By: Dr. Magda Havas
Does this happen to you?
You pick up your cell phone and find that you are breathing more quickly and your heart is pounding even though you at sitting down. Your stomach feels queasy and your palms begin to sweat. You may feel a bit dizzy or faint. The longer you use your cell phone the warmer it becomes. Your hand holding the phone begins to tingle. You develop a metallic taste in your mouth and a mild headache. Sometimes you feel a phantom ring/ vibration in your pocket but the cell phone isn’t there. Even though you picked up your cell phone you forget who you were going to call. Your short-term memory is getting worse. At school you feel as though a fog has enveloped your brain and you can’t think clearly. Increasingly, when you talk you can’t recall certain words and focusing on an assignment is increasingly difficult. You are irritable and anxious and can’t seem to sit still. At night you have trouble falling asleep and sometimes you wake-up for no apparent reason and just toss and turn. You visit the bathroom frequently and occasionally get nose bleeds. You wake up tired. You feel a lot older than you are and wonder what is wrong with you. It seems your get-up-and-go, got-up-and-went.
You take your cell phone everywhere, indeed you can’t leave home without it. You sleep with it under your pillow and use it to connect with friends. Your laptop computer and tablet are just an arm’s length away and you browse on the internet using Wi-Fi at home and at school. You download videos and music and send photos to friends. You check your cell phone every few minutes to make certain you are not missing any news from your friends. The time you misplaced your cell phone, you went into a panic and couldn’t leave home until you found it. Your cell phone is your life-line to the world.
If you have some of the symptoms mentioned above you may be allergic to your cell phone and the other wireless technology around you. Few people realize this but exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) emitted by mobile phones, Wi-Fi routers, wireless baby monitors, smart meters, and certain wireless games can cause anxiety. This type of radiation increases stress proteins in your body and puts the autonomic nervous system (ANS) into sympathetic mode. What this means is that your body goes into a “flight or fight” response physiologically. You can’t seem to relax and feel agitated most of the time.
These symptoms refer to a condition called, “electro-hyper-sensitivity” or EHS for short. This means that the radio frequency radiation emitted by your cell phone and other wireless technology is irritating your body.
So what can do you?
Try a digital detox. Try going for a few hours without using any wireless technology. Turn your Wi-Fi router and all your wireless technology off at night so you can get a good night’s sleep and put your cell phone into airplane mode so no one can call you and disturb your sleep. Go for a walk in nature and become aware of things around you. Breathe deeply and slowly and allow your body to relax. Just breathing slowly for 1 minute can do you a lot of good and take the edge off your anxiety. Do this several times a day.
However, for long-term benefits a longer digital detox is required. Start with a few hours and build it up to a day and then a weekend. Whenever you feel like checking your email, drink a glass of water instead and sip is slowly. Challenge your friends so see how long they can go without using their cell phone and share your results with us!