It’s the 21st century, we understand, it could be difficult to disconnect from technology altogether, but it can be done.
First responders are always plugged in and constantly on the go, so it’s essential to occasionally put your phone down and allow yourself to live in the present.
Think back to when you didn’t take your phone with you into the restroom or converse with your loved ones at the dinner table; you allowed yourself to be present and not multitasking 24/7.
You do not need to make any massive changes right out the gate. But, next time you go to the restroom, leave your phone in the other room and when you’re sitting at the dinner table with family or company, actually listen and converse. Or, when you get into bed, leave your phone on a nightstand to refrain from scrolling through social media or watching mindless YouTube videos that will do nothing but prolong you from a good night’s rest.
Aside from allowing you to gain better rest, become more productive, and allow more time for simple pleasures, here are three mental health benefits you can reap by periodically disconnecting from technology.
Reduction of stress and anxiety
With the political, economic, and public health crises that have occurred worldwide over the past number of years, it’s no surprise that technology is causing and aggravating stress and anxiety.
“Ideally, you should only spend 30 minutes on social media per day. According to the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, limiting your social media engagement to 30 minutes per day leads to better mental health and positively impacts overall well-being.”
When you log into social media, watch tv, get a news alert, or listen to the radio, your mind is in a hundred places at once because we’re usually doing something else simultaneously. Taking just 10 minutes to yourself, with zero technology, can allow your mind the time it deserves to slow down and be present at the moment; try it, you’ll enjoy it.
More time to show gratitude
When was the last time you showed appreciation for the little things? Like the plant that’s slowly blooming as you walk up to your driveway, have you had a moment to express your gratitude for the clean water you drink every day? You haven’t even noticed that plant that you pass by every day…because you’re on your phone.
Practicing thoughts of gratitude can help you find the good in almost any situation. So the next time you put your phone down, share one small thing you’re grateful for, and the positive energy will snowball.
Be present and connect with nature
When we’re connected to technology every minute of our waking day, we don’t allow ourselves time to live in the moment. As you may already know, first, you must be present to be fully grounded.
When we’re stressed out and worried, we’re living in the future and anxious about things that haven’t happened yet; technology is said to amplify these intense emotions. Spending less time with technology can provide you with more time to connect with nature, grounding you — bringing you back into the moment, which is imperative to positive mental health.
As you continue to improve upon disconnecting from technology daily, you’ll start to notice an increase in your attention span, a stronger sense of self-awareness, and ultimately leading you to become more mindful.
Ask yourself the questions below to get an idea of how you’re responding to technology:
- Are electronic devices in your bedroom negatively impacting your sleep?
- Do you spend more than 1 hour per day on social media?
- Do you feel there’s no time for yourself during the day?
- Does the news cause you stress or anxiety?
- Are you juggling too much?
- What is one way you can cut back on technology?