May 13, 2011

De-Stress Month: Disconnect

By Tim Lochhead

A great way to reduce stress is to disconnect from our cell phones and email – at least for a little while.

“What?!? Are you crazy?”

NOT forever; let’s start with ONE weekend.

Consider the benefits:

Stress Reduction

Every time the cell or pager goes off you eagerly drop what you’re doing and respond to every item like an emergency. What happens is that you will overproduce cortisol, the “stress hormone”, which adds unwanted fat and runs you down.

Live for the Moment

Take time to enjoy life, and live each moment. I know we all like to show our ‘status’ and what we’ve done, but this pendulum can swing too far. A nice break and putting the mobile away will really get you to experience the moment and enjoying it 100% to the fullest.

Increase Productivity

In the short-run (i.e. one weekend), you will see how much you can get done by being focused on a single task. Despite the popularity of the term multitasking that gained prominence in the 90’s , we now know that the human brain isn’t wired to perform more than one thing at a time and we are much better focusing 100% on one thing at a time.

In the long run, you can continue this practice by allocating 2-3 times per day for email and message responses. Obviously an important call takes priority, and you will understand why top productivity experts recommend this. More gets done, and unrealistic pressure of responding to everyone all the time does not accumulate.

Health Benefits

The main reason to disconnect for stress month is to reduce stress, although there are health benefits as well. Cell phones disrupt our endocrine (hormone) system; can result in reproductive problems, thyroid problems, and cancer concerns. So a little less usage will do some good.

For more details about this aspect you can check out Disconnect by Devra Davis.

Disconnect for one weekend and you will not only see that life goes on, but it goes with much less stress and much more enjoyment 🙂