Tethered to Your Phone? Take a Break to Change Your Life
For some, the idea of being without their phone, or social media, even for a few hours, is unthinkable.
If it feels impossible, hear me out.
I’m not going to lecture on the detriments of constant exposure to news media and social media, or the individual and collective effects of being on screens all day and all night.
(But in case you missed that in the news cycle, it’s not good.)
What I will do is ask you this: when you are consuming news, social media, or even good, old fashion TV, do you ever experience:
· Anxiety or worry?
· Sadness or grief?
· Irritability or agitation?
· Hopelessness or helplessness?
· Anger or reactivity?
· Fear or activation?
· Feeling numb or desensitized?
I don’t know about you, but those are not exactly the moods I’m going for. Most of us usually have enough to deal with without adding extra drama and trauma.
Still, many are drawn to the stimulation of the latest controversy, sensationalized misfortune or act of aggression. When this exposure is repeated, or when we don’t interrupt the cycle, we can overload our senses and ultimately our nervous system.
What do you notice in response to bombardment and chaos and turmoil you experience from nonstop “breaking news”?
It’s natural to want to be informed about what’s happening in the world. Perhaps you want to join intelligible conversation about the “issues” or maybe the latest trends.
You can still be a caring, empathic, action-oriented citizen without contributing to your own feelings of distress, inadequacy or dread!
You have a choice! You can escape the call of your devices, get out of default mode, and decide to take a break.
What changes when you do? You may notice:
· Having more time
· Feeling calmer
· Greater optimism
· Being in the present
· Improved concentration and focus
· Reduced state of high-alert
· More connection to loved ones and friends
· Less consumed with events beyond your control
Now that’s more like it!
Have you been wishing you had more time to read or listen to music? How about to exercise? Anyone have any unfinished projects? Is there a friend or family member you haven’t called in a while? Have you noticed it’s getting nice out?
A while back, when I tried this out in my own life by taking a 10-day break from media, I noticed a sense of relief. I felt less angst. I actually started sleeping better. Ahhh…
Ready to give it a try? Start small. Experiment. Choose a particular time of day, such as when you first wake up or before bed, or half a day on the weekend. If that feels daunting, try a one-hour break.
Notice how you feel without automatically turning to your phone. What comes up? What replaces the scrolling?
If you’ve already incorporated breaks from your phone, try short periods of going tech-free. Completely unplug. No TV, no phone, no tablet, no computer. See how you feel.
What do you notice? After a brief bout of restlessness, boredom, or fear of missing out, you may feel calmer or more content. You may actually feel more connected. You may notice improved energy. Now, wouldn’t that be life changing?
Looking for new ways to de-stress and detox your life? Take control of negative lifestyle habits that are leaving you feeling overwhelmed, depleted or stuck.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice, or replace treatment or intervention by a qualified medical or mental health professional.