What is the best way to close out summer?!
Answer from the experts (& Dr. Stilp herself): Send a day (or 3) in Detox
- BioHack your brain
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Improve sleep
- Increase productivity
- Cultivate deeper connection with self and others
- Simply, explore and experience cool stuff of life
The digital devices we can’t live without can cause a significant toll on our mental and physical health. And our reliance on them has crossed over into an addiction, research shows. In fact, smartphone use can trigger dopamine hits in our brains akin to drugs or gambling. The need to feel constantly connected can lead to self-esteem issues, sleep problems, weight gain, unhealthy eating, and reduced productivity, among other problems.
The Digital Detox
A digital detox, or a deliberate break from using digital devices, can help stave off these issues. Simply by disconnecting or reducing time spent online, you can see the benefits of a calmer mental state, improved self-image, increased productivity, enhanced physical health, and better sleep.
A digital detox doesn’t have to be going cold turkey, either. It could involve putting your phone out of reach for a few hours, putting limits on certain internet activities, or scheduling specific times for using devices.
How to Start a Digital Detox
Some easy ways to get started include paying attention to your emotions when using your device. This helps you understand your relationship with using your devices better. You can also schedule phone- and screen-free periods throughout your day. There are also apps to track usage. And finally, turning off notifications and/or your phone before bedtime can enable more restful sleep and state of mind.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, spending three days disconnected from civilization and immersed in nature has been shown to greatly improve cognitive function. You can even book an off-grid cabin to facilitate a 72-hour digital detox.
Digital Detox Benefits
While it may be difficult to start a digital detox, consider the potential benefits. By reclaiming time from our digital devices, we can reorient our focus toward more fulfilling activities, improve our mental and physical health, and boost our overall quality of life. However, if smartphone use continues to disrupt your daily life and control seems elusive, reaching out to a healthcare professional for advice can be a wise step. Remember, the goal isn’t to completely abandon technology, but to strike a healthy balance between our digital and offline lives.
Sonja Stilp, M.D. is a mother, athlete and the founder of RISE. Dr. Stilp is board-certified and fellowship trained with advanced training in regenerative medicine and biohacking. She is the medical director at Golden BioHack. If you’d like to hear more about your health and wellness schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Stilp at RISE in Golden, Colorado. This week she is off the grid in Digital DETOX climbing Colorado 14ers with RISE service GSD, Cornelia.