Feasting on Information: Is Your Brain Busting at the Seams?
Alright, picture this. Our brains are like an all-you-can-eat buffet. They’re feasting on a smorgasbord of information, thoughts, ideas, and a whole lot more. But just like how your stomach can only take so many helpings of grandma’s famous lasagna, our brains have a limit too.
Let’s take food fads as an example. One day, carbs are the bad guys. The next, it’s all about plant-based diets. There’s so much conflicting information out there, it’s enough to give anyone a mental indigestion!
But it’s not just the culinary controversies that are turning our heads into a whirlwind. The news… oh, the news! Our ancestors, huddled around a fire, were concerned with the challenges of their tribe, their village, and perhaps an entire kingdom at most. That’s about the level of turmoil our grey matter is built to withstand. But now, with the sorcery of modern media, we’re not just wrestling with the troubles of a single tribe or kingdom – we’re inundated with the trials and tribulations of thousands, even millions, from every nook and cranny of the globe.
That’s like swapping a gentle summer rain for a full-blown monsoon! It’s no surprise that we end up feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and downright gloomy. And, believe it or not, this flood of information isn’t just bad for our mood. It’s affecting our bodies too. All this stress can monkey with how we eat and how our body handles food. It might even spike your cholesterol levels.
Stressed Out and Stuffed with Stories: The Body’s Response to Media Mayhem
In a lot of cases, it goes something like this… It’s a typical morning, and your alarm buzzes you awake. Before your feet even hit the floor, your hand is groping for your smartphone. You start scrolling, consuming bite-sized pieces of news, social media updates, and of course, your daily dose of cat videos – the essentials of modern living. By the time you reach your first coffee, your brain has already devoured more information than your ancestor probably did in a week.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “What’s the big deal?” Well, hold onto your caffeine, because we’re about to delve into the fascinating science of information overload. Remember that psychology course you took in college where you learned about ‘fight or flight’? When our ancestors faced stress (like an overly enthusiastic sabertooth tiger), their bodies would amp up adrenaline and cortisol levels to get them ready to either battle or bolt.
Fast forward to today, our stressors aren’t exactly life-threatening. But our brains still react the same way, kicking our bodies into overdrive. Prolonged exposure to stress isn’t just a mood-killer; it can lead to physical health issues, like raised cholesterol levels, impaired digestion, and even weight gain. And here’s the kicker: a study by the American Psychological Association found that constant media consumption could be a significant stressor. So essentially, we’re sabertooth-tiger-level stressed out because of a snarky tweet or a bad news day.
This is where the concept of a Media Fast enters the chat, like a knight in shining armor. It’s a detox for your brain, a chance to give your mental muscles a break from the non-stop flexing they’ve been doing. For a period, say a month (no gasping, please), you abstain from all forms of media. No newspapers, no TV news, no social media. Like a vacation, but instead of sun, sea, and sand, you get peace, quiet, and, well, more peace.
Sound extreme? Perhaps. But, remember that couple from Wisconsin who took a year-long break from the internet? They reported feeling more relaxed, more connected with each other and nature, and surprisingly, more informed because they actively sought out information instead of having it mindlessly spoon-fed to them.
Press Pause on the Press: The Magic of Media Fasting
So, here’s a wild thought: how about we press pause on the media for a bit? I know, I know, it sounds like going to the moon in a paddle boat, but bear with me. Those who’ve tried this? They can’t stop raving about how great they felt afterward.
You’re probably thinking, “Sure, sounds good, but I need my cat videos!” And hey, I get it. You don’t need to go full hermit-mode. Remember, it’s not about isolating yourself from the world but giving your brain some breathing room. It’s like turning down the volume on a really loud party. You can still enjoy the music, but without the headache.
If going cold turkey for a month sounds too hardcore, why not try smaller doses? Skip the news one day a week or enforce a digital sunset where you switch off all devices a couple of hours before bed. Baby steps still get you moving in the right direction.
When you do decide to come back to reality (or should I say, media-ality), do it at your own pace. No need to play catch-up with all the gloom and doom. Maybe make it a Sunday thing, catching up with the news just once a week.
You might be thinking, “What if something BIG happens?”. Well, that’s the beauty of it. If something really groundbreaking occurs, you’ll know about it. Everyone will be talking about it. You might just hear it a couple of hours later. But hey, does being a little late to the news party really matter? In the grand scheme of things, a slight delay in updates won’t hurt. And it might just help your mental health in a big way!
A Drop in the Ocean: The Ripple Effect of a Media Fast
A media fast might seem like a drop in the ocean in the grand scheme of things, but you’ll be surprised at the ripple effect it can have on your life. You’ll find more time for hobbies, for family, for that novel you’ve been meaning to write, or even for that second helping of dessert you usually skip because you’re busy scrolling through your feed.
To wrap it up, going on a media fast is not about abandoning the modern world. It’s about reclaiming control, and understanding that while we can’t always control the events happening around us, we can control how, when, and how much we let them affect us. After all, we’re humans, not information-consuming robots.
So, what do you say? Are you ready to give your overworked mind a little vacation? Remember, the first step is always the hardest, but who knows, you might come to like this newfound peace and calm in your life. And hey, don’t worry, your cat videos will always be waiting for you when you return!
Reclaiming Control: Unplug and See the Difference!
Mindful Morning Rituals 🌅
Mindful Morning Rituals Instead of reaching for your phone or turning on the news first thing in the morning, take this time to engage in a mindfulness practice such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. You could also enjoy a mindful breakfast, paying attention to the taste, smell, and texture of your food…
Nature Appreciation Breaks 🌳
During your media fast, schedule short breaks throughout the day to step outside and engage with nature. Notice the warmth of the sun on your skin, the rustling of leaves in the breeze, or the bird song in the air. These moments of mindfulness can provide a calming counterpoint to the digital world.
Digital Sunset 🌇
Just as the sun sets every evening, let your use of digital devices wind down with the day. Turn off screens at least an hour before bedtime. Instead, you could read a book, have a conversation with a loved one, or engage in a relaxing activity like drawing or playing a musical instrument.
Mindful Media Bites 📱
When you do reintroduce media, do it mindfully. Set specific times for consuming news or social media and stick to them. Ask yourself why you’re reaching for your phone or turning on the news. Is it out of habit, or do you genuinely need to check something?
Media Gratitude Journal 📝
As part of your media fast, keep a journal where you jot down things you are grateful for each day without media. Over time, this practice will highlight the positive impact of the media fast and reinforce your motivation to maintain it.
Tech-Free Zones 🕯️
Designate certain areas of your home as tech-free zones. These could be places of relaxation or creativity where you can engage in activities without the interruption of notifications or the temptation to check your devices.
Sensory Awareness Exercise 😌
When the urge to consume media arises, pause and engage in a sensory awareness exercise. Notice five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This practice helps you stay anchored in the present moment.
These practices are designed to bring your awareness back to the present moment, cultivate a sense of calm, and also help you reevaluate your relationship with media.
Keep in mind, the key to these practices is consistency. They’re designed to encourage a more mindful and less stressful relationship with media. Enjoy exploring which ones work best for you!
Be Alive 🌱
Love ❤️, Julia
GUIDED MEDITATIONS 💗
DISCLAIMER: The materials and the information contained on the Positive Pranic website are provided for general and educational purposes only and do not constitute any legal, medical, or other professional advice on any subject matter. None of the information on our videos is a substitute for a diagnosis and treatment by your health professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.