The Problem of Modern Living

image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon

image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon

Modern day living is great in many respects; we have an abundance of technology - smart phones, computers, and a myriad of electronic devices to clean our dishes, ensure our food stays fresh longer, do our laundry, and communicate with loved ones.  Our expectations have also kept pace with these technological developments, we expect things to happen quickly and efficiently, preferably, instantaneously.  We are also tied to our email inboxes, smart phones and social media, compulsively checking for updates throughout the day, often while we should be more fully engaged in other activities, like having dinner at a restaurant with a friend, walking down the street, or even driving.  Consequences of this ubiquitous divided attention include poor social skills and rudeness at one end and irresponsible/reckless endangerment of the self/others at the other end.    

Despite the fact that these technologies were designed to make modern life easier, which would in theory free us up for more leisure time and activities, the reality is that as a society, we are more pressed for time, socially isolated or disconnected, heavier yet malnourished, sedentary, and sleep deprived.  This modern day lifestyle puts us at risk for poorer overall physical health (e.g., development of chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes), but also poorer mental health as well (e.g., depression and anxiety).      

With all the health information that is readily available at our fingertips, we know we should exercise, make better food choices, and get enough sleep.  We also know we should find ways to reduce our stress levels, nurture our relationships, and find time to have fun.  The question is, what is holding us back? And, once we are aware of the roadblock, what to do about it?    

Suggestion: Rather than trying to change everything at once, pick one thing to work on for the week.  Perhaps put the smart phone away during dinner, go for a 10 minute walk during lunch, or check Facebook just once per day.  Then assess how the week went given that change.