group discussion

Mental Refresh: Why We Need a Little Less Convenience

It can be hard to care for your mental health when triggers surround you. Anywhere you turn, there could be an upsetting image or statement that will cause you to spiral into self-doubt and panic attacks. Still, being online feels like the place to be, because everyone you know is online and not being on with them means you miss a lot. Or, at least, that’s what apps make you think.

Old-school Notetaking and Your Emotions

Many of us rely on our phones for things that we used to need other items for. Houses don’t have alarm clocks anymore. Phones usually have a built-in alarm you can customize depending on your schedule. Convenient, right? Notepads remain unused as we rely on apps for notetaking. You might not be aware that your retention of information varies depending on how you took notes. Using an actual notepad and writing with your hand makes it easier to retain information. Meanwhile, if you type the data into an app, you don’t keep the information as effectively. You can argue that that’s what the app is for, but in the grand scheme of things, using apps for reminders takes away exercise for your brain, which can result in poor memory retention.

On top of that, it’s more challenging to learn when stressed. Using a chalkboard and chalk marker helps in several ways. You write down what you need to remember, and while writing, you are more aware of what you are doing, which helps you feel less stressed and able to process your emotions.

An Over-convenient World

When someone tells you to ditch your phone for old-school notetaking, your immediate reaction might be to groan because of the inconvenience. Instead of just needing your phone, you now need other things, such as a pen and a piece of paper. You’re not to blame for having this kind of reaction, especially if you grew up in the age of convenience. Today, everything is within reach, and if they aren’t, there’s an app that will bring them to you. Even food can be delivered to your doorstep fully prepared, portioned, and ready to eat. As long as you have the money to pay for these services, you can stay indoors and have everything delivered to you.

Wandering Act

girl holding balloon

This means that instead of staying active, you have more free time to let your mind wander. And it’s okay if you are thinking about creative things and using this free time to be productive. In the Facebook-Instagram world, however, that’s hardly the case. There are days when the most creative thing you do is to choose the filter and adjust the lighting on your selfie before posting it. Then, you wait for the likes–that hit of dopamine. And when it doesn’t come, you feel bad, neglected, or anxious. It’s a downward spiral from there.

People love convenience. We go for the easy route because it’s cool and it frees up our time. However, none of this matters if you don’t use your free time productively. If you go for convenience and let your mind wander, you’re setting your mental health up to fail.

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