Updated: Dec 30, 2019
As we move into a new decade, we’re plunging headfirst into the full-blown “information age.” Take one look around to our screen-filled reality, and it’s clear that we are more equipped with immediate access to a plethora of information than ever before.
But more information at a faster pace means more for our minds to handle. For all the benefits of the information technology and communications revolution, there is a well-known downfall: too much information at once can overwhelm our mental capacities. For the average human, this can lead to brain fatigue, information addictions, shorter attention spans, and information contamination (making the wrong decision).
So, as we’re entering into a new decade, with no slowing down in sight, how can we better equip ourselves to find mental peace when the world around us is constantly vying for our attention?
At FSorb, our mission is to support people in accessing the benefits of quiet spaces, both externally and internally. So we’ve put together our top 4 tips for beating the mental noisiness that can come from "information overload” in our modern world.
Avoid the Temptation to Multitask: We may think we can get more done by multitasking, but researchers show that we’re slower, not faster when attempting to do more than one thing. That’s because multitasking itself is a misnomer—instead of focusing on multiple tasks simultaneously, the brain actually switches very fast between tasks, which drains this vital organ of much-needed glucose. Some studies have shown multitasking actually decreases productivity by up to 40%. So give your brain a break and decide to focus on one thing at a time. Even 20 minutes of focused attention (turn off all distractions) can generate more productivity than you might realize.
Take Daily Time for Silence: Being exposed to noise pollution impacts the human nervous system, health, learning and memory, and derails social enjoyment. Depending on where you live or work, you may feel challenged to find “quiet time,” but research is showing that silence, even for short amounts of time, is extremely beneficial. Just 2 minutes of silence relieves tension in the body and brain, lowers cortisol, adrenaline and blood pressure, and is more relaxing than listening to music. Two hours of silence can even stimulate brain regeneration. Starting a silent meditation practice is a great way to add blocks of silence into your daily life.
Take Technology Breaks: Although life with technology can afford us many conveniences, don’t forget about other parts of life you value. Put down or turn off the phones, computers, and televisions for just a short period of time each day. Consider what else you might enjoy being fully present to, without any technological distractions? In-person conversations, physical activity outdoors, or hobbies like cooking or playing an instrument can all add great fulfillment to life.
Take Breaks from Urban Environments: It’s not just information from our phones and computers that our brains have to process. The hum and honks of traffic, the flashing lights of storefronts and billboards, and even various city smells are all pieces of sensory information our nervous systems must take in and decide what to give attention to. If you live in an urban environment, taking breaks to spend time elsewhere, like deep in nature, can give a much-needed break to an overstimulated system.
Whether it’s spending more time in nature or starting a meditation practice, make one of your resolutions this year to develop a few new habits for a quieter mind. Additionally, choose to spend more time in quieter spaces and revel in the benefits to your health and productivity. Lastly, if you’re a designer, don’t forget the immense value of enhancing a potentially noisy space with beautiful and effective acoustic solutions like FSorb.