Smartphones have changed the way we live, work, and play. They’ve opened up possibilities that never would have existed otherwise, and they’ve taken us to places we could never have gone before. However, smartphones also have their downsides, especially when it comes to your mental health. If you find yourself feeling depressed or anxious more often than usual, you might be able to blame your smartphone use. While these negative effects are relatively minor in some cases, they can get serious quickly if left unchecked or if you don’t put safeguards in place to protect yourself against them.
In this article, let’s look at how smartphones impact our mental health in a long run.
#1 The Power of Dopamine
Just like any other drug, smartphones release dopamine, which is a feel-good neurotransmitter. This explains why we sometimes get so addicted to our phones and the satisfaction we feel when we get a notification or a like on social media.
However, too much dopamine can lead to anxiety and depression, and it can be hard to control how much time we spend on our phones when the dopamine hits keep coming.
So, if you’re feeling anxious or depressed, take a break from your phone for an hour each day. It will help give your brain a chance to readjust without all that dopamine flooding in.
When it comes to smartphones’ negative impact on mental health, you’ll also avoid a major reason for the fomo (Fear of Missing Out) phenomenon.
Another scary side effect of excessive smartphone use is the risk of developing some types of cancer, including eye cancer and skin cancer because there’s a link between UV rays and blue light emitted by screens, leading to damage to cells on skin’s surface.
As well as this, recent studies have shown that those who use their smartphones most often tend to experience more feelings of loneliness than those who don’t use them as often.
It may not seem like such a big deal, but let’s face it: we live in a society where people are becoming increasingly isolated.
In summary, one of the scariest ways your smartphone could be affecting your mental health is by making you feel lonely.
#2 Instant Gratification
In a world where we can get what we want with the click of a button, it’s no wonder we’ve become a society of instant gratification. With our smartphones, we have access to an endless supply of entertainment, social media, and news. This constant stimulation can lead to anxiety and depression.
Some researchers believe that constantly being on your phone may cause stress-related disorders like PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. People are also less likely to leave their houses when they’re using their phones because they don’t want to miss out on anything that might happen in the outside world.
There’s also a correlation between depression and smartphone use. An analysis on the negative effects of smartphones on mental health shows, over 2 million UK citizens found that people who spend more time on their phone were more likely to be clinically depressed than those who spend less time on their phone.
The study was conducted by scientists at University College London (UCL) in collaboration with academics from China, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Norway and Sweden. The research was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
#3 Learning Over Experience
We’ve all been there before. You’re mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed when you come across an old friend’s post from four years ago. Suddenly, you’re hit with a pang of jealousy and self-doubt.
Why didn’t you achieve what they have? What did you do wrong? Who are these people that constantly get everything right in life while you struggle to keep up with the world around you?
It can be easy to lose yourself in this loop – the more time we spend on our phones, the more likely we are to be disappointed by not measuring up to other people’s standards. That being said, it is possible to avoid these negative emotions if you use your phone purposefully.
To avoid mental problems cause by smartphones, take the time to fill up your day with real-life experiences – explore new places or travel somewhere close by, meet friends for coffee or work out at the gym. These interactions will help remind you that there’s more to life than staring at screens and refreshing social media feeds endlessly.
They’ll also give you the chance to enjoy positive moments with others, which will make you feel good about yourself and improve your mental health overall. Plus, getting out into the world gives you a fresh perspective on life and helps you see things from a different point of view.
If nothing else, meeting up with friends over coffee or going to the gym will allow you to talk about whatever’s bothering you without interruptions. Allowing someone else to listen without giving their opinion is one of the best ways to soothe emotional turmoil.
#4 Not Getting Exercise
One of the scariest ways your smartphone is impacting your mental health is by causing you to not get enough exercise. According to a study done by the University of British Columbia, people who spend more time on their phones are less likely to participate in physical activity.
This lack of exercise can lead to a whole host of mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. You may also find yourself feeling worse about yourself if you’re looking at social media all day because that’s how smartphones impact our mental health.
The researchers at UBC concluded that the best way to stop this cycle is by putting your phone down when it’s not being used. When you take a break from your phone, it allows for more creative ideas to come into play and for you to be more mindful of how much time you’re spending on your device.
It also helps with balance issues such as chronic pain and arthritis which often result from a sedentary lifestyle. If you don’t want to go cold turkey, try setting up times during the day where you turn off your phone and go outside for some fresh air or meet up with friends instead. With the internet at our fingertips 24/7, we don’t always realize how much time we’re spending on our devices until we actually start tracking it.
Try out these easy sub-steps to prevent smartphone’s negative impact on mental health:
1) Turn off your WiFi connection and see how many apps automatically refresh themselves.
2) Get rid of any notifications that pop up every 10 minutes or so.
3) Start turning off your phone after certain periods of time like one hour or two hours.
4) Go on a digital detox for an entire day and only use your phone for emergencies.
#5 Playing Games All Day
It’s no secret that video games are addictive. In fact, they’re designed to be that way. But when you’re playing games all day, it’s hard to focus on anything else. You become so engrossed in the game that you forget to eat or sleep. And when you’re not playing, you’re thinking about when you can play again.
This can lead to serious mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Another issue with gaming is that people often try to complete a game without paying attention to how much time they’ve spent gaming.
It might seem harmless at first, but what do you think happens when a person spends three hours at work for five days in a row? They might start getting cranky and start yelling at their co-workers. Some people have even turned violent because of this lack of self-control.
If you find yourself spending more than four hours a day on your phone, stop and take note of how you feel. If your mood has changed for the worse, then you need to make some changes. Set an alarm to remind yourself to check your phone every hour.
Even if you just look at Instagram for a few minutes, it’ll help break up the monotony of looking at a screen all day long. Or, limit your screen time by only checking your phone once every two hours (instead of hourly).
Either way, understand the impact of smartphones on mental health and take care of yourself! Play outside instead of on your phone. Get plenty of rest. Eat nutritious food.
These small changes will go a long way in making sure you don’t get addicted to screens and fall into serious mental health issues like addiction, depression, or stress. Plus, it will increase your productivity while working!
Research shows that being distracted for 25 minutes helps someone be able to stay focused on one task for another 25 minutes. So, allow yourself to check your phone every hour and use those 25 minute breaks wisely.
You may also want to consider deleting any apps from your phone that cause you to spend too much time on them.
Be honest with yourself: Which apps are the worst offenders? What are they doing to harm your mental health? Do you spend 30+ minutes on Instagram a day when 10 would suffice?
#6 Social Media Addiction
We’ve all been there. You’re mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed when you suddenly realise you’ve been on your phone for hours. Or maybe you find yourself checking your work email late at night, even though you know you shouldn’t.
It’s no secret that we’re all addicted to our smartphones and that’s how smartphones impact our mental health. Even this addiction is having a serious impact on our mental health.
But what are the consequences of this addiction? Let’s take a look at some of the scary ways your smartphone is ruining your mental health:
- Research has shown that people who spend more time on their phones have less self-control.
- Studies have also found that people who spend more time on their phones feel more anxiety and fear than those who don’t use their phones as much. In one study, participants were asked to give a speech in front of an audience.
Those who spent more time on their phones beforehand had greater levels of stress hormones in their bodies. They also exhibited higher rates of depressive symptoms in comparison with participants who did not use the internet or social media before speaking publicly.
- Another study found that people who reported high levels of stress showed changes in their brain chemistry after just 20 minutes of using their phones.
Even if you believe your smartphone usage doesn’t affect your mental health, it’s important to be aware of these risks.
If you think this might be affecting you, it might be worth exploring other avenues for relaxation! The best thing you can do for your mental health is learning how to detach from technology.
Try going outside and taking a walk, reading a book, playing outside with friends, cooking dinner together with your family—the list goes on! There are so many things out there that will help you disconnect from technology.
#7 A Lack of Sleep
One of the most common and scary ways your smartphone is impacting your mental health is by causing you to lose sleep.
According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, 60% of Americans say their sleep suffers because of their phone. That’s some serious mental problems caused by smartphones
This lack of sleep can lead to all sorts of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and even psychosis. Not only that, but it can also cause physical side effects like weight gain and memory loss.
This is mainly due to the blue light emitted from screens before bedtime. Blue light exposure reduces melatonin production, which makes it difficult for people to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
A 2010 study found that people who use an e-reader before bedtime have more trouble sleeping than those who read from a paper book!
If you’re reading this on your phone right now, put it down or switch over to aeroplane mode ASAP!
Nowadays we often hear about how using our phones too much has negative impacts on our lives, but what are some things we can do to combat these negative impacts?
1) Spend less time on your phone
2) Get outside more
3) Try putting a stopwatch app on your phone so you know when to put it away
4) Delete apps you don’t need.
5) Turn off push notifications.
6) Don’t get distracted by social media sites.
7) Put your phone on airplane mode at night.
Now Just Take A Break and Realise How Smartphones Impact Our Mental Health;
Do you feel like you’re always on your phone, even when you’re not? You’re not alone. Millions of people have become so dependent on their smartphones that they’ve lost control over how much time they spend using them every day. It’s time to start making some changes in order to protect yourself from the dangers of smartphone addiction.