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Could your notifications be affecting your mental health?

Who remembers the Nokia days when you sent a text and you paid for each text message you sent? Not going to lie, at times when I find my phone incredibly overwhelming, I miss those days.

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We’ve gone from sending an average of 0.4 texts per month in 1995 to 2,819 texts per month in 2018…and that’s just the text messages. There are so many benefits to our phones but being ‘plugged in’ to a device that allows us to be contactable 24/7, makes it harder to switch off than ever. With the majority of my work taking place online, I often find myself about to log off only to find another wave of messages and tasks rolling in.

Many of us are dependant on our smartphones for work-related matters. Plus, an increase in work hours has led us to use our smartphones during our ‘down time’ for work purposes - further blurring the line between work and home life. My work involves me being on my phone throughout the day, and when your work revolves around social media, there’s an additional pressure to stay in the loop.

Many of us are also addicted to the dopamine rush we get with each new message, email, like or comment we received.

Globally our screen time has increased due to the pandemic and this rise is having an increased impact on our brains and mental health. I’ve felt overwhelmed by this constant availability and with every notification my anxiety is heightened, added to this I’ve felt guilty or stressed if I don’t respond quickly. Psychologists refer to this feeling as ‘learned helplessness.’

Many of us are also addicted to the dopamine rush we get with each new message, email, like or comment we received. Leading smartphone addiction to be linked to anxiety, depression and stress as a result of this constant cycle of dopamine and cortisol.

So what can be done? Turning your notifications off and reading your messages and emails at a time that works for you can help to boost your sense of ‘self-efficacy.’ For me, it’s improved my attention and focus as well as my sleep. The notifications themselves do have a purpose but try to be aware of which notifications you need to switch off from and why. Create boundaries for yourself - you don’t need to be constantly available to anyone.

Have you felt affected by your notifications? #mentalhealthmatters

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It's so wonderful to meet you and to take you on my journey, my odyssey.


Welcome to my mental health blog space where I share my healing journey and my experience with anxiety, in the hope of helping of others.


I truly hope that Catherine's Odyssey can help you and give you comfort in knowing that you are never alone on your journey.

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