The impact of technology on our and our children’s brains

On Radio 2’s Breakfast Show last week Chris Evans invited Neuroscientist Dr Jack Lewis in to discuss why it’s critical we have a break from technology and what happens to the brain when using it – as you know I am a big believer in this – have a quick read it’s very useful and interesting. This is what he said: Our neurons are ALL OVER OUR BODY – not just in the brain … the body thinks!! The brain is connected to every organ, the skin – every cell – everything! Hence why we have a “gut brain! We need to give our brain time to calm down. Digital detox is key. Technology has made it’s way into every part of our lives so we have become slaves to it instead of masters of it. Yet there are simple solutions – why not check your phone once an hour? Or keep it on silent? Turn off your notifications. Just turn it off for a while.

They discussed a recent study finding out about people’s what they call – Sanctuary Spaces:
12% of people hide in their shed to get away from the stress of life
38% keep tech out of the bedroom – this is great as we need to let brains sleep.

So find your “sanctuary space” e.g. the bathroom can become a space to block the world out – to get away from tech. The technology industry has created Apps that are so seductive that we are brainwashed into playing with our phones etc ALL THE TIME – just like the sweets at the supermarket checkout – it’s with you wherever you are. Capitalism is driven by sales so it’s making us slaves. Ask yourself is playing this game on my commute a good idea? We’ve lost the critical space to just daydream, get bored, plan and remember things; tech has invaded this time. Our cortisol (stress hormone) spikes throughout the day because of this overstimulation and this is disastrous – we are using our phones etc COMPULSIVELY. If cortisol keeps spiking every day it leads to chronic stress and this is terrible for the brain – the long-term effects are that the amygdala part of the brain ends up being over-responsive so you see dangers of threat everywhere but are unable to deal with it.

If I was to advise big companies I’d say this – if you can become more community based where you think about the needs of the individual i.e. their wellbeing so that you think about what they are doing to increase the wellbeing of people then you can save us from chronic nationwide stress.
So he says get out on nature, have eye to eye contact with people, don’t let looking at phones when you are with others become acceptable – we have to stop accepting this behaviour. Talk to each other!
We need to power down the digital device and power up the people!!

Yeah! This is great – I’ve banned tablets and taken my 8 year old off Fortnight at the mo – not been easy but it’s getting better. I’m limiting my social media time. Again not easy because I do it for work but trying. Progress not perfection and all that! What do you do? what do you think?

Namaste, Jess, Founder Wellbeing Yoga Brentwood Essex