Switch on to switch off
COVID has brought with it increased levels of distress, ultimately leading to potential mental and emotional burnout for some (or many) people. The cycle continues when common symptoms of technostress manifest in irritability, cynicism, and panic attacks.
But the source of technostress can be the same thing we use to de-stress — technology (or music via a technological device). Listening to relaxing music has been shown to stimulate the dorsal amygdala, connected to the ‘positive emotion’ network. Another study showed that biological indicators of stress (increased cortisol hormone levels, heart rate, and blood pressure, etc.) were also reduced by listening to relaxing music. So what is relaxing music? Well it differs from person to person, but there are some general principles. Try something with a slow beat, preferably instrumental and avoid repetitious or catchy lyrics and melodies. We can get so used to our stress that it feels normal. I especially become aware of this when someone asks something along the lines of, “are you stressed?” When I start to think about that, sometimes I don’t know what it’s like not being stressed.
It’s important to be aware of technostress induced mental fatigue and potential pandemic burnout – but it’s also important to realize that you can incorporate relaxation practices, such as listening to music, into your lifestyle management plan, your wellness or recovery plan or your everyday life.