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Is Technology Stressing You Out?

Technology gives us the ability to communicate instantly with people around the world. Machines can literally see inside our bodies. We can shop, take a course or find almost any kind of information from the comfort of home. But, the same technology that makes our lives better also can add to our stress.

With e-mail, cell phones, laptops and versatile hand-helds, we can feel the need to be available and productive 24 hours a day. And, we multi-task because it seems so easy and convenient. When we do several things at one time, we may not always do them well or safely. Maybe you squeeze in cell phone calls while shopping, or even while driving. Or, perhaps you answer a few more e-mails or browse around the Internet instead of getting that extra hour of sleep you need.

Are we making the most of technology? Or, is it getting the best of us? Are we more in touch with friends and family? Or, is in-person contact being slowly replaced by electronic contact? Do we really have more convenience? Or, do we simply have more demands on our time?

If you're starting to feel the grip of techno-stress, you aren't alone. Try these tips to help manage your time and maintain your well-being:

  • Set limits and prioritize. Schedule a time to check e-mail and voicemail. Not every e-mail or phone call has to be answered right away. Respond to urgent messages and get to the others when you have time. Still feeling overwhelmed? Turn off your cell phone for awhile.
  • Be prepared. Have a plan for when your technology goes down and you absolutely must connect. Find out in advance where you can use a computer or connect to the Internet-think about using the public library or an Internet café.
  • Enjoy your technology-free time. Let the voicemail pick up calls, turn off your entertainment center and leave your computer behind. Do something low-tech. Walk the dog, read that book or just enjoy the quiet.
  • Ease your feeling of isolation through human contact. Take the low-tech approach to communication. Spend face time with your friends and family. Choose entertainment options that take you out of cyberspace and into the real world.
  • Use technology to help you relax. Download soothing music, listen to audio books to make the commute less frustrating. Use your DVD or VCR to learn more about yoga or meditation.
  • Slow down long enough to take care of yourself. Ease your stress by keeping a fit mind and body. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Take time to pursue personal interests.

Technology has plenty to offer. But, you can get too much of a good thing. Try not to let being wired make you feel wired.

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