Why Unplugging For a Digital Detox Can Improve Your Mental Health

It’s good to take some time away from your phone.

By: Ashley Brewer

How long do you think you could live without your phone? Well, according to one study, around 6.5 minutes. It might sound crazy, but the study claims we check our phones nearly 150 times a day and if that wasn’t scary enough, another study found that roughly half of Americans say they can’t live without their phones. So dramatic! But, in all seriousness, texting, checking social media, sending emails, and getting online is like second nature nowadays.

Of course, we live in a technology-driven world, and it’s completely normal to stay connected through smartphones and social media, but it becomes a problem when technology begins to affect our mental, social, and emotional health.

Taking a break from technology, unplugging, or trying a “digital detox” can have some positive effects on your mood and well-being. Here are a few good reasons why you should stay away from screen time and take some time away from technology.

Why Everyone Would Benefit From a Digital Detox

You’ll interact with humans more

In a time where everyone has their heads down in their cell phones, it’s amazing we know how to socialize IRL at all. Try leaving your cell phone at home the next time you go out. You’ll be surprised how much more you’ll want to connect with people and people will want to connect with you.

When you don’t have a cell phone to distract you or act as a security blanket, it allows you to be fully present with your surroundings and people around you. Face-to-face human interaction is so good for the soul and disconnecting, even just for an evening, can be fantastic for your mental health.

You won’t feel the need to compare yourself (as much)

Many of us are guilty of comparing ourselves to other people. And although it’s something we shouldn’t do, social media makes it a million times worse. Someone else is always “cooler,” “prettier,” or “doing something more awesome” than you.

When you take a digital detox for a day, week, or month, it will help you focus on real life and help you realize that the social media world is, of course, glamourized. We’re all human, and we’re all just trying to find happiness in life. Disconnecting can help us prioritize that.

It allows you to check-in with yourself

Ask yourself – when is the last time you really took the time to check-in with yourself? Spending a few minutes daily, without a screen or device, sitting and reflecting on how you’re truly feeling and doing can have a wonderful impact on your mental health.

It’s hard not to be distracted by every little thing these days, most of which is technology – so, it’s important to tune in sometimes and take a moment to see what’s really going on around us. Take some “me” time for even just five minutes every day to feel more grounded and centered.

It provides an opportunity to get outside

It’s been shown that going outside and being surrounded by nature has so many positive mental health benefits. So, if you’re unplugging for a while, you might as well get outdoors.

Being so technology-dependent has resulted in physical problems from staring at screens like lower back pain, weight gain, vision problems, and more. Setting your phone down and going for a hike or even a walk around the block can make a huge difference in how you feel.

The Takeaway

Make small steps to unplug and disconnect from social media and the online world. Try turning off your notifications or putting your phone in airplane mode for a few hours a day. All that matters is that you take the time to nourish your mental health and put down the screen every once in a while. Your brain will thank you.