Rev Andrew Schmidt says one of the things that struck him the hardest was the way we used technology.
Rev Andrew Schmidt says one of the things that struck him the hardest was the way we used technology.

How our technology contributes to our own stress

There are always parts of life that we know are important, but perhaps haven’t learned about as much as we should.

It might be taxes, or cars, science or critical thinking, one of my areas is mental health. Obviously, I know it is important, and have written about it before, but I felt I needed to learn more.

When I saw a post online for the Headspace Push for Better challenge I thought I would give it a go.

It has a few components, there is an element of fundraising, the challenge of doing the push-ups, and the information that is attached to each day’s target.

They provide you with some information about mental health, or the consequences of poor mental health, and a statistic, which becomes the basis for the target.

Today’s target, for example, was 130 push-ups, because in 2018-19 Headspace provided support for 130,000 young Australians.

What has been striking me as the information comes in is the incredible prevalence of mental health concerns, and the way in which so often we contribute towards them.

By we I mean we as a society, we as individuals towards others, and we towards ourselves.

By we as a society, the information that struck me the hardest was the way we use technology.

I am a personal fan of technology but using it to excess is significantly impacting on sleep schedules, and the poor sleep leads to poor mental health outcomes, but we have created a society that feeds on the technological addiction.

Many of the most vulnerable people when it comes to mental health are vulnerable because they are in some way different from the expectation, this leads to social ostracization or outright bullying leaving significant stressors on people.

This is one of the reasons LGBTQ+ young people are so often over-represented in mental health statistics, because they have been bullied.

Finally one of the ways we can put ourselves into a poor mental health space is no abandon the things that do help, for example quiet time, exercise and being open to support.

• Andrew Schmidt is the priest at Good Sherpherd Anglican Church.



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