Computers have changed our world but not without a price. Some of us are getting out of balance. Problems associated with computers are CDT (Cumulative Trauma Disorder), RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), or the worst SOZS (Spaced Out Zombie Syndrome).
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As with television, you can become addicted to a computer. You sit down at your computer, and seven hours later you finally notice your rear end is numb, your neck and shoulders are in a vice, you are hungry, thirsty, tired, and your spouse has left with all the kids. How did that happen? Where did your mind go? And why did you accomplish so little in that time?
Much has been said about how to support yourself physically on the computer. Invest in a good chair, maintain erect posture, use a wrist rest, and use an anti-glare screen. But what about proper mental and emotional support? For example, if you look at a two-dimensional screen at close range for many hours, it can limit your binocular vision, depth perception and peripheral vision. The constant hum of electronic equipment can switch off auditory skills. These imbalances can cause you to over focus, and become so engrossed in the details of what you are doing on screen. Consequently, you lose track of the big picture, your priorities and goals. Also, the electromagnitic field of a computer can negatively affect body meridians, which in turn affect energy, mind and emotions.
Below are some tricks you can use to stay alert, creative, positive, productive, clear and healthy on computer. Take a 3 minute break every half hour. Set up a timer that will go off reminding you to break. Here are some ideas that will re-balance your system. Try a different one each time:
Drink water: Electrostatic energy around a computer can dehydrate you, which significantly slows down the firing of synapses in your brain. Drink a least 8 oz of water for every hour you are in front of a computer.
Reconnect head and heart: This two minute exercise helps re-energize your mind, moves you out of confusion and helps you feel more positive. Sit in a chair, cross your legs at the ankle, then cross your arms at the wrist and interlace your fingers. Sit like this with your eyes closed breathing deeply for one minute. Then uncross your legs and arms and sit with your fingertips touching for another minute. This second pose is called The Spock Pose.
Neck rolls: Tight neck and shoulders can impair binocular vision and binaural hearing. Roll your head from side to side letting your chin drop to your chest. Go slowly and breathe deeply.
Gaze into the distance: Go to a window and scan the horizon taking in three dimensional shapes off in the distance. This will balance out your vision.
Stretch: Constricted hamstrings, sacrum, spinal support muscles and shoulders can directly effect your mental functioning. Take a few minutes to lengthen these muscles. A great yoga pose to do this is the downward facing dog. Bend forward at the waist and place your hands flat on the floor about three feet in front of you, so that your body is in a V-shape. Keep you feet flat on the floor if possible.
Fun: Fun restores emotional balance. Dance, sing, play solitaire (not on computer, use real cards), hug a tree, go visit a co-worker (don’t e-mail them), play with your pet, call a friend and compliment them on something, read cartoons, look in the paper for a movie to see tonight, plan a trip to the tropics.
Be easy on yourself. Working on a computer can trigger certain debilitating belief systems such as perfectionism and the need for completion. Notice when you hear yourself saying “I’ll just finish writing these last four e-mails”, then I’ll take a break. Create a list of Anti-Zombie Techniques nearby, such as the ones listed above, or add some of your own. Pick one thing on the list and go do it for three minutes. Tiny breaks throughout your day will ensure survival and success on your high-tech adventures.