Therapy Blog

How screen detoxing relieves anxiety and stress

Posted on Friday, July 29th, 2022 by Cristina Vrech

You could be one screen detox away from bliss

Do you want to feel better, both emotionally and physically?  Anxiety and stress are closely linked to remaining in perpetual states of high pressure, for prolonged periods of time. Smart phones are both a blessing and a curse. In one way, they expand our access to information, convenience and connection.  On the flip side, they suck away the many moments in each day, when we pause and simply be with whatever is present.  When these moments of stillness are filled with over stimulation and distraction from the conditions of the inner world, a build up of tension arises.  Social medias addiction counselling

Anxiety has trebled among young adults, affecting 30% of women aged 18 to 24, and has increased across the board among men and women under 55

Exposing the nervous system to a slew of different images and messages, creates a veil like illusion of reality.  Re-establishing a healthy relationship with the screen may reveal areas of healing which the numbing of excessive clicking and scrolling have blocked.  Integrative and transpersonal approaches to therapy can help shine a light on these tender parts of the psyche.

A counsellor can hold the torch for you to safely journey to shadow land, discover what treasures are waiting there and find your way home.  Embracing and loving the shadow ultimately leads to a sense of wholeness in oneself, which lessens the urge to reach for outside validation from the smart phone world.

According to Health Policy Editor, Campbell, there has been an “explosion” in anxiety in Britain over the past decade.  Research has shown, the financial crash, austerity, Brexit, climate change and social media, contribute to massive rises in the condition.  The debilitating mental illness has trebled among young adults, affecting 30% of women aged 18 to 24, and has increased across the board among men and women under 55.  Within these statistics, we can identify one common link.  The ages of those most severely impacted by the rise in anxiety tend to be more reliant and even addicted to their phones.

How are you harvesting the pauses in your everyday life?

Take back control of your precious time!  There are several approaches to screen detoxing you can take.  You can make a conscious decision to not take out your phone during rituals and intervals.  For example, whilst waiting for a train or appointment, whilst eating a meal or when you first return home after work.  Learning to harvest the pauses in everyday life and choosing to notice the quality of your breath, rather than overwhelming the nervous system, reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol; which in turn boosts immunity and improves memory, heightens concentration, increases creativity and elevates cognitive abilities.

Another empowering choice you can make is to carve out a selected amount of time in your schedule to screen detox.  You could chose to do one day a week, or a month, depending on your lifestyle.  For beings who menstruate, an auspicious time to take a sacred pause and reconnect with the inner world is during the bleed.  In addition to the 24 hour circadian rhythm, beings who experience a menstrual cycle also have an infradian rhythm, which is generally 28 days long.  Dr Elmore explains, the immune system decreases during the later stage of the cycle, so menstruating beings become more susceptible to infection and illness.  This is the perfect time to redirect the flow of energy inward and rest.

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You’re a human being, not a human doing

In a world where the senses are constantly bombarded with information, slowing down, resolving to stillness and connecting with deep breath can be seen as a radical act.

Detoxing from the screen may actually induce an initial wave of anxiety or stress.  You may feel a sense of anxiousness over not being contactable; which can also evoke feelings of guilt.  This is a whole healing process on its own, in that it encourages an assertion of healthy boundaries with those around you. Stress may be provoked from a feeling of being left behind.  You may experience loneliness or boredom. You can relate to these feelings, as being like the knots of your resistance to be present becoming undone.  Remember to be kind to yourself.  Eventually, this wave will pass and bliss will come.

Research shows that resetting an habitual pattern is much easier when we replace the behaviour with something that better serves us.  If you find yourself checking your notifications from the moment you wake up, try replacing that activity:

  • Turn your phone onto air plane mode
  • Keep a journal by your bed
  • Go for a morning walk
  • Prepare a hot drink and sit, breathe and notice the flavours and temperature of the beverage

Over the long term, the chemical cocktail of chronic stress wears heavy on the body.  Symptoms may include:

  • Healthy muscle and bone atrophy
  • Hormone malfunction
  • Increased anxiety and depression
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Brain fog, insomnia, inflammation, the list goes on and on.

Making the wise choice to unplug from the incessant stream of the screen and engage in therapy can illuminate somatic stress cues.  These could be tightness of breath, increased irritability or decreased appetite.  Having the tools to curiously explore and recognise your bodies unique language, allows you to practise compassionate awareness and brings the chemicals of the body into greater balance.

Anxiety Counselling London

Our associates are available seven days a week both online and in-person.  Our in-person practices are very well located and easily reachable in Fulham, KensingtonPutney and Wimbledon.

Anxiety Counselling Online

Our confidential and private counselling for anxiety is available via the safe and secure Zoom platform.  We take an integrative approach to working with anxiety, knowing that everyone’s experience is unique.

If you can identify with any of the above challenges and symptoms and would like to improve the quality of your life today, you can take some simple steps to begin your journey in understanding and working with your anxiety.

You can book an assessment either online or face to face with one of our highly experienced therapists and together, you will agree and plan the best way forward.

Get in touch to start understanding and working with your anxiety.

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