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Who (or what) is stealing your good energy? Is it possible that too much texting, Netflix, Facebook, or Instagram could be robbing you of precious mental energy and motivation?

Americans spend an average of 5.4 hours of screen time on their mobile phones every day.  Would you believe, 13% of millennials spend over 12 HOURS on their phones DAILY compared to baby boomers’ 5 hours/day?  Cell phone use accounts for just over half of internet time. The average cell phone user checks his/her phone 63 times each day! (1)

Screen Time May be Rewiring Your Brain

One researcher found that too much screen time can literally rewire the brain. (Screen time is the amount of time spent daily either watching TV or using an iPad, Kindle, cell phone, or laptop.) Dr. Mari Swingle, PhD, investigated the effects of screen use and published her findings in iMinds (2). In her research, she examined the impact of electronic gadgets on brain development in kids as well as in adult brains.

Mari observed just how the brain rewires itself by brain mapping her subjects. The most disturbing finding was the “irreversible changes in brain function that we now suspect may be interfering with the brain development of the very young.” (2, page 108). She reports that more frequent interaction of children with technology could have irreversible effects in socialization and emotion regulation.  These effects could impact how children form relationships, handle stress, and react to new situations, key behavioral concerns in autism).

It’s Hard to Relax with Too Much Screen Time

In some subjects, Mari observed increases in Alpha brain waves in areas they shouldn’t have. Alpha brain waves are generally thought of as waves of relaxation, creativity, and innovative brain processing; important in positive moods and peak performance. Alpha brain waves help the right areas of the brain turn on and off to ready the brain for the next task. Airline pilots, for example, demonstrate better performance when their brains show more alpha between tasks. Too little brain wave alpha is a sign of (and may be a trigger for) brain burn-out and fatigue.

Importantly, Mari found that excessive screen use seems to make the brain produce more alpha in the wrong areas of the brain at the wrong time. She found elevated Alpha brain waves in the frontal cortex where executive function (where we get things done) is regulated. Too much Alpha there may result in zoning out, poor focus, depression, anxiety, or withdrawal.

Screen Time May Sap Your Energy

I-Minds draws the conclusion that too much screen time may make us less motivated to get out there, try something new and stay at it.

Would you like more time, to feel more rested, less anxious, and more motivated? Consider cutting back on screen time to liberate your best self.