Thriving in the digital age

Every year, the Australian Psychological Society (APS) aims to increase awareness of how psychology can help Australians lead healthier, happier and more meaningful lives by promoting various initiatives. “Thriving in the digital age” is the focus this year.

8 ways we can boost wellbeing and create a healthy digital life from the APS:

1. Check less – individuals who constantly check their phone report greater overall stress and reduced productivity compared to those who check less often. When you limit email checks to three times a day, you can lower stress and increase wellbeing.

2. Take care when posting – engaging in negative interactions online negatively impacts our wellbeing. Creating a positive online social environment benefits our own health and others’ health too.

3. Take an active role – increased stress, social comparison and envy is linked to a passive use of social media. The benefits of building a positive social connection can be obtained by being active, constructive and respectful with online contributions, and seeking out positive social connections.

4. Block the bullies – a rise of cyberbullying on social media highlights the importance of reporting and blocking individuals who post malicious content. To enrich our lives, we can be selective about who we include in our social network.

5. Maintain perspective – remember that people create an online image they want others to see which can lead to feelings of personal inadequacy. Genuineness on social media is related to less stress and feelings of better connection with others compared to those who present a false image.

6. Set boundaries around work – family time and sleep can be negatively impacted by taking work home. If possible, limit responding to emails outside of work hours.

7. Guard your sleep – individuals are more likely to experience sleep problems and decreased productivity if social media is used before or in bed. To improve sleep quality, turn of all screens at least an hour before bed.

8. Connect offline – individuals who constantly check their phones are less likely to catch up with family and friends and feel more disconnected when they do meet loved ones. Putting the phone away, really engaging with others and being present allows us to enjoy a greater sense of wellbeing.

For more information about ways to thrive from the APS , go to http://compassforlife.org.au/