We live in an “always-on” culture and that means relying on iPhones and BlackBerries to enable us to communicate and compete. But the Stress Management Society warns that our brains are not wired to cope with the demands of a digital age; people are buckling under the pressure.
The society’s director, Neil Shah, says Londoners must get “smart” with technology so that it works for us, not against. Shah, whose clients include the NHS and Home Office, says: “Technology has changed how we live in such a short period of time. But our bodies were never designed to live in a sprint state.” To help us survive, the society has launched a one-day stress bootcamp. It includes tips from Andrea Sangster, a communications expert, on handling 21st-century stress. So what can we expect from a technology detox?
NOMOPHOBIA OR ‘NO MOBILE PHONE’ PHOBIA Research by the Post Office reveals more than half of mobile phone users in Britain fear being out of mobile contact, losing their phone or running out of battery life. I’m one of them. My stress levels soar when I’m in a signal blackspot. My phone is even with me when I’m in the bathroom in case I miss a call. Solution: Try switching off your phone at least at mealtimes (and in the loo). Or go analogue. Andrea suggests an alarm clock instead of a mobile for your morning wakeup call. Being digital-free also means no electromagnetic waves, so sleep quality is improved. It also stops late-night texting.