The Correlation Between Excessive Screen Time and Poor Mental Health

Electronic devices play a large role in everyday life. In fact, most people cannot go 24 hours without using their cell phone, laptop, or television. Although there are many societal benefits to using electronics, some health experts are worried that overindulging in screen time may negatively impact mental health.

These findings impacted both younger children and adults. Here’s a list of ways screen time can impact the mind of different generations.

Screen Time Impacts Children Mental Development

Children who spend hours on their electronic devices reportedly had a harder time engaging in activities that weren’t electronic-related. For instance, these children had trouble developing their imagination, being creative, and even making friends.

Children who spent an excessive amount of time using electronics also had a thinner brain cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for critical thinking. Behavioral intelligence and the ability to socially interact are lower in children who have numerous hours of screen time.

Screen Time Negatively Impacts Self Image

While social media is great for keeping in contact with loved ones, it can also play a negative role in self-image. People who constantly compare themselves to others online begin to devalue their own lives, especially when they follow high-profile accounts. People who find themselves routinely feeling insecure when they are on social media should highly consider limiting use immediately.

Screen Time Impacts Physical Health

Believe it or not, social media also plays a role in overall physical health. People who spend hours online are more likely to be sedentary, which leads to being overweight and obesity. This furthers mental issues because it discourages people from going to the gym or working out in public. If left untreated, this will lead to anxiety, depression, and other underlying health conditions like type 2 diabetes.

Using electronics can be a beneficial experience. However, too much screen time takes a negative toll on physical and mental health. Children who spend too much time in front of electronics also have a delayed mental and physical development that hinders them into their adult life. To avoid the negative aspects of being on electronic devices, it’s best to create a healthy balance on and off-screen.

Advice for Dealing with Depression

Depression affects people differently across the world. Talking to your loved ones and those around you help create awareness. There are tons of tips on how to deal with depression. Some of them work for other people while others don’t. Here are helpful pieces of advice that will help you manage the situation.

Jot Down Things that Make You Sad

For starters, you need to write down things that make you sad and moody. The best time to write them is when you are feeling much better. This way, you will know your triggers and manage them with sheer simplicity. For some people, spending time with people drains them. Virtual meetings also make some individuals gloomy after finishing them. You can go for counseling or take medication when you encounter such situations.

Buy a Plant

Another way of dealing with depression is buying a plant. You can order it online due to the pandemic that has curtailed movement. It’s no secret that greenery and nature make you feel calm and relaxed as well. Having a plant to nurture gives you the satisfaction of being part of something. Plus, when you see it, your moods change for the better. With the lockdown, you can have an outdoor vision inside your home or apartment.

Embrace the Feelings

Accepting that you are going through depression is a huge step. Please don’t ignore your feelings or fight them since they will overwhelm you. Instead, sleep or cry so that you can feel better later. Embrace what’s going on, and in due time you won’t feel too awful. Let yourself feel the whole process of managing depression. Take time off to lie down or be away from the social scene.

Inform Family or Housemates that You’re Struggling

Your family, loved ones, or housemates need to know that you are battling depression. Inform them that you aren’t annoyed with them, and you need some time alone sometimes. Tell them that they shouldn’t feel the need to take care of you when you feel down.

Follow Useful Social Media Accounts

Social media accounts like Instagram and Tik Tok have crucial advice to offer regarding depression. You can follow them to view jokes about depression to feel better. Look for uplifting stuff that boosts your mood at all times. 

Visit NHCC.us for more on New Horizon Counseling Center and Herrick Lipton!