Consider Reducing Your Screen Time for Better Mental Health

For some years now, there have been concerns within the mental health community that too much screen time isn’t good for the mind or soul. Research studies to that effect have begun popping up all over. One of the more recently released studies shows a link between screen time and childhood depression and anxiety. The data suggests that reducing screen time could be a key factor in improving mental health.

Although evidence showing the effects of screen time on adults isn’t as plentiful as the evidence relating to children, more adult studies are being done. The evidence is growing. Too much screen time can make us more anxious or lead to feelings associated with depression. So if you are struggling with either one, consider reducing your screen time.

Screen Time for Kids

Researchers from Canada’s Faculty of Education decided to launch their project after examining data compiled while children were kept out of school for COVID. During the COVID pandemic, childhood screen usage skyrocketed, and understandably so. Children were spending up to six hours per day on their screens to do schoolwork and connect with friends on social media during lockdowns.

Despite the pandemic being largely over, this new research reveals that kids are still spending just as much time behind screens on a daily basis. And unfortunately, the new study has found a link between that increased screen time and childhood depression and anxiety.

Equally important is that the researchers determined a link between childhood screen use and adult habits. They say that children introduced to screens at an early age are more likely to spend just as much time behind their screens as adults.

Plenty of Other Things to Do

This entire post shouldn’t be about the negative aspects of the recent research. So let’s focus on some positive things. For example, there are plenty of other things to do that don’t involve sitting behind a screen. It is understood that modern life requires a certain amount of screen time out of necessity. But outside of what is absolutely required, we could all stand to spend less time behind our screens.

We could try:

  • Visiting in Person – Rather than always connecting with people online, let us get together in person. Let’s go have coffee together or visit one another’s homes. Let’s sit and have good, meaningful discussions rather than sharing memes and comments on social.
  • Taking Walks – There is an entire world waiting outside the front door. Here’s the thing: most of us can easily access that world just by going for a walk. A daily walk in the fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for the mind and heart. For those who cannot physically walk, there are other ways to get out and about.
  • Learn Something New – Some of us spend time behind our screens out of boredom. A good way to combat that is to commit to learning something new. We could learn how to sew, how to cook, how to paint, and on and on. With every new thing learned, there is yet something else positive to focus on.

Screens are a necessary part of life. But too much screen time can be a component in anxiety or depression. If you are struggling with either one, we hope you will consider reducing your screen time as a means of reducing your exposure to the negativity that comes with it.

In the meantime, Aspire Psychological Group  is here to support you with anxiety or depression therapy. We want to help you overcome this so that you can live the type of life you want to live.

Dr. Aryeh Berlin is a New Jersey licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Aspire Psychological Group. Dr. Berlin has vast clinical training experiences including a residential adolescent addiction treatment center in Israel, community mental health centers, and youth detention centers. Dr. Berlin has lectured on parenting children with emotional and behavioral difficulties, child development, helping children with school-related challenges and trauma. Audiences included attorneys, mental health professionals, parents, and educators.

Consider Reducing Your Screen Time for Better Mental Health