Week 3: Is excessive use of technology causing stress?
One thing that we have seen in the past year is an increased use of technology, making it the bridge that connects us to the outside world. While technology has helped make life easier, it has also accelerated the speed at which it moves – being able to exchange messages to people in any geographic location in a matter of seconds, can lead us to do more…and more.
That being so, the short answer to the question in the title is, yes. Technology has become such an integral part of our lives that it’s easy to become addicted to social media and smartphone use to the point that it starts to affect our state of being. This could result in stress arising through the day and continuing to pile up over night, resulting in a cycle of stress accumulation. 
Our world demands the use of technology and this is more so with needing to stay at home because of Covid-19. To be a part of this society, we need to be comfortable with using our phones and laptops, which can make it near impossible to cut away from it. However, there is increasing evidence to show that, when used excessively, it can cause physical, psychological and energy imbalances- leading to stress.
While technology has saved many from being jobless over the past year, it has also become a weakness because this means you can now do your job from wherever you are. In other words, that makes you “always available” to your employers.
This necessity to be accessible 24/7 can cause anxiety and also make it challenging to have a healthy work life balance. If you have ever cancelled plans to stay in and work – this is for you.
On a physical level, technology has decreased the need for human contact. It is becoming easier to disconnect from the actual outside world because we can get anything done with a few taps of our fingers sitting at home. Deciding to shop from home, or ordering food home and living life shut doesn’t only cut you off from society, but also from sunlight and fresh air. This depletion of basic human requirements could also add to stress levels.
On a mental level, technology devices emit blue light- light that is similar to the sun. So when you use your smartphone after the sun sets, the brain still continues to mistake the blue light as sunlight and in turn confuses it, making it more difficult to switch it off and sleep.
And on an energy level, the increased usage of social media through technology is resulting in a Fear of Missing Out.
Being an avid social media user can possibly lead to a large amount of followers, likes and popularity. However, for those who don’t fall in that category, it could take an emotional toll. Being able to witness the lives of everyone around you through a small screen is enough to compare their life with yours. And in the event that it doesn’t match up, there will be a lot of anxiety and stress built up internally.
All the above factors play a hand in causing stress and has a direct effect on an individual’s self-confidence and insecurity levels.
Since it is relatively easier to understand the mind and body, it is given more attention. However, going beyond that and understanding the energy body a little more in depth could help eliminate stress from the root itself rather than just on the surface levels.
Effect on Solar Plexus chakra
This is the chakra where self-confidence and power arise from. It is represented by the colour yellow and element of fire. It is connected to the diaphragm and the digestive system, as well as the metabolism.
With a balanced solar plexus chakra, you will feel a sense of purpose. It will be easy to stay self motivated and experience confidence in whatever you do, with less regards to the external circumstances.
If there is an imbalance, emotional problems could arise. There may be worry about what others think of you because of reduced self-esteem, leading to search for continuous approval from others. This could become unhealthy because one may become dependent on external sources for confirmation.
One could trace the connection between the excessive use of technology and the imbalance in the Solar plexus chakra. Being confined and deprived of human contact, where we need to rely on our smart devices to communicate will directly affect our perspective of ourselves. Seeing what we see on social media, it is only natural to start comparing ourselves with those around us (consciously or subconsciously) leading to possible feelings of insecurity and self doubt.
Even on a physical level, just sitting for a large portion of the time in front of a screen means the body will be in a position that could cause compression in the diaphragm and the digestive system. This factor on its own could cause an imbalance in the solar plexus chakra.
Therefore, regardless of the scale that each individual uses technology, it is important to take out some time to activate that chakra to ensure that we can find a balance between these two worlds – ours and technology’s.
Activating the Solar plexus chakra can increase our self-esteem allowing us to stand up for ourselves and take the required positive actions, thus, eliminating insecurity. By taking a few small steps to keep the chakra balanced, one will be able to recognize their inherent power and be able to connect to a stronger purpose in life, personally and professionally.
- I feel calm, confident, and powerful.
- I feel ready to face challenges.
- I stand in my personal power.
- Paschimottanasana | Classical Forward Bend
- Ardha Matsyendrasana | Half Spinal Twist
- Dhanurasana | Bow Pose
Apart from practicing the above yoga poses, even walking outside for 20-30 mins in the sun every day will provide healing energy to the chakra. And in case you cannot go outside, visualising the sun and its effects on the internal body will also help.