Lately, I’ve been getting up and doing a 2-3 minute workout. (I found a 4-week program on Pinterest that I took a screenshot of. It consists of things like squats, jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, and lunges.) What this does for me is: 1)gets my heart rate up to start my day; 2)boosts my self-esteem because I feel like I’ve already done something productive! The sad part is, after I’m done, I will sit down and check all of my social media accounts and text messages, etc…Yes, I am addicted to technology!
Is it so bad to be addicted to technology?
Well, to answer easily and simply – YEAH!
Because of my background in Special Education (and my current role), I continue to do a lot of research on the best ways to help my students learn. Through this research, I stumbled upon Jim Kwik of Kwik Learning/Kwik Brain. Jim is a world renowned brain expert. FYI, there are so many free youtube videos if you’re like me and can’t afford his courses yet!
Anyways, during my research, and listening to Jim, I’ve discovered that the brain operates in five different states: Beta, Alpha, Delta, Theta, and Gamma. Essentially, our brain has waves. And, scientists can measure those brain waves. The frequency of those waves determines what state your brain is in. Fascinating, huh?!
Here’s a quick run-down of the main four states (Gamma state was only just discovered and there’s not a lot of info about it yet!):
- Beta State is when you are awake and able to reason.
- This is a state of heightened alertness, critical reasoning, and logic
- Alpha State is when you’re brain is in deep relaxation, i.e. daydreaming, light meditating (when you’re eyes are usually closed).
- This is the optimal time to program your brain due to heightened learning, memory, imagination, and concentration.
- Theta State is when you’re brain is in light meditation and sleeping wave. Basically, this is the state right before you drift off to sleep.
- This is when you’re brain can experiences the most creativity, insights, and inspiration.
- This is the state where listening to self-help words or other positive thoughts works!
- Delta State is when you are in deep sleep.
- In Delta State our body is working on regeneration, moving things in our brain from short to longer term memory, making connections between new information that we’ve learned, and so much more!
- This is probably the most important brain wave state for the health of our bodies.
Now, I’ve learned about brainwaves but what in the world does that have to do with being addicted to technology?!
You see, when we wake up in the morning, most of us enter into Alpha State. We have still trying to wake up and are relaxed. Well, if you go directly to your phone, tablet, whatever, and start checking Facebook or Instagram, Twitter, etc… you are programing your body. In Alpha State, we are relaxed, but if you immediately move to checking email or social media, you are training your brain on what your relaxation looks and feels like.
Your brain is a supercomputer. It only runs the programs you tell it to run. – Jim Kwik
So, when you are constantly checking social media and looking for that next like, subscribe, comment, retweet, or whatever, your brain is releasing dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in our brain that controls an enormous amount of things.
Dopamine’s effect on pleasure
Dopamine contributes to so many interactions within our brain. It helps to control our memory, focus and concentration, pleasure points, and so much more! Here is a list of the ways dopamine effects our bodies. But, for our purposes, we are going to focus on one point: pleasure. When we experience something pleasurable, i.e. like, comment, share, etc… our brain releases specific amounts of dopamine. It’s our own natural version of a high. (And, yes, this is a similar high that people get when they are on drugs.)
When our brain releases too much or too little dopamine there are severe problems. Now, when we are in Alpha State, our brain should not be releasing too much dopamine because we are relaxed and not experiencing a lot. But, when in Alpha State, we begin to do things that release that dopamine, we are training our brain to adjust what Alpha State should look like!
What does that really mean?
It means that because we are retraining our brain to see relaxation as a not relaxing time, it leads to stress, anxiety, attention and focus problems, memory problems, and so much more!
This is the ultimate reason you’re addicted to technology! You’ve trained your brain to crave that dopamine when you should be in an Alpha State or Theta State (right before bed). And, what the body craves, the body gets unless you are an amazingly disciplined person.
How to NOT be addicted to technology:
Jim Kwik’s advice is to wait an hour after waking up before touching any technology. Give your brain time to get into Beta State before showering it with dopamine! Oh yeah, and NO technology an hour before bed! I feel like I’ve heard this last one somewhere before… 🙂
Your Challenge: Try to go an entire week with no technology an hour after waking up and/or an hour before bed. This will take will power and discipline but you can do it! Share or drop a comment to let us know how you’re doing!
P.S. The first hour of your day is a fantastic time to spend time with God or meditate.
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