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更新時間:2019/4/25 20:16:14 來源:紐約時報中文網 作者:佚名

Putting Down Your Phone May Help You Live Longer
放下手機,你也許能活得更久

If you’re like many people, you may have decided that you want to spend less time staring at your phone.

如果你和許多人一樣,你可能已經決定要少花點時間盯著手機看了。

It’s a good idea: an increasing body of evidence suggests that the time we spend on our smartphones is interfering with our sleep, self-esteem, relationships, memory, attention spans, creativity, productivity and problem-solving and decision-making skills.

這是個好主意︰越來越多的證據表明,我們在我們的智能手機上耗費的時間正在干擾我們的睡眠、自尊、人際關系、記憶、注意力持續時間、創造力、生產力以及解決問題和決策的能力。

But there is another reason for us to rethink our relationships with our devices. By chronically raising levels of cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone, our phones may be threatening our health and shortening our lives.

但令我們重新思考與這些設備的關系的,還有另一個原因。通過長期提高身體主要的應激激素——皮質醇的水平,我們的手機可能會威脅我們的美高梅官方网站,並縮短我們的壽命。

Until now, most discussions of phones’ biochemical effects have focused on dopamine, a brain chemical that helps us form habits — and addictions. Like slot machines, smartphones and apps are explicitly designed to trigger dopamine’s release, with the goal of making our devices difficult to put down.

到目前為止,大多數關于手機生化效應的討論都集中在多巴胺上,這是一種幫助我們形成習慣和上癮的大腦化學物質。就像老虎機一樣,智能手機和應用程序明顯是為了觸發多巴胺的釋放而設計的,目的就是讓我們難以放下手中的設備。

This manipulation of our dopamine systems is why many experts believe that we are developing behavioral addictions to our phones. But our phones’ effects on cortisol are potentially even more alarming.

這種對我們多巴胺系統的操縱,正是許多專家認為我們正在對我們的手機產生行為上癮的原因。但我們的手機對皮質醇的影響可能更令人擔憂。

Cortisol is our primary fight-or-flight hormone. Its release triggers physiological changes, such as spikes in blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar, that help us react to and survive acute physical threats.

皮質醇是影響戰逃決策的主要激素。它的釋放會引發一些生理變化,比如血壓、心率和血糖的飆升,這些變化會幫助我們對緊急的人身威脅做出反應並存活下來。

These effects can be lifesaving if you are actually in physical danger — like, say, you’re being charged by a bull. But our bodies also release cortisol in response to emotionalemotional stressors where an increased heart rate isn’t going to do much good, such as checking your phone to find an angry email from your boss.

如果你的身體確實存在危險,比如一頭公牛正在向你沖來,這些反應將可以挽救你的生命。但我們的身體也會釋放皮質醇以應對情緒壓力,在這種情況下,心率加快並沒有多大好處,比如查看手機時發現老板發來的一封憤怒的郵件。

4 Hours a Day

4小時一天

If they happened only occasionally, phone-induced cortisol spikes might not matter. But the average American spends four hours a day staring at their smartphone and keeps it within arm’s reach nearly all the time, according to a tracking app called Moment. The result, as Google has noted in a report, is that “mobile devices loaded with social media, email and news apps” create “a constant sense of obligation, generating unintended personal stress.”

如果這只是偶爾發生,手機引起的皮質醇激增可能並不重要。但據一款名為Moment的追蹤應用顯示,美國人平均每天要花四個小時盯著自己的智能手機,而且幾乎時時刻刻都把它放在觸手可及的地方。正如谷歌在一份報告中所指出,其結果是,“裝有社交媒體、電子郵件和新聞應用的移動設備”會產生“一種持續的責任感,進而形成意想不到的個人壓力。”

“Your cortisol levels are elevated when your phone is in sight or nearby, or when you hear it or even think you hear it,” says David Greenfield, professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. “It’s a stress response, and it feels unpleasant, and the body’s natural response is to want to check the phone to make the stress go away.”

“當你的手機在你的視線範圍內或附近,又或者當你听到它,甚至認為你听到它時,你的皮質醇水平就會升高。”康涅狄格大學(University of Connecticut)醫學院的臨床精神病學教授、互聯網和科技成癮研究中心(Center for Internet and Technology Addiction)的創始人大衛•格林菲爾德(David Greenfield)說。“這是一種壓力反應,它讓人感到不舒服,而身體的自然反應是想要看看手機,讓這種壓力消失。”

But while doing so might soothe you for a second, it probably will make things worse in the long run. Any time you check your phone, you’re likely to find something else stressful waiting for you, leading to another spike in cortisol and another craving to check your phone to make your anxiety go away. This cycle, when continuously reinforced, leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels.

雖然這樣做可能會讓你暫時平靜下來,但從長遠來看,它可能會讓事情變得更糟。每次你查看手機的時候,都很可能發現,一些其他的壓力正在等著你,這會導致皮質醇再次飆升,並產生另一種想要查看手機讓你的焦慮消失的渴望。如果這種循環不斷加強,將導致皮質醇水平長期升高。

And chronically elevated cortisol levels have been tied to an increased risk of serious health problems, including depression, obesity, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, fertility issues, high blood pressure, heart attack, dementia and stroke.

而皮質醇水平的長期升高已被發現與多種嚴重美高梅官方网站問題的風險增加有關,包括抑郁、肥胖、代謝綜合征、乙型糖尿病、生育問題、高血壓、心髒病、老人失智和中風。

“Every chronic disease we know of is exacerbated by stress,” says Dr. Robert Lustig, emeritus professor in pediatric endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, and author of “The Hacking of the American Mind.” “And our phones are absolutely contributing to this.”

“我們所知的各種慢性病都會因壓力而惡化,”加州大學舊金山分校(University of California, San Francisco)兒科內分泌學榮休教授、《美國人心智的黑客》(The Hacking of the American Mind)一書作者羅伯特•拉斯蒂格(Robert Lustig)說。“而我們的手機無疑在加劇這一點。”

Smartphone Stress

智能手機壓力

In addition to its potential long-term health consequences, smartphone-induced stress affects us in more immediately life-threatening ways.

除潛在的長期美高梅官方网站不良影響之外,智能手機引起的壓力還會以直接威脅生命的方式影響我們。

Elevated cortisol levels impair the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain critical for decision-making and rational thought. “The prefrontal cortex is the brain’s Jiminy Cricket,” says Dr. Lustig. “It keeps us from doing stupid things.”

皮質醇水平的升高會損傷前額皮質,這一大腦區域對決策與理性思考至關重要。“前額皮質是大腦的小蟋蟀吉明尼(Jiminy Cricket,《木偶奇遇記》里的重要角色,以智慧、風趣和樂觀著稱。——譯注)”魯斯提說。“它能讓我們避免做蠢事。”

Impairment of the prefrontal cortex decreases self-control. When coupled with a powerful desire to allay our anxiety, this can lead us to do things that may be stress-relieving in the moment but are potentially fatal, such as texting while driving.

前額皮質受損會導致自我控制力降低。若同時伴有減輕焦慮的強烈欲望,會使我們做一些當前或許能減緩壓力,卻有致命隱患的事情,比如邊開車邊發信息。

The effects of stress can be amplified even further if we are constantly worrying that something bad is about to happen, whether it’s a physical attack or an infuriating comment on social media. (In the case of phones, this state of hypervigilance sometimes manifests as “phantom vibrations,” in which people feel their phone vibrating in their pocket when their phone isn’t even there.)

如果我們時常都在擔心什麼壞事就要發生,壓力的影響可能會被放大,無論是身體受攻擊還是社交媒體上惹人發怒的評論。(就手機而言,這種過度警覺有時表現為“幻覺震動”,即人們感覺手機在口袋里震動,而其實口袋里根本沒有手機。)

“Everything that we do, everything we experience, can influence our physiology and change circuits in our brain in ways that make us more or less reactive to stress,” says Bruce McEwen, head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at The Rockefeller University.

“我們所做的每件事,所經歷的每件事,都會對我們的生理機能產生影響,並改變我們的腦回路,使我們對壓力的反應程度增強或減弱,”洛克菲勒大學(Rockefeller University)哈羅德和瑪格麗特•米利肯•哈奇神經內分泌學實驗室(Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology)主任布魯斯•麥克尤恩(Bruce McEwen)說。

Dr. McEwen also notes that our baseline cortisol levels ebb and flow in a regular 24-hour cycle that is thrown out of whack if we get less than seven to eight hours of sleep a night, which is all too easy to do if you’re in the habit of checking your phone before bed. This in turn leaves our bodies less resilient to stress and increases our risk of all the stress-related health conditions mentioned above.

麥克尤恩還指出,在規律的24小時周期中,我們的基礎皮質醇水平上下起伏,如果夜間睡眠不足7至8小時,這一運行節奏可能會陷入混亂,而如果有睡前查看手機的習慣,這種情況極易發生。這到頭來導致身體對壓力的恢復能力減弱,增加患上述所有壓力相關美高梅官方网站狀況的風險。

Put this all together, and the hours we spend compulsively checking our phones may add up to much more than a waste of time.

綜合來看,我們花許多時間不由自主地查看手機,最終可能遠不只是浪費了時間。

Breaking the Cycle

打破這一循環

The good news is that if we break this anxiety-driven cycle, we can reduce our cortisol levels, which in turn may both improve our short-term judgment and lower our risks for long-term stress-related health problems. Over time, says Dr. McEwen, it’s even possible to retrain our brains so that our stress responses are no longer on such a hair-trigger to begin with.

好消息是,如果我們將這一焦慮驅動的周期打破,便能降低皮質醇水平,進而有望改善短期判斷能力,並降低患上長期壓力相關美高梅官方网站問題的風險。久而久之,麥克尤恩說,甚至有可能對大腦進行重新訓練,使我們對壓力的反應不再從一開始就進入一觸即發的緊張狀態。

To make your phone less stressful, start by turning off all notifications except for the ones you actually want to receive.

為了讓你的手機少制造些壓力,可以從關閉所有消息通知開始,只留下你真正想接收的那些。

Next, pay attention to how individual apps make you feel when you use them. Which do you check out of anxiety? Which leave you feeling stressed? Hide these apps in a folder off your home screen. Or, better yet, delete them for a few days and see how it feels.

接下來,留意一下你在使用不同應用時的感受。哪些是你出于焦慮查看的?哪些讓你感到有壓力?把這些應用隱藏到主屏幕之外的文件夾里。能把它們刪掉幾天時間看看感覺如何,那就更好了。

Regular breaks can also be an effective way to rebalance your body’s chemistry and regain your sense of control. A 24-hour “digital Sabbath” can be surprisingly soothing (once the initial twitchiness subsides), but even just leaving your phone behind when you get lunch is a step in the right direction.

有規律的休息也是重新找回身體的化學平衡、重獲控制感的有效方式。實行一次24小時的“數字安息日”可能會有意想不到的安撫功效(一旦開始的焦躁不安平息下來),不過哪怕是在午餐時把手機擱在一旁,也是朝正確的方向邁了一步。

Also, try to notice what anxiety-induced phone cravings feel like in your brain and body — without immediately giving in to them. “If you practice noticing what is happening inside yourself, you will realize that you can choose how to respond,” says Jack Kornfield, a Buddhist teacher at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. “We don’t have to be at the mercy of algorithms that are promoting the fear of missing out.”

此外,盡力去留意焦慮引起的玩手機的欲望在大腦和身體里的感受是怎樣的——而不是立即順應它們。“如果你去練習留意身體的內部過程,你會意識到你可以選擇如何作出回應,”加州靈石禪修中心(Spirit Rock Meditation Center)的佛教導師杰克•康菲爾德(Jack Kornfield)說。“我們沒必要讓自己被一些算法所牽制,它們會增強害怕錯過的心理。”

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to create healthy boundaries with devices that are deliberately designed to discourage them. But by reducing our stress levels, doing so won’t just make us feel better day-to-day. It might actually lengthen our lives.

不幸的是,建立美高梅官方网站的界限並不容易,畢竟這些設備是專門設計用來︰廡┘縵薜。但通過降低我們的壓力水平,建立美高梅官方网站的界限將不僅會使我們一天天感覺好起來。它可能真的會延長我們的生命。

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