Information Overload = Fatigue & Stress
And, when does it become Information Overload?
We get information related to;
- running our homes and families
- immense loads of information required in our daily careers,
- education/study or ‘other’ interests
- catch up information from social networks, for which many people are using multiples of,
- interpersonal information coming from friends and family.
- the blogs we have signed up for,
- the unsolicited cold calls from a multitude of businesses, organizations and charities;
- add in the hundreds of spam info that fills our emails and post boxes each day.
- news and other info on the radio, television and in the print media,
- just walking around the shopping centres can send you into information overload!
Phew! Is it any wonder that we nod at our desks, hug the pillow in the morning praying it is a day off or even try to find a hidey-hole for 10 minutes of peace and quiet? The ‘health and wellness community’ has been working hard to get people to understand the importance of a work and life balance. But what do a huge segment of the population do with better work hours and flexible scheduling? Do they take a walk (without their phone), commune with nature, enjoy some music or do something that brings pleasure or relaxation? The simple answer is most often
NO! Some find more time to ‘catch up’ on facebook, twitter and the 50 other ‘connection sites’. Do you really care what a friend ate for dinner, or to see another picture of their new car or even the new sports team shirt they purchased? Some might troll the internet in search of some other form of ‘entertainment’. I personally don’t want to see another “selfie” of a person in bed or delete another request to play a game.
Did you know that constant “up” time for information is causing a culture of stress and fatigue in huge epidemics? It is affecting our children even more…to the point where they don’t know how to write properly, interact with a face to face conversation and they are experiencing physical and mental health issues to greater degrees. It’s a pity people don’t have a shut off button. Down time engages the body to de-stress, regenerate and rejuvenate! It improves hormonal balance, cellular regeneration, immune system response, lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, improves motor and cognitive function and much more. WHY wouldn’t you want to STOP once in a while and just unload the constant “information overload” into the trash bin?
Studies have shown that constant stress shrinks the brain, causes illness, predisposes us to injury, causes obesity (especially abdominal fat), lowers the libido, causes hormonal dysfunction, insomnia, anxiety, depression; and the list goes on and on. Information overload triggers constant decision making which we have to prioritize how, what and when to respond. Emails, uploads, downloads – YUK. Studies show 70% is non essential to your work and life needs…it is only a sharing of info. I get enough info and so I say ‘thank you for NOT sharing’! My delete button gets hot some days and I don’t even bother to open the email.
I have had many clients that think they are soooo busy and, thereby, soooo important because of the amount of emails and contacts they get in a day. Really? Through businesses and my personal account I have three emails. I choose one time a day to check each one. I choose not to have email on my phone – if it is that important – Call me! I’d rather deal with it then, than later when I have to reread, react and respond. People won’t shut off…constantly responding to the hand held devices. I’m sure you know people who have two and three phones…again, Really? It that necessary? How about carrying one and having work or home diverted to it? Is it vanity that makes them feel so in demand?
Constant stress AGES you! A recent TV documentary on chronic stress revealed a person ages 3 to 5 years for every year they are under chronic stress. Some of you might remember when:
- Life was simpler.
- Catching up with others was over the phone or by letter if they lived a distance away and you really enjoyed that contact.
- Or getting together – face to face and really appreciating the time spent without a dozen interruptions to each person.
- You communicated with your children, your family and they actually listened instead of sending a text.
- You might get 30 calls in a day at work but when you left work… you were through for the day. Now you get a call to ask if you read your emails and why haven’t you responded.
- There were places in the house that you could be private and ‘alone’.
You might be thinking I am from another era and can’t appreciate today’s technology and that can’t be further from the truth. I do appreciate it. I got caught in the ‘bog’ of technology just like everyone else. I know the toll information overload brings to a person and I had to make choices.
In my world of helping people with overall wellness, this is one of the most important issues my clients complain of. When they learn to tone down the ‘information overload’, many of their physical and mental issues dramatically reduce or even disappear.
Ask yourself – Do I want to live with the vanity and addiction of importance or do I want vitality and longevity?