As we continue to roll out and evolve our StressTech Literacy Program with its consideration of digital lifestyle and how, we can better leverage such in our journeys to achieve and maintain healthier stress levels. We see three components of digital lifestyle as devices, channels and content that we favor in our regular use of digitaltech throughout our lives.
What’s Good for Food is Good for Content
As we teach these digital lifestyle distinctions, the topic of content diet has emerged as an important consideration. We realize that much the way a balanced food diet is critical to good health so is a balanced content diet to healthy stress.
In an age of overwhelming content access, variety and choice, it is all too easy to gravitate, like with food, towards what is sweet, salty and fattening while neglecting other content that would make for a healthier balance. It seems that when our content diet is unbalanced we can end up with obesity, metabolic syndromes, hypertension and digestive distress in our minds and emotions, the same as we do in our bodies when we are similarly unskillful with food.
What is a Balanced Content Diet?
The good news is that with mindfulness we can stay healthy with a balanced content diet. Balance can be defined on a few different criteria. It can be defined as an appropriate level of: a) fact along with entertainment, b) comforting along with upsetting (and especially where I disagree and am fearful), c) compassionate along with combative, d) respectful along with disrespectful. I know that the matters of appropriate and fact have become more subjective for many these days so like with food nutrition, it is good to mindfully experiment to find a balance that leaves you feeling more healthy versus less so. The reason I include upsetting, disrespectful and combative is because getting balanced information often requires such, and we stay healthy by assuring we do not overdose to toxic levels, same as with food.
Content Categories to Balance
When thinking about content groups, we like to think through a set of categories, and we even use these in our assessments. These categories include
- News, Issues & Instructional, which keeps us up to date and adds to our understanding of the environment to support decision-making, advocacy, and action
- Inspirational & Relaxation, which provide good models and concepts that reflect the ideas and conditions we want to see emerge ongoing, in the world
- Conversational, which provides human connection. Because this involves people, we have to consider the mix of people we have engaging with and how.
I am sure that there are other categories that can be identified and certainly these are not mutually exclusive of one another.
My Own Actions Towards Maintaining a Balanced Content Diet
Taking the points above into consideration for my own balanced content diet has required disciplined action in the areas of:
- limiting consumption, to non-toxic levels, of content generally through periodic unplugging, as well as selectively, and especially when entertaining, triggering, disrespectful and combative,
- maintaining variety to avoid becoming trapped in an agreeable echo chamber which might shield me from important information and perspectives that will improve my decision-making, action, and compassion, and
- paying mindful attention to how my content consumption boosts my energy, increases my resilience, and deepens my capacity for compassion and relationship (with myself as well as with others)
We believe this is a critical discipline that has gone too long neglected and we see the stress consequences in ourselves as well as those we care for and work with, daily.
Again, we cannot stress enough the importance of this dimension of health we have to be more responsible for in as much as we have been given such privilege to have it.
If we can help you with this, do not hesitate to reach us for more information about our StressTech Literacy Program at https://calendly.com/dmhp/stresstechintro.
Be well. Stay healthy.