How Do We Decrease Stress? Spend Time Away From Numbers
Stress is omnipresent. But have we stopped to think about what so much of what we stress about comes from? We normally blame technology for our increased stress. That’s the easiest thing to do.
Here’s the catch though — the problem isn’t necessarily technology, but rather the enormous amount of data that technology offers.
Imagine you are sitting in a park waiting for a friend. To pass the time, you whip out your phone and obtain the following information:
Your sales lead hasn’t responded to your inquiry in the last 6 hours
Your stock portfolio is down 2% from this time yesterday
You’ve received 30 likes on your Instagram post
Information in itself is a good thing. The problem is these trivial updates regarding data don’t serve much of anything. We’re simply adding unnecessary stress to our lives.
Technology Isn’t the Problem. Numbers Are the Problem
It’s easy to bash technology for all our problems. It’s become the scapegoat for all our stress and anxiety.
Is there merit to this argument? Absolutely. Technology has added substantial stress to our lives. Unless we ditch our phones and make a concerted effort to “get away,” we’re destined for technological bombardment.
But what specifically stresses us out about technology? I wouldn’t say watching funny YouTube videos or Googleing random sports stats stresses me out. Yes, it’s a waste of time, but it’s not a source of stress.
What stresses us out is knowing there are only 10 more minutes of daylight. What stresses us out is seeing the stock market drop since 9 am this morning. What stresses us out is receiving less than expected likes on that stunning Instagram post.
If stress is laughable in this context, think of these scenarios as creating a slight kick in anxiety.
This marginal increase in anxiety is unnecessary. While it’s great to get information anywhere in a matter of seconds, it’s not always necessary.
Separate The Good From The Bad
The solution isn’t to eliminate technology completely. Technology has bettered our lives in countless ways. Cutting out our technological tools completely would be excessive.
Instead, we should be maximizing the benefits of technology while minimizing the aspects that contribute to our stress.
Text your friend to coordinate a meeting spot, but don’t stress over the fact your business lead hasn’t emailed you back in the last hour. Review your stock portfolio at predetermined times instead of mindlessly checking it every three hours. Check Instagram to see what your friends are up to, rather than obsess over who’s liked your post.
These are subtle adjustments, but a subtle adjustment is a lot more realistic than “canceling” technology.
Remind yourself — technology isn’t the problem; numbers are the problem. Eliminate the unnecessary information and reap the benefits of technology's best aspects.
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