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Five effective ways to reduce your screen time
It’s something many of us struggle with, but here’s how to cut back on the amount of time you’re spending on your phone
Written by Harvey Morton15 May 2022
From: https://happiful.com/five-effective-ways-to-reduce-your-screen-time/


Five effective ways to reduce your screen time
Many of us don’t see a problem with screen time, what with it being such an essential part of life in the modern world. And technology and social media can have a really positive effect on our live. But what feels like a normal and necessary part of our day can also have negative consequences.

Psychologists have linked social media apps with increased loneliness and depression – partly due to the way it prompts you to compare your life to that of others on social media, and partly because connecting virtually doesn’t fulfil our needs as social creatures in the same ways as meeting in real life. The rewards we get from connecting on social media are like playing on a slot machine, while meeting in person connects us to society on a much deeper level.

All that considered, experts suggest that the ideal amount of time to spend on social media per day is two hours, so that you can maximise your happiness. Think you’d like to bring the amount of time you spend on tech right back down? Here, we explore ways to reduce your screen time.

1. Turn off notifications

The obvious impulse when our phone makes a sound is to check it. But smartphones give you the power to turn these notifications off, and keep the distractions to a minimum, plus iPhones now have the ‘focus’ feature to set a time for your round-up of notifications to an allocated window.

You will be surprised how much difference it will make, especially when we unconsciously pick up our phone to check it more than 50 times a day, on average. If you want to know your personal average, you can find the screen time function on your mobile phone. There are tools in this part of your phone that are there to help you reduce your reliance on your phone, so it is worth looking into further.

2. Don’t take your phone into your bedroom

Some people do sleep with their phones by their bed. The excuse for having the phone so close is that someone may need to contact you overnight in an emergency.

But there are two points to consider here. First, if something is so urgent, the sound of the phone going multiple times will be enough to wake you in a quiet house wherever you leave it. Second, it could be worth putting your phone on sleep mode and selecting which numbers can call and notify you even though everything else is silenced.

By leaving your phone at the bedroom door, not only will you cut down your screen time, but you’ll also create a serene, tech-free space to relax in – which can also help you drift off faster.

3. Turn your phone from colour to grayscale

Part of the phone’s problem is the addiction to screen visuals. The ‘Go Gray’ movement encourages people to change to grayscale, as these feelings of addiction will be reduced. Our brain is attracted to colourful and shiny things, so reducing the attractiveness of the phone increases your chances of breaking your urges to scroll. You can do this by looking in the settings of your phone. Whether you do it for just an hour a day, or make a full-on switch, give it a go and see how it affects your urges to pick up your phone.

4. Tell your friends the time you switch your phone off

If you are worried that switching off your phone will lead to friends worrying, tell them you are doing it.

Nobody wants their friends to feel as if they are being ghosted. However, they will probably be highly supportive of you reducing your screen time, and hearing this will mean they won’t make assumptions about why you are not responding immediately. Decreasing expectations that you are instantly available is an important protector of your mental health.

5. Swap online conversations for real-life meetups

While the internet and our DMs are great ways to connect quickly with people, meaningful relationships are created and sustained when we meet in real-life. Make it a priority to schedule coffee with a friend, or use lunchtimes to chat to colleagues rather than staring at your phone. It makes all the difference.





1) What is sex therapy?

Sexual difficulties can be put into two categories (although saying that the two can work together) medical and psychological. You notice you have a difficulty and you go to your GP, they will talk to you and may run some tests or carry out a medical examination to rule out any medical issues. These can rule out things such as diabetes, heart disease, testosterone deficiency and check hormone levels. You may be given medication or the tests will come back ok, then your difficulties maybe psychological. Other things can cause sexual difficulties such as stress, anxiety, death of a partner, a new relationship, performance anxiety, pain, hormone changes, unable to have intercourse vaginusmus, new baby, divorce, sexual abuse, loss, lack of communication and many more things.

What to expect at sex therapy:

You can attend on your own or as a couple. At the first assessment you will be asked lots of questions about your difficulty and you may be invited for separate sessions after this to gather more history. A programme is then put together to help you achieve your goals.

What may be in the programme?

The programme is designed to help you with your specific difficulties to reach your goals. In the sessions there will be information giving, further exploration of the difficulty, talking therapy and work is set with you for you to do at home. This can be together and separately, then at each session you give feedback.

Relationship:

Sometimes a lack of sex can be a symptom of the relationship not being good. This would be discussed at the time of the assessment and you maybe offered some relationship counselling first. Sometimes this is enough to enable couple to restart their sex life at other times you will be offered sex therapy.


What you need to think about?

Sex therapy needs time. You will attend therapy weekly or fortnightly and then make time to do the work at home. If one of you isn’t so invested in the programme.
Sara Briner May 2022.




Communication

Communication is so important in all aspects of our lives, whether it is with people you know well, colleagues at work or people you just acknowledge.
Communication can be verbal, a touch, a nod, a facial expression-smile or through your body language.
These days communication has to compete with the computer, the ipad, head phones and phone, they all have their uses but are causing difficulties with a lack of communication and coming between relationships/families.

How many people sit at the table or on the sofa and look at their phone whilst with someone else. That other person may also be on another device. There is little or no communication.

Think about partners or significant others and become aware of communication and how much time you use technology. Make time to sit and listen to each other and talk. Miss communication happens a lot. So many people only hear what they want to hear or interpret what they have heard and it is not what the person said. Check with the person “Is this what you meant?”. It will stop misunderstandings and arguments.

Don’t take your technology into your bedroom, it can stimulate the mind, stop you from sleeping and again stops communication and intimacy.
Have technology free evenings or switch off at an agreed time.

Does your body language or non-verbal signs conflict with what you mean or is that how you really feel. Become aware of the tone and loudness. Talking in a lower pitch can stop voices being raised to shouting.

Start to notice what is happening for you? How are you communicating? What types of communication are you using with different people you meet throughout the day.

Sara Briner 16.02.22


Making time


In sex therapy or relationship counselling it soon becomes apparent if time is an issue.
Often there is time for the family and sometimes time for the individual (but not always) but couple time is lacking.

Couple time is important, it is the time you can talk about things, you can have some fun and intimacy. Remember back to when you first met, there would have been time for the couple, you would have made time.

Relationships go through different stages:
The time you met - you both make an effort, communication is ok and you have some fun.
you both have interests and hobbies.

When you decided to move in together - this can be an exciting time and a time when you find out what it is like to live together. Making time for the couple may still be ok and you make time for hobbies, interests and friendships You continue your individual activities and you communicate. You continue to have fun.

As life becomes more mundane or children come along this is when things change, and the couple either adapts or cracks appear. Excitement can go, you stop making an effort, you are constantly tired, you no longer have the full attention of your partner and communication and fun stop. Even making time to talk about day to day issues disappear. This does not apply to all couples and some manage this change together and grow.

Children leaving home or another life change retiring can also be another stage. All those things you have wanted to do together you can now do and embrace. It may also be a time when you realise you have nothing in common any more or you feel lost.

Think about your relationship and the stages, what do you notice?

How do you switch off from work and home? If you are used to a 30minute drive and are now working from home how do you switch off?

What is fun?
How can you get pockets of time?

Now schools are back some couples are going for a walk or having a coffee break together.
Can your children go to bed a little earlier or can one put the children to bed whilst the other prepares a meal, or runs a bath or prepares a movie night.
If the week is full on can you make time on a weekend for each other.

If you feel things are not right sit and talk together about what you can do to change things.
How can you introduce some fun and make things different.



Written by Sara Briner 15.02.2022











2) Erectile dysfunction (Telegraph.co.uk)

CREDIT: GETTY 30 NOVEMBER 2018 • 10:00AM
In it together: 4.3 million men in the UK experience erectile problems
Many men wait years before doing anything about erectile dysfunction (ED), but with plenty of help out there there’s no need to hesitate

Let’s talk about ED – having difficulties getting or maintaining an erection. It’s one of the topics men least want to talk about, because it is one of their greatest fears. When you’re a man you expect your penis to work on cue, every time, and freak when it doesn’t. It’s not something you talk to your mates about. You fear you’ve somehow failed as a man if you can’t get an erection on demand. So the more the message gets out that penises can be unreliable and nearly every guy can have problems from time to time, the more confident men will feel.

Men are hugely misrepresented in popular culture: there’s a perception they’re always up for sex, supremely confident in bed and never have problems. The reality is very different. When men suffer from erection problems or premature ejaculation, they can be terrified of being ridiculed. Many feel traumatised by the experience. The ability to get and maintain an erection for sex is so important for their self-esteem and their relationships.

If you’re one of them and worried sick about what’s going on with your erections, this might make you feel instantly better about yourself: 4.3 million men in the UK experience erectile problems[1]. That’s a lot of men. The next time you’re in the pub, have a look around the room and you’ll be looking at men who are going through exactly what you are. The really ridiculous thing about ED is that, not only is it common, it’s often easy to fix. The main reason ED is a problem for men is because they don’t seek help for it.

The wall of silence

It starts with denial: you pretend it’s nothing. You drank too much, you’re tired. Then you realise something is actually wrong. Instead of doing what you’d do if something weird was happening to another part of your body – see a doctor immediately – you suffer in silence. Too ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it, 44 per cent of men with ED aged 40 and over have not sought medical help, according to a new study[2]. Not only are you then on a difficult emotional journey, it’s one you’re doing solo, because lots of you don’t even tell your partner what’s going on.

This impacts terribly on relationships. Men with ED often stop instigating sex, worried they won’t be able to perform. They often stop any physical contact for fear it might lead to sex, leaving their partners feeling like they’re having an affair or not interested in them sexually any more. Women don’t talk about ED because they’re worried they’ll upset their partner, embarrass them – or that they might be the problem. They might feel they are not attractive or “sexy” enough, or their partner just doesn’t love them any more.

It’s high time we all started talking openly about ED, so let’s start by looking at the facts. What exactly is it, for starters? Put simply, erectile dysfunction is when you can’t get hard enough, or keep an erection long enough, to have penetrative sex. This might happen all the time, or just now and then.

Why is it happening?

Your penis can be affected by what you put into your body, so drinking too much, taking recreational drugs, some medications (anti-depressants can be the culprit), smoking and eating unhealthily can all affect your erection quality. The healthier you are generally, the better: diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease can all be causes of ED. These physical conditions can affect the blood flow into the penis, which in turn can affect the ability to get or maintain an erection.

Erections are also affected by emotions – if you’re stressed, having relationship issues, worried about work, exhausted, depressed or traumatised by something, this can all affect how your penis performs.

Five myths about erectile dysfunction

That it’s an old man’s disease: it does become more common as men age, but it can affect men of all ages.

That it shows a lack of masculinity: “real men” have erection wobbles, too.

That it shows you don’t feel like sex: desire and ED are not always causally linked. You could be more aroused than you’ve ever been and still not get an erection if you have an underlying physical condition.

That ED has nothing to do with any other health problems: not getting an erection could actually save your life because it can alert you to underlying medical conditions you may not have noticed such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Caught early, they can be treated more easily.

That it’s all in your head: sometimes ED’s causes are purely psychological. But if it’s caused by a physical problem, which it often is, learning not to worry about it isn’t going to fix it.
Seek help sooner rather than later.

3) Patterns/Cycles

Cycles/patterns are very common in individuals, relationships and in families, it could be as simple as how you do something (at home in a certain order) to something that leads to anger.

In counselling we often look for patterns/cycles as this helps us to understand, explain what is happening and explore ways to break a cycle/pattern. People often know the consequences but do not recognise the triggers (things that push people’s buttons) or they may recognise the triggers but do not know how to break the cycle. Once you start to break down (it is like uncoiling a spring) and understand the pattern/ cycle you can start to put things in place to change the behaviour and break the pattern/cycle.

It can be hard to break patterns/cycles they have been happening for a short time or a life time. Changes are possible you need to be consistent.

There is a lot information on the internet and in books about cycles and patterns. Introducing mindfullness and doing physical exercise can help as well as behavioural changes.











Patterns/Cycles

Cycles/patterns are very common in individuals, relationships and in families, it could be as simple as how you do something (at home in a certain order) to something that leads to anger.

In counselling we often look for patterns/cycles as this helps us to understand, explain what is happening and explore ways to break a cycle/pattern. People often know the consequences but do not recognise the triggers (things that push people’s buttons) or they may recognise the triggers but do not know how to break the cycle. Once you start to break down (it is like uncoiling a spring) and understand the pattern/ cycle you can start to put things in place to change the behaviour and break the pattern/cycle.

It can be hard to break patterns/cycles they have been happening for a short time or a life time. Changes are possible you need to be consistent.

There is a lot information on the internet and in books about cycles and patterns. Introducing mindfullness and doing physical exercise can help as well as behavioural changes.
Sara Briner Dec 2021


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