If I challenged you to turn off your computer and mobile phone during your lunch hour, would you start to feel a little panicky? Odds are, you would feel at least some degree of discomfort as many of us are addicted to technology. No matter where you are, you’re seldom more than three feet from a powered device or gadget you’ve come to rely on in some way. In fact, you may even feel you can't live without them!

However, technology may not be good for your health. While powered devices such as mobile phones, computers and home appliances bring us many conveniences, they can also negatively impact our physical, mental and emotional health. Here are a few of the downsides of being constantly surrounded by powered devices.

Dangerous Radiation

EMFs (electromagnetic fields) and other forms of potentially dangerous radiation constantly barrage your body when you are surrounded with powered devices. A growing body of evidence suggests that the EMFs emitted from these devices can cause a variety of health issues such as headaches, miscarriages and social and behavioral problems.

The specific types of radiation emitted from cell phones (microwave and extremely low-frequency magnetic) have been linked to cancer, impaired immune function and neurological diseases. In 2007, the Bioinitiative Working Group released a report citing more than 2,000 studies that detail the negative side effects of EMF exposure. The report suggests that chronic exposure to even the low-level radiation of cell phones can impair immunity and contribute to Alzheimer's disease, dementia, heart disease and many other ailments.

Noise Pollution

Have you ever felt a sudden wave of relief when a noise that you didn't realize was bothering you is suddenly silenced? Whether it's a vacuum cleaner running in an adjacent room, a boisterous meeting down the hall or the sound of traffic outside your window, disruptive noise is a seldom-recognized source of background stress in the work environment and at home.

Additional electronic noise from ring tones, clamoring alarms, blaring stereos and televisions adds to the racket, creating a chaotic environment that you can rarely escape. In time, you can become accustomed to this ongoing, low-level stress, failing to realize how taxing it is until the noise is finally silenced. The cumulative effect of this type of stress can take a serious toll on your mental and physical health.

The Time Suck Effect

Tech toys are adept at hijacking your attention for long periods of time without you being consciously aware of it. This can significantly reduce the time you spend taking care of yourself and your family. Texting, playing with apps and obsessively checking your Facebook multiple times per day (or hour!) can eat up huge blocks of your time. Many people think they “don’t have time” to prepare food at home, exercise or get some quality relaxation in at the end of the day. The truth is, they are innocent victims of the tech time suck effect.

Perhaps the most voracious time-sucker in the house is the beloved television. If you’re like most people, you spend more time in front of the tube than you realize. Television programming is cleverly designed to reel you in and keep you viewing for longer than you intended. While your original plan may have been to catch the end of your favorite show and then go for a walk outside, you instead wake from a tv-induced trance, hours later, only then realizing that time has slipped away. Even worse, you have received little benefit in exchange for time spent.

So how do you catch your favorite programs and still have time to have a life? A simple solution is to manage your television time with a DVR. You can easily record your favorite program and watch it after you’ve taken care of yourself. You may find that when you do this, TV loses its appeal and your DVR gets stacked up with shows that will never be viewed because you are engaged in more meaningful and fulfilling activities.

All things considered, it is high time to take a tech break! While it is not realistic to ask everyone to toss their Droids in the garbage and return to the candle-lit days of old, putting technology on pause for the short term can be just the break you need.

Tonight, unplug yourself from 'the matrix' and power everything down for at least an hour. Turn off the television and turn off all computers and mobile devices. If you want to go for the full-on frontier-style power down, flip the main breaker to your house to cut all power and eliminate unnatural electromagnetic interference in the house. If it’s dark, light some candles for mood, and so you can see!

Then, park yourself someplace comfortable and just relax. Let all the thoughts banging around in your head float away. Take a few deep belly breaths and feel the tension melt from your body. Feel yourself connecting with your own power source and your innate ability to sense what's going on in your environment and with your loved ones - without checking their status updates. If you have a spouse or partner, this is an ideal time to have a meaningful conversation or just grab a few minutes of uninterrupted quiet time together.

I promise you will not burst into flames if you stop touching your iPhone (that's just an urban myth). And, if one of your friends posts something incredibly interesting on Facebook, you will be able to see it in your newsfeed when you log back in - with trembling fingers - after your tech break is over.

All jokes aside, the simple act of unplugging can greatly reduce physical, mental and emotional stress and help foster a closer, more authentic relationship among family members. You can even start a new tradition that whenever the power goes out, the family will gather together to enjoy the special brand of peace and quiet that happens when you power down.

Author's Bio: 

Carisa Holmes is a holistic health advocate, Reiki practitioner and author based in the Powell area of Columbus, Ohio. Carisa has worked in the holistic health and natural beauty fields for nearly 10 years.

Through overcoming a plethora of personal health issues and working with clients, Carisa has developed a clear understanding of the functions of the physical body as well as the more subtle layers of the human energy field.

In her practice, Carisa helps empower people to move toward higher levels of wellness. Using tools such as whole food, natural skin care and powerful yet gentle Reiki energy healing, Carisa helps clients lose weight without starving themselves, heal sickness and injury, increase energy levels and feel more calm, happy and alive.

Carisa is very grateful for the many things she has learned and is eager to share them with others. Carisa writes a health and wellness column for GrapeVine Columbus Diversity News Source and maintains a private practice in the Powell/Columbus, Ohio area.

To contact Carisa about how you can heal yourself naturally, visit www.CarisaHolmes.com or email directly at info@carisaholmes.com