Our modern lifestyle has changed significantly in today’s fast-paced, technologically advanced world, and this has both beneficial and harmful effects on our well-being, especially our mental health. On the one hand, society has benefited greatly from increasing connectedness and technological advancements and breakthroughs. They have also brought with them fresh challenges that have an impact on our mental health. This article briefly overviews how our contemporary lifestyle is affecting our mental well-being.
First of all, social media and the spurt in the growth of digital technology have fundamentally altered how we connect, engage, and communicate with others. These platforms can foster far more efficient and instant communication and information sharing but can also exacerbate boredom, distraction, and loneliness. Stress, persistent worrying, and a deteriorating sense of self-worth can arise from being constantly exposed to deliberately projected “false or fake profiles (also known as fake prolificity) and the pressure to be available and “connected” to our friends.
Second, a sedentary and physically inactive lifestyle is encouraged and promoted by our contemporary
style of living. Comfort levels are rising, as with everything. We are becoming less physically active because of the increasingly sedentary jobs and sitting before longer screen times. Numerous mental health problems, such as chronic stress, persistent worrying, and depression, are associated with physical inactivity. In addition to being vital for maintaining our physical health, regular exercise also plays a major role in fostering mental wellness since it lowers stress hormones i.e., cortisol, elevates mood, and increases self-esteem.
In addition, the pressures of today’s workplace have raised the level of competition. Prolonged work hours, impractical anticipations, and an unwavering urge to remain in the forefront can result in persistent stress and burnout. Globally, there is a great deal of stress on the job. The workplace is not a healthy place for our mental health. Inadequate self-care activities and conflicts in relationships are increasing the pressure to succeed in both personal and professional spheres and that can all lead to mental health issues. The number of working populations suffering from mental health issues is rising.
Furthermore, our mental health is severely impacted by the constant barrage of information and “sensory overload” that we are witnessing in the digital age. We are continuously exposed to a deluge of information because to the round-the-clock news cycle, social media posts, updates, and notifications. Overwhelming information and trouble focusing and concentrating might result from this. This causes higher anxiety levels. We get more isolated when we are unable to cultivate genuine, meaningful relationships, which disconnects us from other people. This is not an encouraging trend for our mental health.
Moreover, the modern lifestyle often encourages unhealthy habits. Our materialistic-driven lifestyles promote a dependency on fast food, excessive caffeine intake, and irregular sleeping patterns, all of which are detrimental to our mental health. Substance addiction is becoming more prevalent among us. Like other unhealthy coping strategies, smoking and drinking can make stress worse and hasten the onset of mental health issues.
It’s essential to keep in mind that there are positive effects of the contemporary lifestyle on mental health as well. The development of technology has also created new avenues for online counselling, mental health services and facilities, and support groups. People are starting to prioritize their mental health and are more proactive in seeking out services like counselling and psychotherapy as awareness of mental health and self-care has grown.
To conclude, although living in the current era offers more advantages, comforts, and conveniences, it also presents risks to our mental health. The rising incidence of mental health problems can be attributed to several factors, including stress, work pressure, the tendency to be continuously connected, the urge and requirement to lead a sedentary lifestyle, the demanding work environment, information overload, and unhealthy coping techniques. To improve mental well-being, individuals, communities, and society at large must acknowledge this trend and start acting proactively. This entails self-care, balancing digital exposure, upholding a positive work-life balance, regular exercise, seeking help when necessary, and developing a more positive and balanced attitude to modern living.