514: Are micro distractions increasing your anxiety?

In this week’s podcast, we’re talking about how micro distractions can increase anxiety.


In this week’s podcast, we’re talking about how micro distractions can increase anxiety.




Today’s Anxiety Slayer podcast is sponsored by Betterhelp.

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Points covered in this episode:

Anxiety can make it hard for us to settle and focus.

When we’re unsettled and feeling anxious, we often make choices that don’t support us well. Often, we would rather distract ourselves and escape feelings of anxiety rather than be present with them and take steps to support ourselves.

But distraction feeds back into anxiety and lack of focus. Studies have shown that increased use of a cell phone is associated with anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbance.

According to research from RescueTime, one of several apps for iOS and Android created to monitor phone use, people generally spend an average of three hours and 15 minutes on their phones every day, with the top 20% of smartphone users spending upwards of four and a half hours and this doesn’t include the additional screen time for watching the news and shows on Netflix, HBO etc.


“Neurons are living cells with a metabolism; they need oxygen and glucose to survive, and when they’ve been working hard, we experience fatigue. Every status update you read on Facebook, every tweet or text message you get from a friend, is competing for resources in your brain…”

— Daniel J. Levitin – The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

The deluge of information we invite to come at us causes mental fatigue. It also affects our mental wellbeing. This is why it’s so important to take a break from our screen time.

Ayurveda on distractions and Anxiety

In this episode we talk about Ayurveda and the Vata body type (listen in to learn more)

  • how Vata imbalance causes anxiety

  • and how digital world causes Vata imbalance

Fast paced lives and incoming information causes stress, worry, a lack of groundedness and loss of focus. Though this fast pace isn’t healthy, we get used to it and we get uncomfortable when we try and slow down. When vata is provoked, we feel unsettled and find it hard to sit and be still and quiet.

What helps?

Start cutting back on incoming information and practicing alternatives to anything information based for diversion from anxiety. Information overload affects our mental health, and our phones and screens can become addictive. We easily fall into the habit of scrolling and checking as an escape or way to pass time, but we risk increasing our anxiety while trying to escape it.

Some first steps to reduce overload are:

  • Turning off notifications

  • Clearing out subscriptions

  • Limiting time on social media

  • Limiting time spent reading or watching the news

If we want to feel better and get some relief, Vata need immersion, not diversion. We need to get outside and walk, dance, or practice yoga or qigong. You can also work in the yard or your garden or mindfully prepare a healthy meal from scratch.

How can we find balance?

Vata is balanced by the sense of touch, touch calms and focus the Ungrounded Vata mind. Use you hands: paint, bake, work with clay, tend to some plants, practice drawing your attention to practical activities that engage your hands.

Get a massage to move stuck energy out of your body .

Practice slowing down and reading, journaling, walking – being away from screens and fast incoming information.


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