attention -- which then, in turn, may decrease our capacity for maintaining concentration on a single task.”
I don’t know about you, but I find that to be incredibly scary!
Focus is SO IMPORTANT for so many things – including learning new things and keeping our brain healthy as we age!
The thing is, you have a lot of control over this, more than you might think. This leads me to a challenge for you...
It’s all about working on (re)developing your focus … away from your computer and phone. And even away from your watch, if you have one that sends you notifications and alerts!
All you have to do is set a timer (preferably one that isn’t on your phone/watch) and focus on doing something (ANYTHING!) for 15 easy minutes. Shut off all your devices, put them in a drawer in another room, and walk away.
You can read, do chores, sit quietly in a room, go for a walk, get crafty … basically, do ANYTHING!
Try it, and see if you find yourself reaching for your phone, diverting your attention to another task, or feeling fidgety or frustrated and a little “lost.”
Over time, you can start to increase the amount of “focused” time.
At first, unplugging can be hard but once you get used to the feeling of being “unplugged,” you will find it incredibly liberating and relaxing!
Some people find that spending an entire day or weekend “unplugged” makes a big difference for their levels of stress and also their ability to concentrate.
Give the 15-minute challenge a try and see how it goes! We’ll be here for you when you decide to plug back in. :)
I hope you have an awesome day!
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Health and happiness,
Alicia Williamson RN, BSN, MSNW, CHC
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