Between our smart watches, smart phones, Alexa’s and computers we are never not plugged in. I remember the days when there was one phone line that people had to take turns using and that same phone line was used to connect to dial up internet. *inserts screeching dial up tone – you know the one I mean if you were born in the 80’s/90’s*
Times have definitely changed and I won’t lie, technology is wonderful – but we need to remember what it is to actually live and communicate in a healthier way and not just through a screen. When was the last time you didn’t have your phone on you? How soon upon waking do you look at a screen? How much time before bed do you use staring at a screen?
If you are trying to lighten up your screen time and enjoy the world around you a bit more, then I suggest trying to UNPLUG. How? Try some of the tips below. Even if you can incorporate these acts into a few hours a week your going to be making a huge difference in your life.
Go for a long walk
Bring your phone if it makes you feel safer, but turn it on silent and keep it in your pocket. Take this time to look around. Notice things you might not have noticed before and try to relax your mind instead of stimulating it with some silly video on your phone. Be one with nature!
Put your phone in another room when eating a meal
You should enjoy your food and not be distracted by a text or app. This also allows you to pay attention to the people you are having the meal with (even if that means enjoying a meal alone). I like to put jazz on or light coffee house music for background noise when sitting down at the table to eat. When your phone or computer are out when you are eating you will be likely to overeat and not fully enjoy the meal. Pay attention to the taste of your food, chew longer, and relax.
Forget your phone
Next time you leave the house “accidently” forget your phone. I have actually done this on accident and it gives you a real sense of freedom. Sure, that means no pictures of your food or snap chats of your daily adventure – but this allows you to actually live the experience and not through the lense of a phone. “But what if you need to call someone?!” “What if there is an emergency?”
Hmm.. chances are you will be fine and hey, I bet every single person you are with has a phone!
Turn off all electronics and find a quiet place to sit. Meditation isn’t easy for everyone. The real trick of meditation is really just to try. As long as you can sit and clear your mind ( yes, it takes practice) you are meditating. Make sure you are in a room where you won’t be disturbed and leave your phone, watch, speakers, anything that could distract you in another room. This is the time for complete silence inside and outside your mind. Let your brain relax and take at least 15-20 minutes a day to not look at a screen.
tip when learning to meditate – find something to focus on. There is a small window in my spare room that overlooks some trees. If you have window or picture on wall try using that as your point of vision. This can help clear other thoughts and keep you in quiet and still mind set.
Don’t respond right away
Why do we feel this pressure to answer a text message as soon as it comes through? It is absurd! Sometimes when my phone is in the other room and I hear a *ding* I let it sit. If it’s an emergency someone will call me or call my husband. I don’t want to be a slave to my phone and neither should you. If you always respond right away, people will expect that to always be the case. Cmon, we can at least make people think we have a life right?