Yes, I know I want more peace as the holidays approach but how can I live with more peace and gratitude? How about a Digital Detox?
Because of our ever-present electronics, the average American’s attention span has dropped over the past decade from 12 seconds to a mere 8 seconds – this registers shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. One study from the American Psychological Association found that nearly one fifth of people say technology is a source of stress. How can we be on our digital devices and still find some sort of balance? Current research indicates that overuse of our digital devices may be interfering with our ability to focus and be emotionally and mentally present as well as contributing to stress induced health conditions.
The average American spends nearly half of every day staring at a screen, and sometimes our bodies pay a price. Symptoms can include text neck which causes muscle pain, pinched nerves and worse because of long periods of staring down at a small screen. Digital eye strain which can cause dryness, blurred vision and headaches. Smartphone Thumb which can cause symptoms of inflammation and irritation.
You don’t have to break up with your phone completely – you just need to relax your grip on it. There is a way for you to establish greater peace during the holidays by establishing a saner relationship with your technology.
- Turn off push notifications – turn off as many notifications as you can live without
- Convert your screen to black and white – go retro, let go of the vibrant temptation of the distraction of a colorful screen
- Make meals and other family gatherings no technology zones
- Designate tech-free hours during your day
- Rediscover paper and don’t be too quick to give up books
- Stick to one screen – multitasking is hard on the brain, especially when watching tv and being on your phone or computer all at the same time. Stay with one screen, it takes several minutes to recalibrate our brains back to the original task.
The more energy we direct toward our devices, the less energy we are directing toward whoever is in the room with us or our loved ones. Know that you can take back your time and your life especially as you manage and regulate the usage of your time with technology. Most people feel happier and more peaceful after a digital detox. Give yourself permission to be involved in life through participation and being fully engaged instead of through just observing. Be more mindful this Thanksgiving by clearing your mind space and doing a Digital Detox!