Offline… 3 tips to control your mobile habits during the holidays

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It is important to be offline once in a while and put down your phone. In my work, I meet a lot of people who are in the process of wearing themselves out because they are always online – even when they should be taking time off. It is affecting our brain and nervous in a bad way – it is no good. Not even when you’re young. Because you simply lose your ability to be really effective when you’re always online. You get stressed. In this video, I talk about how you can get better at balancing your mobile habits.

It's very easy to tell yourself that you're not stressed

Because that’s what we’re biologically made for. Stress is a survival instinct. When we are stressed, we get an elevated level of the stress hormones e.g., cortisol. It is not healthy to have a high level of cortisol for an extended period of time. This means that the brain and nerves cannot relax and recover. For example, it’s very normal that you can’t get a good recovery sleep when you’re stressed. The body also cannot produce the vitality hormone DHEA. So, you quickly get to feel old and tired.

The offline-online balance

It can be difficult for many to go offline – or simply to control their reflex to e.g., check the email, social media or news. We can easily become addicted to checking emails, following several things at once while checking out our social media. It triggers the reward hormone dopamine in the brain.

Mobile addiction and stress

In China, some researchers have done a study of teenagers who they concluded were internet-addicted. They found that their brain structure took shape after their sporadic attention. Among other things, the brain functions through neurological connections in the brain and they can be shaped by our behavior. The teenagers in the Chinese trial simply lost their ability to focus and concentrate.

After all, it doesn’t have to go as bad as losing the ability to concentrate. But it can mean that your cortisol levels are not lowered, and that you thereby do not get the recovery and rest that is vital for your brain and nervous system.

3 tips to create balance

When I coach leaders, I come across how many people that actually are online 24/7 and how hard it is for them to go offline. So here are three good summer vacation tips for you:

  1. Put down your phone and computer. At least for periods. If you have a job that requires you checking emails even if you are on vacation, do it systematically e.g., at the same time of day. Then you’re the one in charge. Instead of you letting worry and fear take your attention away from your loved ones and your vacation, where you have to enjoy life and gather energy. It’s actually needed once in a while.

  2. Turn off notifications on your phone. Don’t let notifications control when and where your attention is. You can always go in and check the information when you decide to do so.

  3. Delete mail from your phone and check it only on a computer. In that way, you’re forced to do it more systematically and not checking at all times.

I hope you are able to enjoy your time off!

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