Disconnect to Reconnect
“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear” – Rumi
How many electronic devices do you have on hand right now? Be honest! We currently live in a society and age where being constantly ‘plugged in’ is not only the norm, but seemingly a necessity for survival. From morning to night, we are tapped into the world around us by a variety of devices at our fingertips. On the flip side though, it’s not new news that we need to disconnect to reconnect for our overall wellbeing and greater happiness.
Whether we are working, walking, driving, socializing, even sleeping (sleep app, anyone?), we are distracted 24 hours a day. We have lost a deeper connection with ourselves, our surroundings and one another. How ironic, when in fact we think we are constantly connected!
We are all well aware of the benefits that social media and electronic devices have brought to us. We can Skype with relatives on the other side of the world, chat on WhatsApp all day long, and stay connected in ways we never thought imaginable. But when Facebook becomes the means to our relationships and mobiles are constantly glued to our palms, it might be time we unplugged, even just for a little while.
So what are the benefits of disconnecting?
When you choose to disconnect, you allow your mind to wander, to engage in a way that is very present and focused on the here and now. We can experience life, relationships, and the essence of a moment in a much richer way when we are looking through our own lens and not a digital screen.
Not to worry, we’re not talking about going on a 3 day solo camping trip here! Just simple steps to start creating more space in your daily life to connect in a different and deeper way with the people and life around us.
SIMPLE TIPS TO SHUT OFF & TUNE IN
+ Buy an alarm clock
Most of us use our smartphones as our morning alarms. Although handy, having them right by our bed is yet another trigger for us to look at them as soon as our eyes open. The last thing we do before bed and the first thing we do when we wake shouldn’t be staring at a screen.
+ Set a social media “bedtime”
Make a cut off time for your social media checking. Try at least 1 hour before bed, so that you can begin to create a more natural bedtime ritual, and one that will provide you with better and deeper rest.
+ Go device-free at meals
A society of perpetual multitasking, we eat at our desks while attempting to get a million tasks done – because doing 3 things at once plus eating is just that much more efficient, right? Take time to connect with your food. Not only will you mentally feel better but you’ll assist your digestion by allowing it to focus on its job: digesting. Similarly, use meal time as an opportunity to connect with your loved ones. Bonding over a good meal (minus your device) can be some of the most fulfilling moments in your day.
+ Disable all push notifications
This may seem like a simple one, but it can be oh so powerful. If you are not being constantly interrupted throughout your day, you are less likely to be checking in every second. We don’t really need to be on-call for Facebook, twitter and the news for that matter at all hours of the day, do we? Check in when needed, not when your phone prompts you.
+ Embrace the quiet
Don’t freak out. Sit with it. Savour the quiet, peace and silence and welcome it with open arms. We can experience the most incredible ‘aha’ moments, blissful thoughts and sensations when we are left to our own devices (no pun intended).
Do you feel it’s time to disconnect a little? Try implementing even just one or two of the tips above and see how things change. Be patient with yourself as you experience ‘detox symptoms’ (yes, they do exist even in this kind of detox) and begin to pause and notice the world around you while you begin to feel calmer, happier and more at peace.
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