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Information Anxiety? Infobesity? Infoxication?

5 Guide Points For Taking On Information Overload

Feeling the draining weight of technology and data overload? You're certainly not alone. It's a growing concern for many, and a valid one. It's affecting our relationships, productivity, self esteem, ability to focus and our physical health as well (amount and quality of sleep, carpal tunnel, text neck, etc.). Is it worth it to you? That's for you to decide. But, if your answer is "No," then dig in to the 5 guide points below to help you counter the seductive glow of your devices and the "empty-calorie" experiences they often peddle.  1. BREATHE - Lay a foundation for clear, content thinking and being. A regular mindful breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or qi gong practice can help "fill the void" in a healthier and further reaching manner than chronic data consumption ever can. Not up for a regular practice just yet? No worries! When feeling stressed and an urge to tune out via technology, first, pause and take three mindful breaths. In and out through your nose, paying attention to the sensations at your nostrils and the rise and fall of your chest or abdomen. Voila! An effective and efficient reboot that didn't involve inane politicians or a distant acquaintance's Tuesday night dinner photos.  

2. INTENTION - It ain't all bad! There are many benefits in the technology available to us today. But before you pick up your phone or sit down at your desktop, set your intention for what exactly you want to do or accomplish. It only takes 10 seconds and can be used for work or leisure time on a device. Consciously planning your time on your device steers where you're going, defines usage time and boundaries and gives you something to re-focus on if click bait starts to look enticing. 

3. TRACK - Any idea how much time you actually spend on your technology? Which apps are used most? This knowledge can be a wake-up call for many; it was for me the first time I started tracking my phone usage. There are several tools out there that can provide this reality check as well as some assistance in monitoring and limiting usage. iPhones come with Screen Time monitoring found under settings and Android phones have Digital Wellbeing, also under settings. More advanced apps are available through your app store. I used the Moment app and found it quite useful. 

4. JUST SAY NO - Practice saying "no" when the urge pops up to open Instagram, the news feed or your favorite game. Just once a day, exercise that self discipline muscle in the moment. This creates more self awareness and shows yourself you can do it. It gets easier the more you practice (says the Dad : ) 

5. ERGONOMICS - Be mindful and protect against neck, back, wrist and finger strain. Sit upright, hold or have devices at approximately chest level. Keep wrists straight. Use ergonomic assistive devices such as phone pop-up grips and keyboard wrist rests. Alternate use of thumbs and fingers on phones and tablets. Take breaks and change positions regularly.

Technology and data are constantly with us now; it is our new normal. It's important to consciously create a healthy relationship with it, for our individual and collective physical and mental well being. 

As always, thank you for reading and being a part of Calgary Acupuncture Centre. Wishing you many head-up, rested-fingers moments for the remainder of your week : )


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