It seems as though mobile devices are everywhere these days. This is particularly true in big cities like New York, where many of us lead fast-paced, constantly-connected lifestyles.
There’s no denying our smartphones and tablets offer many benefits. They help us stay in touch, they provide entertainment, they make us efficient, and plenty more.
That’s not to say their role in your life may always be positive. Unfortunately, mobile devices can also contribute to issues such as depression.
It’s important to understand that overcoming depression sometimes requires professional help. If you’re feeling depressed frequently, get in touch with a NYC therapist to learn more about what they can do for you.
Still, there are steps you can take to support your own mental health in the meantime. The following information will help you better understand why your mobile devices aren’t always good for your mental wellbeing, and what you can do about it.
The Role of Mobile Devices in Depression & Mental Health Issues
It’s worth noting that the relationship between frequent phone or tablet usage and depression isn’t theoretical. Researchers have consistently found overuse of these devices may lead to mental and emotional difficulties over time. Although this is particularly common among young adults, these problems can strike anyone of any age.
Why do mobile devices cause or exacerbate such issues? The answer varies on a case-by-case basis. Quite simply, it depends on the way in which you use your device.
For example, many younger people frequently use their phones to check social media. This has been shown to boost their odds of experiencing depression and other mood disorders.
Genuine human interaction is key to everyone’s mental health. The problem is, when young people are “interacting” with one another via social media often, actual face-to-face interaction becomes less of a priority.
Researchers have also pointed out that many people turn to their mobile devices in order to avoid dealing with unpleasant circumstances that need to be addressed. If you’re constantly playing games on your phone to avoid dealing with a stressful situation, that situation will only get worse.
It’s also well-known that using mobile devices at night can result in sleep deprivation. Sadly, lack of sleep is another factor that often contributes to depression.
On top of all that, these devices allow us to remain in “work mode” long after we should have clocked out for the day. Perhaps you have a stressful job. If you’re checking emails and addressing work tasks all day long, instead of giving yourself a much-needed break, your mental wellness will suffer.
Again, none of this is meant to suggest there’s nothing to be done about the role of mobile devices in depression. These are a few key steps you can take to limit your smartphone’s negative impact:
Prioritize Real Interaction
Quitting social media altogether may be the best way to stop it from harming your mental health. That said, if you don’t think this is possible, you should at least make sure you’re not letting social media prevent you from actually spending time with friends and family. Schedule regular visits to guard against depression.
Set Off-Limits Hours
This will take some discipline at first, but one of your eventual goals should be to stop using your mobile devices during certain hours of the day. You need time to relax after work. You need to wind down before going to sleep. You need opportunities to engage with your environment, instead of staring down at your phone all of the time. Setting aside specific hours when you don’t plan on using mobile devices will help you reach these goals.
Turn Off Notifications
It’s a simple tactic, but an effective one. When you turn off notifications on your mobile device (except for essentials, like phone calls and text messages), you won’t be constantly bombarded with app alerts. That means you’ll have less reasons to constantly check your phone or tablet.
See a New York Therapist
Remember, maintaining strong mental health in a busy city like New York can be complicated. While the tips here should help when mobile devices are making you depressed, if your depression symptoms have persisted, it’s also important to see a therapist. They’ll help you address your specific difficulties. Get started by scheduling your initial consultation with Therapy24x7 today.