How is Technology the Cause and Solution to Anxiety?

We’re using technology more frequently than ever before, and it’s causing a host of anxiety-related issues. However, new technologies are also emerging to relieve and minimize anxiety. How exactly is the technology responsible for the technology anxiety epidemic, and what’s in store for our future?

The Complex Nature of Anxiety

First, we have to acknowledge the complexity of human anxiety. Anxiety is a natural and appropriate response to stressful situations; feeling a sense of heightened anxiety makes you alert and aware, which prepares you to handle unexpected situations and potential threats. But when you experience anxiety without a lack of familiarity and without there being an imminent threat, it becomes dysfunctional.

Many of us at least occasionally experience what we would consider inappropriate or unusual levels of anxiety. It could be a deep worry about a relatively innocuous social misstep or dread about an invisible responsibility we’re sure we’re forgetting. There are many potential root causes, including physical and mental variables.

For example, consider the vagus nerve; it is arguably the most important nerve in your body, stretching throughout the esophagus, the chest, the heart, the stomach, and the brainstem. It’s a source of communication between the brain and the stomach and is responsible for your “gut feeling,” digestion, heart rate, and respiration. If not adequately stimulated, a dysfunctional vagus nerve could lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

Technology and anxiety are correlated in the modern era. Technology leads to depression because of different reasons. The stress created by the overuse of technology and the constant state of the connection is known as technostress.

How technology and anxiety are correlated

How Technology Impacts Anxiety

There are many ways that modern technology is increasing our susceptibility to anxiety:

Social media and FOMO

First, social media is prevalent, as is the fear of missing out (FOMO). Social media apps condition us to check our newsfeeds regularly; if we don’t, we may miss out on an important piece of news or an update from one of our closest friends. If done repeatedly, we may feel anxiety if we haven’t checked our feed in a while. On top of that, seeing photos and videos of people having more fun than you can fill you with dread—even if those visuals aren’t an accurate reflection of their experience.

Social media and technology anxiety are hot topics of discussion today. Is technology making us less social? Social media has more negative effects on society.

Constant (and negative) news

Second, the news is regularly updated and continuously circulating, and most of the stories you read are negative. Thanks to click-centric journalism and human pessimism, most news outlets have adapted to printing the most outrageous and negative stories they can find, which has a terrible effect on the human psyche.

Blurring professional and personal lines

Because technology is available even when you’re at home, the lines between personal and professional life have blurred. People get emails late into the night and are sometimes expected to respond to communications outside of work hours; over time, this can lead to massive levels of anxiety.

Tech addiction

Most technologies, including social media and video games, are specifically designed to stimulate the brain’s reward center, encouraging repeated activity. Over time, this can potentially lead to a full-scale technology addiction, which produces anxiety whenever you’ve gone too long without engaging in a specific activity.

How technology provides anxiety solutions

How Technology Cures Anxiety

Fortunately, we’re also learning to use technology as a solution for these anxiety-inducing problems, like with these potential applications:

Vagus nerve stimulation

Remember the vagus nerve we described in the first section above? In addition to stimulating it with a healthy diet and proper exercise, you can gently stimulate it with the help of specially designed earbuds.

Breathing and meditation apps

Deep breathing and meditation are two of the greatest tools in any anxiety sufferer’s arsenal. Both exercises force you to focus on the present moment and give you the time and space you need to manage your feelings of anxiety at the moment.

Timers and blockers

Other apps are designed to help you control your information consumption and your ongoing use of technology. For example, some apps forcibly block you from accessing problematic content (like social media sites), and others can help you limit your time on these sites.

Social media (used the right way)

Social media can be a source of anxiety, but it can also be a source of meaningful interactions—when used in the right ways. You must take a social media break. Focus on individual relationships and conversations rather than public-facing newsfeeds and empty updates.

Anxiety remains a complex human problem, and technology is only going to make it more complex in the future. If you currently suffer from problematic levels of an anxiety epidemic, consider taking a step back from the root causes of that anxiety and practicing more self-care. And, of course, if the problem is extreme (i.e., interfering with your daily life), seek the help of a professional therapist immediately.

1 thought on “How is Technology the Cause and Solution to Anxiety?”

  1. Avatar photo
    Emma Flores

    After reading this article, I realize that I do spend a lot of time on social media.

    There are days off when I do almost nothing and leaf through the endless tape.

    Instead of doing something really fun. This especially affects my mood. I cannot stop and therefore in the evening, I begin to reproach myself for a mediocre day.

    Although I understand that I could do something interesting and useful. Social networks seem to be a help in communicating with different people whom you simply would not have met, but on the other hand, they take a lot of time

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top