Overview: National Wellness Month continues! And today, we’re thinking about how the technology that surrounds us in our daily lives influences our pursuit of wellness. Read on to learn what we’ve discovered!
According to the calendar, it’s still August, which means it’s still National Wellness Month! In a previous blog post, we took a good look at wellness, including what it means and how business owners can achieve it. Today, we’d like to focus on a specific angle: How can technology affect your wellness journey?
If you’re a business owner today, it’s a sure thing that you’re completely surrounded by technology for much of your daily life — including the device you’re using to read these words! When we think about wellness, we tend to think of it as an “analog” concept limited to the physical body and mind, but in our switched-on world, our sense of wellness is very much influenced by the technology that surrounds us.
If you use technology in strategic ways, that can be a very good thing! But if you’re not careful, it can actually have a negative effect on your wellness. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring what this means.
Using Technology to Keep Good Wellness Habits
It can be challenging to keep good wellness habits. That might just be the reason there’s an entire month devoted to it, rather than just a day or a week! When you first start making an effort to exercise regularly, or eat better, or improve your sleep routine — all important elements of overall wellness — it can lead to frustration.
But all of these things become much easier to stick with when you make regular habits of them. And technology can make that a little bit easier. Here’s how technology can nudge you in the right direction in different areas of your wellness journey.
It seems like another era in history now, but it wasn’t so very long ago that a person who wanted to go for a run while keeping themselves entertained would have to rely on a portable CD player prone to skipping, or a portable radio, which left them at the mercy of their local radio stations.
And for people who chose to work out at the gym, there might be a TV nearby, but viewing options were limited to whatever was on. How many judge shows, cheesy talk shows, and kids’ cartoons could one treadmill user take?
With today’s technology, it’s a completely different world. Mobile devices can deliver the exact music (and podcasts) you want to hear while you’re out jogging, with no worries about skipping. And many gym TVs are loaded with streaming services, so you can choose the perfect show to accompany your exercise bike session. (In fact, the biggest problem now might be making a decision from among the hundreds of entertainment options available to you!)
We also now have smart watches, which can make tracking your physical activity a breeze. Your smart watch can count how many steps you’ve taken and how much physically strenuous activity you’ve done. It’s like your own little robotic personal wellness secretary!
Many smart watches can also monitor your sleep, providing you with valuable information so you can make adjustments to your sleeping environment if necessary. Remember, getting consistently good sleep is an important piece of the wellness puzzle!
And in the diet and nutrition department, there are several apps available that can help you maintain healthy eating habits. You can use these apps to track your calorie intake, remind you to stay hydrated, and set healthy weight goals.
Experts also suggest that an important part of wellness is maintaining healthy relationships, and technology certainly allows us to do that. We use our devices to stay in touch with friends and family by calling, texting, emailing, chatting, and sharing video calls.
And don’t underestimate the ease with which you can use technology to make plans for in-person get-togethers, which can sometimes feel even more fulfilling than those virtual conversations!
>> Related Reading: Face-To-Face Communication: Healthier Than Digital?
There are also a number of apps designed to help you keep in touch with the mental health element of your wellness journey by offering guided meditation and mindfulness exercises, which can help you reduce stress and anxiety and improve concentration.
In recent years, a number of online and app-based services have become available that allow users to access the assistance of mental health professionals. The ability to chat, text, or video call with a knowledgeable expert from the comfort of your own home makes it more convenient than ever to pay attention to your mental health needs.
Too Much Technology Can Negatively Affect Your Wellness
And now for the other side of the coin. We’ve discussed how technology can help you achieve your wellness goals. Unfortunately, excessive or indiscriminate use of technology can have some negative effects on your physical and mental health. But don’t worry — if you stay mindful, you can integrate technology into your life without letting it bring you down!
If you work on electronic devices all day while running your business, you should be aware that being sedentary and staring at screens for extended periods of time can lead to physical problems, disrupt sleep patterns, and result in fatigue. This is why it’s a great idea to take regular breaks, stand up and walk around, stretch, look away from your computer screen, and so on.
The omnipresence of technology can also distract you from wellness-related activities and throw your work-life balance out of whack. Have you ever “finished work” for the day, only to keep checking your phone and responding to messages? Or have you ever found your exercise time reduced because you found it difficult to tear yourself away from something happening on your phone?
This is exceptionally common among busy business owners. But while it might seem like a good idea to keep working on your business concerns in the moment, you’re just accumulating more screen time, taking yourself away from your “real life,” and possibly increasing your stress levels.
>> Related Reading: Take a Hike, Boss! Isn’t It Time for a Vacation!
It’s even worse when bedtime rolls around. Studies suggest that you get worse sleep if you go to bed immediately after engaging with screens. This is why it’s better to turn off that phone (and that tablet, and that computer!) half an hour before you plan to fall asleep.
And remember: Sometimes it’s best to turn off those notifications and focus on yourself!
>> Related Reading: How Electronics Affect Sleep
Although it requires some deliberate and strategic choices, technology can have wonderful effects on your journey to wellness. Even when it’s not National Wellness Month!
We’re grateful for all the ways technology helps us on our wellness journey. And we’re grateful that it allows us to help you! Our technical resources allow us to serve our clients’ website needs, taking care of website maintenance issues that might otherwise be time-consuming and stressful — and thus removing a few pesky impediments to their wellness journeys!
We hope we can help YOU achieve peace of mind. Feel free to contact us to learn more!