Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Information Age Wellness - Keys For Being In Balance!

We live in a time (and have been for decades) of incredible advancements, discoveries, and inventions. Every day, we learn of new discoveries that will make our lives easier, safer, healthier; for the most part, they will enhance the quality of our lives. Just think for a minute about the strides being made in medicine, in Eco-friendly manufacturing processes, and in the fields of technology. It is indeed amazing! At the same time as these advancements bring about positive changes in lifestyle, health and well-being, there are times where we are also at risk of experiencing unhealthy, sometimes life-altering consequences.

Let me explain as we examine two behavioral concepts.  

Finding Balance!

First, over time and with repeated usage of any advancement, discovery, procedure or practice, we can expect to experience side-effects, consequences, unhealthy or unpleasant co-occurring symptoms. Sometimes we find this out right away such as when we take a medication that does not agree with us. Other times, we are not aware of the social, behavioral, physical, or psychological side-effects until longer periods of time have passed and the presences of additional serious issues make us aware. An example of this would be consuming processed foods for lengthy periods of time; then experiencing health related problems.

Secondly, as we continue to embrace or engage in various discoveries and advancements, we - as humans - begin to adapt and evolve to the changes that these very discoveries bring with them. Of course, this is only natural. This can be positive change; however, it can also be harmful or detrimental in nature. For just a moment, think of all the various medications that augment, enhance, and even save lives. And yet, over time and with repeated usage, we know that some individuals develop abuse and dependency issues leading to addictions. Our bodies change as they experience the unpleasant side-effects of tolerance and withdrawal.

These two behavioral concepts hold true with our relationship with technology, especially as our dependence and reliance upon it continues to increase. Although it may be happening slowly and subtly, our bodies, minds, and spirits are experiencing both the harmful side-effects as well as the detrimental adaptations and unhealthy evolution in our ways of being. A few of the more serious symptoms and manifestations of an over-reliance on technology (in all aspects of our lives) are the following:
  • Feelings of disconnection and detachment from others.
  • Feelings of disregard for others and an inability to feel empathy for others.
  • Feelings of autonomy, entitlement, and  empowerment that lead to bullying and other aggressive behaviors.
  • Internet Addiction Disorders:  cyber sexual addiction; cyber relationship addiction; net compulsion; information overload; computer addiction ( Dr. Kimberly Young - Founder and Director of Center for Online & Internet Addiction Recovery).
  • Personality Disorders: Exacerbation of narcissistic and anti-social personalities.
  • Other medical issues (where research is still needed): sleep disorders; developmental disorders especially in children.
  • Relationship and inner personal issues: losing sense of connection with partner; losing sense of self.
As I have written about in my cyber bullying no more blog, technology with all its wonders is here to stay. And it should be! However, it is important to pay attention to the 'warning signs' of an over-dependence upon its usage.

Just like most things in life that serve us well, we want to keep our relationship with technology in balance.
Achieving Balance!


I encourage you to take the following steps:

1.  Take a personal inventory of your relationship with technology. For one week, chart how much time you spend on all your devices.  Be honest!  
2. At the same time, take an inventory on how much time you spend in face to face interaction with others (with absolutely no technology around).  Also, write down how much time you spend tending to your self-care (without technology): exercising, journaling, praying, walking, reading, sports, hobbies, etc. Do this for one week. 
3. At the end of the week, look over your chart. Ask yourself, "Is my life in balance?" Again, be brutally honest! Start making changes right now...don't wait. Do a little at a time; then with each week, add more changes.  This helps to be more successful when changing behaviors. 

One of the aspects that I struggle with in my use of technology is that 'time just seems to run away' when I am on my computer or phone.  So, I do watch the clock when I am working or just playing around, and I monitor how much time I have set aside. I have 'start times' and 'stop times'; this really seems to help!  And, I feel better when I am making time for other activities or spending time being quiet and still... It is all about balance! 

For more healing guidance on how to achieve Information Age Wellness, please take a listen to my  interview with Nancy Ferrari. Nancy is the author of Discover the Essence of You; she is a new thought leader and inspirational speaker!
Information Age Wellness with guest Nancy Ferrari!

Homework:  Take you self-inventory!  Balance out your tech life with your real life! Start today....start now!  

    


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