Technology Takeover: Impacting Your Brain And Body
The overarching issue stems from the absolute inundation and obsession millennials have with technology, which presents both mental and physical hindrances to sleep.
More than 8 in 10 millennials say they sleep with a cell phone glowing by the bed, poised to disgorge texts, phone calls, emails, songs, news, videos, games and wake-up jingles, reports a Pew Research study.
All of our population, especially millennials, are on the phone until the moment we go to sleep. If we use devices before bed, the blue light goes into our eyes and that blue spectrum causes the physiological response of alertness. Without us even knowing it, our body is being cued to be awake, says Robbins.
But beyond the physiological effects, the constant stream of technology means being overly inundated with information.
Constant bad news makes me feel incredibly anxious. As a woman and the mother of a daughter, seeing the direction our country is heading in stresses me out. Thats not even including the daily issues that POC, LGBT people, and other minorities are forced to deal with, says Maggie Tyson, a content manager for a real estate start-up. All of it gives me anxiety and exhausts me to the point where I dont even want to think about it, which is pretty impossible, and it does add to a general feeling of fatigue.
Emotional Exhaustion And Burnout
Psychologists first began using the term burnout in the 1970s to describe the effects of severe stress on helping professionals, such as doctors and nurses.
Today, people use burnout to describe the results of chronic stress on anyone. Even so, no clear definition of burnout exists.
According to the United States National Library of Medicine , emotional exhaustion is one of the symptoms of burnout. The other two are:
- Alienation from work activities. Those with burnout become increasingly more stressed about their work. They may feel less committed to their organization, and they may distance themselves emotionally from colleagues.
- Reduced performance. Burnout causes cynicism and feelings of negativity about work-related tasks. Coupled with emotional exhaustion, this leads those with burnout to miss deadlines and otherwise perform poorly at work.
To reduce emotional exhaustion and burnout, people typically need to make lifestyle changes. In some cases, they may require medications or therapy. Treatments and tips to aid recovery include:
It Doesn’t Matter Whether You Call It A Virtual Happy Hour It’s A Meeting Because Mostly We Are Used To Using These Tools For Work Gianpiero Petriglieri
Big group calls can feel particularly performative, Petriglieri warns. People like watching television because you can allow your mind to wander but a large video call is like you’re watching television and television is watching you. Large group chats can also feel depersonalising, he adds, because your power as an individual is diminished. And despite the branding, it may not feel like leisure time. It doesn’t matter whether you call it a virtual happy hour, it’s a meeting, because mostly we are used to using these tools for work.
So how can we alleviate Zoom fatigue?
Both experts suggest limiting video calls to those that are necessary. Turning on the camera should be optional and in general there should be more understanding that cameras do not always have to be on throughout each meeting. Having your screen off to the side, instead of straight ahead, could also help your concentration, particularly in group meetings, says Petriglieri. It makes you feel like youre in an adjoining room, so may be less tiring.
Building transition periods in between video meetings can also help refresh us try stretching, having a drink or doing a bit of exercise, our experts say. Boundaries and transitions are important we need to create buffers which allow us to put one identity aside and then go to another as we move between work and private personas.
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You Have The Urge To Crawl Into Bed Even When Socializing
Feeling the urge to crawl into your bed, even when you’re interacting with co-workers or out with friends, could be a sign of anxiety. “Anxiety can create a desire to retreat to a place that feels safe and less stressful,” Dr. Manly says. “Feelings of sleepiness can be a signal from the body and mind that a long ‘time out’ is needed to recover. However, rest isnât effective as the individual unconsciously repeats the anxious thoughts and behaviors day after day.”
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However, the trauma is much bigger for individuals directly affected by the pandemic, says Galea. That includes those who’ve lost loved ones, lost a job or housing, struggled with child care, or have had COVID-19 themselves some of whom report continuing to experience exhaustion that’s thought to be associated with the viral infection.
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What Is Exhaustion Syndrome
Exhaustion syndrome is the result of long-term chronic stress, which has gone on for at least six months without sufficient recovery. The condition was previously known as burnout, and means that the brain becomes overloaded and the stress becomes pathological.
Exhaustion syndrome can be described in three phases. The first is the prodromal phase, which may produce physical and mental stress symptoms but where the person is still functional in their daily life. Most people understand that the symptoms are due to excessive stress and change their lifestyle.
If nothing is done about the situation, a person risks entering the acute phase. This often happens quickly and suddenly, the source of the expression to hit the wall. The acute phase may last up to a few weeks when the person is not functional at all. It may be impossible to get out of bed, think clearly or concentrate. The ability to multitask disappears. Feelings of desperation and panic may arise, which can be misinterpreted as depression.
The third phase is the recovery phase, when the person gradually gets back on their feet but is still very tired, sensitive to stress and has difficulty with concentration and memory. The longer the recovery, the more normal a role the person can resume in their everyday life, although exhaustion syndrome always causes greater sensitivity to stress, even when other symptoms are gone.
What Does Anxiety Do To Your Body
Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, or apprehension. It can be brought on by a stressful event or by the way you think about an event. Sometimes people feel anxious even when there doesnt seem to be an external trigger at all.
When you perceive a threat, your hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands release a torrent of hormones to prepare you to fight, flee, or freeze. In response, you might feel any or all of these physical symptoms:
Given the surge of hormones and the intensity of these symptoms, it isnt hard to imagine why youd feel tired after a bout of anxiety. You might feel relieved, drained, or even exhausted.
Most of the time, a good nights sleep is enough to restore your energy levels. Sometimes, however, the tired feeling doesnt go away as quickly as youd like.
Fatigue is a persistent feeling of being either mentally or physically tired. It may feel like a lack of energy, a lack of motivation, or a lack of strength.
The put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that women report feeling fatigued more often than men.
It can be brought on by any number of physical conditions, including:
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How Stress Affects The Body
The bodys response to stress is an important survival mechanism . When faced with a dangerous or stressful situation, the brain begins a series of processes that help us respond to a threat. Although the stress response is useful, when it continues for an extended period of time, the stress can negatively impact our bodies. Here are some effects of stress on the body and ways in which chronic stress can lead to health problems:
- Hormones: When faced with a threat, the body increases production of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol, that trigger other physical changes and put the body into a state of fight-or-flight. In chronic stress, these hormones can be triggered when theyre not needed.
- Muscles: In response to stress, muscles throughout the body reflexively tense up. If stress isnt reduced, chronic muscle tension can lead to painful conditions like headaches and back pain.
- Breathing: Stress can make breathing more short and rapid. For people with pre-existing breathing conditions, such as COPD and asthma, the bodys stress response can trigger their symptoms.
- Blood Pressure: Stress hormones cause certain blood vessels to dilate and can also cause blood pressure to increase. Ongoing stress can lead to inflammation and increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
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What you want to do is use the 6 powerful strategies on how to overcome stress and get your energy back, in this article to break that cycle and create positive upward spirals of low stress, low inflammation, positive mood, great sleep, resistance to infection, and big healthy mitochondria that are pumping out lots of energy.
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Delays On Phone Or Conferencing Systems Of 12 Seconds Made People Perceive The Responder As Less Friendly Or Focused
Silence is another challenge, he adds. Silence creates a natural rhythm in a real-life conversation. However, when it happens in a video call, you became anxious about the technology. It also makes people uncomfortable. One 2014 study by German academics showed that delays on phone or conferencing systems shaped our views of people negatively: even delays of 1.2 seconds made people perceive the responder as less friendly or focused.
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An added factor, says Shuffler, is that if we are physically on camera, we are very aware of being watched. When you’re on a video conference, you know everybody’s looking at you you are on stage, so there comes the social pressure and feeling like you need to perform. Being performative is nerve-wracking and more stressful. Its also very hard for people not to look at their own face if they can see it on screen, or not to be conscious of how they behave in front of the camera.
How are the current circumstances contributing?
Yet if video chats come with extra stressors, our Zoom fatigue cant be attributed solely to that. Our current circumstances whether lockdown, quarantine, working from home or otherwise are also feeding in.
A 2014 study found that delays on phone or conferencing systems shaped our views of people negatively
Why You Might Be Tired All The Time
Before you see a GP, you may want to work out how you became tired in the first place.
It can be helpful to think about:
- parts of your life, such as work and family, that might be particularly tiring
- any events that may have triggered your tiredness, such as bereavement or a relationship break-up
- how your lifestyle may be making you tired
A GP will look at the following causes of tiredness:
- psychological causes
Psychological causes of tiredness are much more common than physical causes.
Most psychological causes lead to poor sleep or insomnia, both of which cause daytime tiredness.
Psychological causes include:
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Emotional Signs And Symptoms Of Burnout
- Sense of failure and self-doubt.
- Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated.
- Detachment, feeling alone in the world.
- Loss of motivation.
- Increasingly cynical and negative outlook.
Change Your Thinking To Feel Less Stressed
Louise Thompson, author of The Busy Womans Guide to High Energy Happiness, says changing the way we think can help to beat fatigue.
At school we are taught what to think, but not how to think. And how we think determines how life unfolds for us so actually its pretty important! Its crucial to know that not all the thoughts in your head are truth. Believing everything we think can lead us to be overwhelmed, and a frazzled exhausted mess! Our energy goes where our thoughts go, so learning some principles of effective thought management is essential to a balanced happy life. Here are two important fundamentals:
1. Resentment is an energy killer
Remember that everything after breathing is a choice. Drop using the words have to, need to and must and substitute the word choice. I am choosing to go pick up the kids from school. I am choosing to make a really complicated dinner when I am tired, I am choosing to prioritise cleaning over exercise. When we use the word choose it brings us back into our own power. We get clear about the choices we really are making. We can own them or change them from a place of empowerment. Resentment comes from believing we have no choice , and resentment sucks our energy like nothing else. Drop the resentment by fully owning your choices and feel your energy surge.
2. Pay as much attention to the quality of thoughts you put into your mind as the quality of food you put into your mouth
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Why You Struggle To Stay Awake When You’re Stressed
Maybe youre going through a particularly grueling period at work think tons of deadlines, responsibility on a major project or battling for a promotion. Simultaneously, youre also feeling exhausted as hell.
Most people associate stress with feeling wired. But stress and fatigue also go hand in hand. Its actually fairly common to feel the need to fall asleep when youre incredibly high-strung, although nothing has been definitively confirmed in scientific literature as to why.
Experts do have some theories, however. Stress frequently impacts your sleep cycle, said Deirdre Conroy, clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic at Michigan Medicines Sleep Disorders Centers.
When were under a lot of stress, the continuity and quality of the sleep can be affected, Conroy said. It might take longer to fall asleep, or we might have frequent or sustained awakenings during the night after we have fallen asleep. Broken sleep can increase your feelings of fatigue during the day.
Stress can also interfere with the quality of sleep while youre out, leading to a higher percentage of light stages of sleep across the night, according to Conroy. Since your body typically recharges during periods of deeper sleep repairing tissue, resting muscles and boosting immunity you might feel like youre not getting enough sleep.
You might also experience standard insomnia some nights, which will make you feel poorly rested.
How To Practice Focused Meditation
Here are six tips to help you practice focused meditation. Based on your availability and interest, these tips may change and evolve. Thats the point: to create a structured practice that caters to your needs.
1. Find a Comfortable Seat
As with any meditation practice, comfort is truly key. The physical body responds to meditation practice by alerting you to whether it is comfortable and supported or stressed out and in pain. This is best observed in practitioners who tend to slouch and lose the tall, supported spine that is essential to meditation practice.
A simple rule in meditative sitting is to ensure that your hips are higher than your knees. Therefore, choosing to sit in a chair instead of on the floor may be a smart decision or perhaps propping yourself up on a cushion. For meditation techniques overall, it does not matter how you sit. All that matters is that you are supported and comfortable sitting for some time.
2. Choose Your Object of Focus
Every meditation training session is going to be different because no single day is the same for any one person. Therefore, experienced meditators know that choosing an object is more about listening to what you need at this time versus following any doctrine or rule.
3. Set Your Desired Time or Go With the Flow
Likewise, if you have the time, you can also listen to your body and come out of your meditation when you feel its right to do so. This is often a beautiful practice of listening and tuning in.
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Stress drains the body of its energy stores since stress is meant to warn us of an impending threat. Our fight-or-flight response exists to give us adrenaline to decide how to respond to that threat: either run or fight back. In the modern world, we have near-constant stressors which keep our bodies in a persistent state of alert. As a result, our bodies begin to wear down since we have a harder time transitioning to a relaxed state of mind.
Most people dont realize how interconnected our minds and bodies are, and that an imbalance in one can cause issues in both. Dr. Esther Sternberg, Professor of Medicine and Founding Research Director for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona at Tucson, has done extensive research on the links between the mind and body. Her research has included understanding the connection between the central nervous system and the immune system and studying how immune molecules made in the blood can affect brain functions that impact our emotions. In one of her best-selling books called The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions, Sternberg examines how our emotions, particularly stress, can impact our physical health.
An excerpt from her book explains how the parts of our brain that control stress may also play a role in our likelihood of developing certain diseases:
She goes on to explain how the constant stimuli we come in contact with can affect our stress response: