16 Oct

In an age where communication tools have never been more accessible, the contradiction of this is evident: 

Despite the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere, we find it increasingly challenging to discuss our emotions. This modern dilemma highlights a growing disconnect between our technological needs and our ability to emotionally express ourselves, raising some important questions about why we have become so desensitised to our feelings.

I am not saying online social media and the latest technology are all bad. I think it's a great tool to use as long as it's used correctly. When it's not, it can be detrimental to one's mental health.  

Emotional suppression: 

When individuals are unable or unwilling to share their emotions due to the superficial nature of online interactions, they may suppress their feelings. Over time, this emotional suppression can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and depression.

Self-Esteem Issues: 

Imposter syndrome has never been more alive than now. Comparing our lives to others on social media can lead to self-esteem issues. Constantly seeing others' achievements and happy moments while suppressing one's emotional struggles can result in feelings of inadequacy and poor self-esteem.

Reduced Coping Mechanisms: 

When faced with stress or difficult emotions, many people turn to digital escapes such as gaming and social media for instant relief, rather than using healthier coping mechanisms. Over time, this can eradicate our natural ability to cope with life's difficulties.

Digital Detachment: 

Communicating through screens can create a sense of emotional detachment. It's easier to be dismissive or judgmental when interacting online because it's often easier to convince ourselves it's not real. This can deter us from sharing our true feelings for fear of not being understood or supported.

Emojis: We all use them, and yes, they can be light and fun however, they can quickly become another way of masking the true depth of how one may be truly feeling.  

How does this impact from a Chinese medicine perspective?

  1. Qi (Energy) Imbalance: According to Chinese medicine, mental health is closely tied to the balance of vital energy, known as "Qi. Constant use of social media, gaming, and other streaming technologies can create isolation. This can disrupt the flow of Qi, leading to dysregulation. This can display symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and stress.
  2. Emotional Stagnation:  In Chinese medicine, emotions are considered to be closely linked with various organ systems. When individuals suppress their emotions due to fear or vulnerability, it can lead to stagnation within these systems, resulting in mood disorders and mental health issues.
  3. Yin-Yang Imbalance: Within the realm of Chinese medicine, there's a core idea called Yin-Yang Balance, which is all about homeostasis (harmony within). Sometimes, when we get caught up in the fast-paced, energetic online world (which leans towards Yang in nature), it can disrupt our balance with the slower, more reflective Yin energy. This imbalance may lead to feelings of mental stress and restlessness. 
  4. Zang-Fu Organ Disturbance: In Chinese medicine, emotions are believed to have an impact on the proper functioning of the body's Zang-Fu organs. Let me explain in more detail, excessive worry is closely tied to the well-being of the spleen and stomach. When emotions are not adequately understood due to a lack of genuine communication. It can disrupt these essential organs, potentially resulting in digestive issues, fatigue, and even more serious mental health challenges. In this context, "Zang-Fu organs" refers to a categorisation system of vital organs in traditional Chinese medicine, whereby each organ is associated with certain biological processes and emotions. 
  5. Disconnected Mind: A sedentary lifestyle can lead to heightened stress and anxiety levels. Spending long hours at a computer desk can reduce social interactions and lead to isolation and loneliness. According to Chinese medicine a disconnected mind and body relationship can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, as well as other physical health problems. 

The impact of technology-driven emotional isolation and its effects on mental health can extend to the realm of fertility and trying to conceive. The stress, anxiety, and emotional imbalances resulting from our digital age can create additional hurdles for couples seeking to have a child. High levels of stress, which are exacerbated by the fear of judgment or isolation often seen on social media, can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance needed for fertility. Additionally, emotional disconnection from one's partner due to excessive screen time can hinder the intimacy and communication necessary for a healthy and successful conception journey. In this way, the digital age not only affects mental health but can also pose challenges for those embarking on the path to parenthood.

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