Technological advancements in the areas of communication have given us the ability to process colossal amounts of information in a short period of time. Smartphones and tablets ensure that you are constantly in touch with the world around you and your many social networks.
Recently a hot topic of discussion has been the impact that this massive degree of stimulation has on our mental health and cognitive abilities. The way we observe and react to events in our world has been revolutionised with the emergence of social media and instant news updates.
While this constant flow of information is beneficial in many ways, there is some evidence that this overload can affect the individual’s physical and mental well-being. By understanding the human emotions of fear and anxiety, we can learn how to deal with anxiety and fear in today’s age.
Causes of Anxiety and Worry
The human mind is complex and can only process a few tasks at a time consciously. The rest of these tasks are filed away to be completed at a later date. If there are too many tasks to be completed, the mind starts to feel overwhelmed, “thinking” of all the things left pending.
This causes the mind to obsess over the unfinished tasks, only stopping once they are complete. This sense of helplessness and anxiety is only enhanced by technology.
A classic example is something you will come across each day with your smartphone. The minute you see a notification on your phone, whether it’s a message, an alert or an email, you probably experience a strong urge to check it and tick it off your list. This is the mind experiencing anxiety over getting things done.
Unfortunately, most of us can’t have all our tasks finished at all times. Some things can take longer, and some require collaboration and the participation of others. This causes the task to remain unfinished in the mind. In such a situation your mind will remind you constantly of the task and create anxiety over the things left undone. Your stress levels get even worse when you try to juggle too many tasks at the same time. This can result in a loss of productivity and even keep you up at night.
Ways to Tackle Anxiety
Fortunately, there are small steps you can take to deal with the overload of stimuli and stress. Follow some of these habits to start feeling less overwhelmed, one day at a time.
1. Ensure You Get a Good Amount of Quality Sleep
Sleep is possibly the most important factor when it comes to your mental and physical well-being. But it’s not just about the amount of sleep you get, but also the quality of sleep. Following a few steps before hitting the sack can significantly enhance your sleep quality. Eliminate caffeine completely after 5 pm and stop using all forms of electronic media at least half an hour before bed. Keep your phone away from your pillow and keep your room dark and cool.
2. Get Any Negative Stimuli Out Of Your Life
If there is something or someone that brings negativity into your life, it may be time to say goodbye to it. If you interact with someone online who regularly uploads negative comments or posts, unfollow them. Watching the news can be depressing, so it is better not to watch it if it brings you down.
3. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
It’s a good idea to avoid anxiety triggering foods such as sugar and coffee. Caffeine prompts the release of adrenaline which stimulates a fight or flight response in the brain. This can induce nervousness and aggravate symptoms of anxiety. If you can’t cut these out completely, try to limit your intake. Also stay away from junk food and eat wholesome meals comprising of veggies, protein, and healthy carbs. Avoid alcohol. Never skip breakfast and indulge in snacks like nuts and berries.
4. Take Up a Sport or Engage In a Workout That You Enjoy
Following a workout routine every day has numerous benefits for your body and the mind. Taking up an activity such as running will not only help keep you physically fit but also have a meditative effect on your mind. In this digital age, there are a number of accessories that you can use to increase the effectiveness of your workouts such as fitness trackers and even virtual reality headsets!
Finding Peace and Joy
Our mental health can affect everything from how we feel about ourselves to our relationships with others. Your thoughts are conscious decisions you make every day, so try to stay positive and optimistic. Try some of the tips mentioned above, and you’ll be able to find peace and joy in this fast-paced digital world. For more tips on overcoming anxiety take a look at the infographic below.