Ayurveda – 5000-year-old wisdom for modern problems
Chats, posts, likes & calls – in recent years, it has felt increasingly necessary to be connected and available at all times, and in multitudes of ways. The trend of being constantly connected has taken root in all of our lives and has become a given, both privately and professionally – seemingly without any choice to opt out of this development.
Online, we are constantly alerted, and therefore under continuous stress. We are afraid of missing out and competitively compare ourselves with others on social media, distracted from the detriment that this causes us. According to computer scientist Alexander Markowetz, excessive use of digital devices poses the threat of Digital Burnout, which includes negative side-effects such as a “diminishing creative power” and the “impairment […] of happiness”.
In addition, from an Ayurvedic perspective, too much screen time has an impact on our Doshas*, affecting both body and mind:
Vata, as the most ethereal Dosha, is the first to be brought into an imbalance. Through the Vata Dosha we can absorb external stimuli and feed them to our nervous system. The Vata Dosha is very sensitive to all irregularities, e.g. all-night gaming, notifications, multitasking, constant availability, and needs the most regeneration phases of all Doshas. The over-consumption of digital media, for Vata, thus results in a strained nervous system, emotional instability, hypersensitivity, sleep disturbances, nervousness, and growing social insecurity.
Pitta is the Dosha that enables us to process and interpret the stimuli received through the sensory organs. Pitta Dosha likes to have control over all processes and is inclined to compare and see competition in everything. Especially the eyes are sensitive in Pitta individuals. Exposure to blue light can lead to increased eye irritation, dryness and inflammation. Constant confrontation with the private details of others via social media leads to persistent “FOMO” – shorthand for the “Fear of Missing Out” – and the urge to control situations gleaned on the net has an addictive potential.
Kapha Dosha has an innately comfortable approach to life, which can become a problem when it comes to digital media. Kapha often has an issue with listlessness; life takes place online, so the motivation to go out to meet friends or exercise is lowered. This can lead to social isolation, depressive moods, and weight gain.