Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Screen stress

A couple of weeks ago I watched Bright Star, a film about the short life of the poet John Keats. As well as enjoying the beautifully filmed and ultimately tear inducing story, I was struck by how much people had to entertain themselves before the days of television.

Reading, sewing, playing music and taking long walks seem to be the main time fillers in period dramas. Whilst the idea of living without TOWIE of Mad Men might horrify you, the fact is that not having tv leads to a much healthier lifestyle - you are more likely to get outdoors, enjoy social interactions (positive for mood), do less mindless eating and also go to bed alot earlier without a late night movie to keep you up.

Screens, both computer and tv, also actively stimulate our stress response- watching tv might feel relaxing but it has a positive stress effect on the nervous system. So coming home from a stressful day working on a pc and putting the tv straight on is not a good idea.

I do understand the temptation to put the tv on as soon as you get home, especially if you live on your own so want a bit of background noise for company, but we should actively seek out some peace and quiet at the end of the day as an antidote to our stressful lives.

A good habit to get into is as soon as you get home sit down for 10minutes in silence. This can be very restorative and also gives your brain some downtime, but takes some discipline to start with.

Also during the day try to break up your screen work. I often print out documents to read on paper rather than onscreen, and see meetings as an opportunity for a screen break.

No comments:

Post a Comment