This Is What Happens to Your Brain When You Mindlessly Scroll Through Your Phone

Sophie Miura

Since I started writing this story, I've picked up my phone four times. It's late afternoon, and I can't seem to concentrate, so mindlessly scrolling through my notifications is an easy default activity. According to Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, herein lies the issue.

"Humans have developed this idea we're like sharks and have to keep moving or we die," he tells Body+Soul. Constant distractions, like scrolling through your Instagram feed, prevent your mind from naturally wandering, which scientists believe is linked to problem-solving, memory consolidation, and reflection. In other words, it's crucial. When your brain doesn't get time to pause, Body+Soul suggests it clogs up "like a computer that has too many programs running." The result is feeling even more tired and wired.

Thankfully, there are a number of science-backed methods to restore energy fast. Try these three simple methods next time you're exhausted and start scrolling through your phone.

1. Take a break every 90 minutes. Apparently, our daily energy cycles in bursts of about 90 to 120 minutes. By tapping into that cycle and taking a quick break every 90 minutes to let your mind switch off, you'll be able to refocus on the next task at hand.

2. Try "bookending." Energy coach Sean Hall says to "do a task that does energize you before and after one that doesn't," to avoid feeling burnt out.

3. Blink. A Japanese study found that when we blink, it wakes up a part of the brain called the "default mode network." Remember to blink when you're staring at a computer or television screen to fight fatigue.

 

Read up on the art of resting:

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