Ever opened up your phone to check something, but get distracted and then forget what you wanted to do in the first place? Ever felt like you had a thought or problem in your mind but before you can address it, five more thoughts and problems pop up?
You might think I’m crazy for writing an article on how to disconnect yourself from the digital world, but most of our smartphones are only an arm's reach away and that digital connection can become a damaging habit both physically and mentally. As a social media/marketing consultant, I strongly believe that disconnecting from the digital world is the only way I continue to work well. For some, it's not as easy as a cold-turkey digital detox. This is my job, after all. So here are the 5 things that I do to stay in full control of my day-to-day.
A guided yoga session is a great workout and helps to stretch the body to test its limits. I practice Vinyasa Flow at Hom Yoga in Surry Hills and the one most valuable thing yoga has given back to me is the control of my thoughts.
Try a guided meditation in your city, there are plenty if you look! But here's a hack of mine that contradicts disconnecting, but it works for me. I recently downloaded the Smiling Mind app on my phone and whenever I found myself opening my phone, I would ask myself "did you have a real purpose to do so?" If the answer was no, I would open up the Smiling Mind app and meditate instead.
3. Look Up
The next time you are out, look around you. Look at everyone staring down at their phones on the bus or on the train. Look at friends sitting at a cafe on their phones instead of chatting. Look at people crossing the street without any awareness of what is around them because they're staring into a screen. And then realise how much more aware and alert you are when you're not looking down.
4. Get back into nature
We're extremely lucky to be able to connect and access information digitally, but don't forget about the simple, natural things that are good for the soul. Whether it's a park, by the ocean, in the mountains, at a pool, get in touch with nature. Sunshine, fresh air, and the sounds of natural goodness can only be good for you.
5. Connect genuinely offline
The next time you meet with a friend, leave your phone out of sight and see how much you truly pay attention to the things they say, to what they wear, to how they respond to you. Have you been paying attention? Do you truly listen? Your undivided attention (to those who respect it) is one of the most valuable things you can give.
Don't worry about the future, don't dwell on the past. Live in the present, because that's where you are.
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