Why Everyone Can Benefit From A Digital Detox
While full-body detoxes have been around for centuries, there has been a recent movement around digital detoxes. The average person spends over four hours a day on their devices. With this in mind, people are taking actionable steps to break their addiction to their devices by powering down their smartphones and intentionally spending time away from staring at screens.
Our devices are filled with triggers, whether that be red notifications catching your eye or the subtle vibrations on the coffee table begging for your attention. We may think we are in control of our devices, but for many, our devices have begun controlling us.
Even in our pursuit of a solution, we find ourselves justifying our usage — saying we need it for work, school, to read the news or to stay in touch with friends and family. Yet, what we fail to realize is how much time and focus these “necessities” take away from everything else.
While there’s no way to get rid of our digital devices entirely, making small changes can help limit our dependency.
Rest your mind like you rest your body
Just as our bodies need rest after a workout, our minds need a break from staring at screens and scrolling endlessly through text messages and Instagram. The brain can hold focus for only 60 - 90 minutes at a time, which is why it’s important to take time and reset. Rest your mind by focusing on your body — go on a run, take a yoga class, stretch, meditate. The key is to spend time away from screens and do whatever helps you reset. By doing this, you will feel refreshed and crave this feeling more, helping you to slowly ease your digital addiction.
Wake up and smell the roses
Give activities, tasks or hobbies your undivided attention. The ability to commit 100% of your focus to a physical activity will inevitably help reduce your digital device usage because most of life is taking place in the real world, not in an app. Toiling away in front of a screen for hours on end never leaves you feeling fully satisfied with life. However, going on a hike, meeting up with friends or making a homemade meal where you can put all of your senses to work is where you will feel fulfilled. Don’t let your phone, social media or email distract you from living your best life — put the phone away, turn the TV off, and take time to stop and smell the roses.
Awareness is key
We all know the feeling — the subtle ache that starts behind the eyes, the pain in the back of your neck and the overwhelming stream of thoughts bouncing around your head. While we may feel these annoyances, we don’t connect our pain to using our digital devices. By being mindful of the amount of time we’ve spent looking at screens and how it makes us feel, we can take actionable steps to remove our attention from our devices. So next time you feel pain in your neck or you rub your eyes after a long day of looking at your computer, let that serve as a reminder to limit your digital use.