Cálmate: Put Down Your Smartphone To Feel Better

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A study by the British Psychological Society found a link between stress levels and the number of times a person picks up their smartphone to check messages and mails. As an addict, I can completely agree with this finding. In short, the more you do it, the worse you feel.

Oddly, the study found that less stress was induced when checking work e-mail rather than other online interactions. The group conducted a survey of 100 Britons in different lines of work.

The study found something they called a “helpful-stressful cycle” in which a smart phone is purchased to help manage the workload and then becomes the bane of their existence, inciting compulsive behaviors and stress.

Quoth the BPS:

“Organizations will not flourish if their employees are stressed, irrespective of the source of stress, so it is in their interest to encourage their employees to switch their phones off; cut the number of work emails sent out of hours, reduce people’s temptation to check their devices,” said psychologist Richard Balding from the University of Worcester, who presented the findings.

Anyone with a passing familiarity with the monkey mind will recognize that cell phones, while making us more connected, actually change our brain chemistry and encourage some obsessive behaviors. I, for one, find myself waking up at night to check e-mails that I know are unimportant at best and a distraction at worst. I don’t smoke but I do slide to unlock in the morning before I roll out of bed.

What we really need, is a Gmail plug-in that will shut down e-mail for certain period of time during the day – perhaps a three-hour window of freedom during the workday and another evening window that prevents all e-mail from rolling in while eating dinner and enjoying some family conversation. The assumption that everyone is always on and always available is a rude one and this study only points to further proof that our mobile lives are encroaching negatively on our corporeal existence.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to Tweet out a funny cat picture from my Nexus.

via BPS