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Did you know that the average American spends an average of ten hours looking at a screen every day? Whether on a laptop, tablet or phone.
That’s a lot. A lot of time spent staring at something small when we could be looking at something much bigger… and much better. Family, friends, ourselves.
It’s a good idea to disconnect from technology and the workday to recharge our batteries and clear our minds now and again.
Besides Instagram food photos and Facebook status updates, life exists. I promise.
We all need a respite from technology and the workweek from time to time for our overall wellness. This article will offer helpful tips on how to unplug and start living a more mindful existence.
What Does It Mean to Unplug from Technology?
The idea of unplugging is to take time off from all electronics and other technologies.
The goal is to disconnect from social media, game apps, and other distractions. It is not just about turning off your phone or TV, but instead about making the conscious decision to be more mindful during screen time.
It is no secret that technology can be addictive. While many people love screen time, some people experience anxiety or stress when they spend too much time looking at their devices. For these people, the idea of unplugging means taking time off from all electronics and other technologies and trying to live a simpler life.
Unplugging is a great way to get away from it all. It can be challenging for people to realize what's going on when spending too much time on phones or web browsing. It's easy to get caught up in social media and constant news updates and lose focus on the world around you.
Unplugging is a great way to put technology away for a little while and spend time with family and friends. Many people are experiencing the adverse effects of too much screen time. Even when reading books on tablets, the light from the screen can cause eye fatigue, headaches and even affect sleep quality.
Mindfulness is gaining popularity in the medical community, and doctors are recommending it to their patients to reduce stress and depressive symptoms. In addition, the American Psychological Association has connected fear of missing out (FOMO) to depression, which may appear as physical symptoms.
Whether it's a vacation, a staycation, or when you're in the comfort of your own home, unplugging can be a great way to improve your mental health. Going offline is not only a chance to reset and take a break from work and other stressors, but it can also do wonders for your overall wellbeing.
7 Steps to Unplug from Technology and Live a More Mindful Life
Here are some practical tips you can use to enrich your existence:
1. Reduce tech 10% at a time.
You might be shocked at how much you miss technology if you suddenly stop using it. Alternatively, you may choose a more subdued approach. You may prefer this technique of disconnecting.
It's prudent to track how much time you spend on technology (social media, texting, work email, games, etc.). Reduce your technology consumption by 10% by doing this. Make a note of how you feel, and then reduce it by another 10% the following week! Then gradually increase your online time.
2. Set up technology-free zones.
For example, the dining room or kitchen should be devoid of telephones, iPads, televisions, and other technological gadgets. Choose a location for you and your family to congregate or unwind after a hard day at work. In shared spaces, establish digital-free zones.
Unplugging becomes simple and effective when certain parts of the house or business are designated “tech-free.” Maintaining accountability is, in fact, the most challenging component of the process.
Remove any technology from locations where it will not affect your employment. There are times of day and settings when you will notice a significant reduction in your use of technology and an improvement in your ability to focus on yourself, possibly improving your mood and life.
3. Create a home library and always keep a book with you.
A visit to the library is an excellent way to refuel and gain new perspectives. There is an allure to physical books that eBooks and online publishing do not have.
You can start a personal library. Include a bookcase to store your reading materials. Each week, check out a few library books in your digital-free zone and, likewise, do the same with your children.
Make a home library to encourage your children to read. By reading frequently, you can demonstrate to your children that you are a lifelong learner. Set aside 30 minutes each weekend for family reading.
It would be an excellent gift for your children. Always have a book nearby. Boredom does not constitute a waste of time. If you have the opportunity, read a book. As a result, your mind and spirit will be nourished. It is also an ideal way for bus riders to unplug!
Here are some roundup posts of our favorite books:
- 11 Best Meditation Books for Beginners
- 9 Best Minimalist Books to Live a Simplified Life
- 9 Best Books on Spiritual Awakening & Enlightenment
4. Turn off phone notifications for emails and social media.
It's challenging to ignore email and social media alerts. You may think your employer emailed you or someone commented on your Facebook status. These distractions sap your energy and focus.
Consider free applications like Notification Cleaner, Freedom, Anti-Social, and Focus (free). For example, daily or weekly distraction-free periods can help you relax, focus on yourself and enhance productivity. You can also sync blocking apps between devices. This application can save you about two and a half hours every day.
You can turn Facebook and Instagram alerts off, so you have a faster PC.
5. Track the time you spend online.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms eat up your time. Online time is often underestimated. Everyone has the same number of hours in a day.
Nonetheless, some of us manage to do it all. Others put off work for months, if not years. It may surprise you how much time you spend on your devices. An hour spent with friends or at the mall is more productive than scrolling through Facebook.
Screen time tracking software can come in handy here. Most apps are free to download and have many valuable features. Users can create groups and share results, compare activity statistics, and assess their digital footprints.
Using this information, you can now schedule time for daily email responses and social media checks. For example, you could check your email daily upon arrival and leaving work. Then, when you go home, turn off your email notifications.
6. Go on a digital diet and do a complete detox.
A digital detox may have the same impact as a juice fast on your urge to always be connected. It will also allow you to appreciate solitude.
According to recent research, there is a phenomenon called “phantom ringing” or “phantom vibration.” Almost 70% of those polled said they had felt phantom ringing. Technology is now part of our everyday routine.
Start with a single day, if you can, and then see if you can go for a week. Inform everyone, just like you would if you were taking a vacation at the beach or any other peaceful location.
Find healthy activities to fill up the time you'll be freeing up without technological distractions. Of course, make yourself available for emergencies, but spend time outdoors, and spend more time with your family and yourself. When you're done with the detox, you'll feel more energized, less worried, and better equipped to appreciate life.
7. Have mindful mornings.
When you get up in the morning, avoid social media and even digital news. Avoid checking your email and doing anything else involving engagement with your device. By immediately using your phone upon waking, the behavior adds unnecessary strain and stops you from obtaining an excellent start to your day.
You can even stop using your phone as an alarm clock to avoid it all together in the mornings. The video below explains why you should stop (or never start) using your phone as an alarm.
Instead of checking your phone first thing in the morning, go for a morning walk or read the newspaper. Meditation, yoga, breath work, reading, cuddling with a loved one, or even prayer are all excellent ways to begin the day.
It assists you in refocusing your attention away from the digital world and into the real world. You will be setting up the conditions for a more productive and pleasurable day.
Final Thoughts on How to Unplug
Today's world is full of distractions. From cell phones to social media, the average person is exposed to screens at an alarming rate. And this constant exposure can make it difficult to focus, which can cause anxiety and stress.
Unplugging is a great way to clear your mind and let go of all the noise. It can also help improve your health.
It's not easy to unplug when you're used to filling up your life with technology and social media. But being more mindful will lead to a more fulfilling life. For further reading, look at this article about how you can spend time with loved ones and practice mindfulness as a group.
Finally, if you want to increase your happiness and life satisfaction, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's important.