Stress

5 Easy Ways to Reduce Tech-Based Stress

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Technology is amazing. It helps you to connect with people, is a great tool for business and gives you access to an abundance of resources, but it can also create stress.

Tech-based stress can affect your health and relationships. Becoming dependent on technology, especially smartphones, can easily become an addiction.

There are rehab centres popping up around the world which help people to live a screen-free life and there’s even a book called ‘How to Break Up With Your Phone‘ by Catherine Price.

We all know how hard it is to turn off your phone or stop checking messages, which adds even more stress.

In this fast-paced world, using tech is often a must. But what can you do to stop the stress that comes from it?

Try this easy 5-step tech stress reduction process:

1: Notice the Issues

The first step is to realise how much you depend on technology and determine what – exactly – is causing the stress.

  • Pay attention to your stress triggers when you’re using technology. Do you get upset after each text message or email? Is social media creating FOMO (fear of missing out)?
  • Track how much technology you use over a one week period. Keep a journal with this information and write down how you feel after each interaction with a piece of technology. Does it make you feel stressed, frustrated, sad, or annoyed?
  • Set some intentions for your social media use.

I stopped using my phone in the morning as found that I was habitually checking my email and social media as soon as I woke up, which caused me to feel tense, stressed and helpless – there’s not much you can do about an important business email when it’s 7.45am and you’ve got 15 minutes to get out the door for the school run!

This kind of stress is a micro-stressor; on its own, no biggie, but combined with all our other stressors, tech and otherwise, it can make us start to feel really anxious.

2: Make a List of Your Tech Tools

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Once you’ve realised that tech stress is an issue, making a list of all the tools you use can help you regain control.

  • Write down every piece of technology you use, including fitness watches and other tracking tools. It’s important for the list to be accurate and complete.
  • Next, write down how each piece of technology affects you in a positive or negative way. Make a note of the amount of stress each device creates in your life.
  • You may use several tools and devices for work. Highlight the ones that you can’t live without.
  • Cross off the devices on the list that are not essential and ditch them!

3: Clean Up Your Connections

Go through all of your social media accounts and inboxes to disconnect with people who create additional stress.

  • Try to keep a smaller list of close contacts such as friends, coworkers, and family. It’s really easy to create friends lists in Facebook and is a great way of being more purposeful on social media.
  • Turn off notifications and get rid of unnecessary subscriptions.
  • Clean out your email inboxes and eliminate old messages or contacts that are not needed. Consider setting up automated apps that can sort emails and delete them faster.

Make a plan. Use your list to focus only on the devices and tools that are essential.

4: Have a Plan Each Time You Turn on a Computer or Phone

What do you want to accomplish, and how long will you need to do it? Try to avoid distractions by planning your time.

  • Turn off and put away any devices that aren’t essential.
  • Include time away from technology, such as a weekend without tech or TV. If you have children, you’ll find they might moan at first but they’ll soon come round when the board games come out (we have tech-free meal times and Sundays in our home).

5: Create Reasonable Expectations

If you’re addicted to checking your messages every hour, it will take more time to reduce tech-based stress. It’s important to have realistic expectations and avoid putting too much pressure to change fast.

  • Give yourself the chance to work through each of these steps.
  • Inform your family and friends about your technology changes. They need to understand you’ll be available less on social media. They also need to respect that you’re turning off some notifications to reduce stress.
  • Set up vacation or away messages on your phone and email, so others will know when they can reach you. Create specific windows of time to return calls or messages.

Stress can come from many parts of your life, including technology. Pay attention to how technology affects you. It may be necessary to evaluate how much you depend on tech tools and make some changes in your daily routines with these tools to reduce your stress.

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Have you found a way to reduce your tech usage to live a calmer life? If you have any tips or stories, please comment below.

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