If you’re looking for less stress and more mental freedom, you may be a candidate for a tech detox. Instead of 24/7 connectivity and instant gratification that’s no longer satisfying, how about creating a sacred space where you can daydream and relax?
There’s a backlash brewing in the digital world as boomers turn gray and information overload increases. How stressed out are you lately? Tension can manifest physiologically with headaches and upset stomach, emotionally by feeling irritable or overwhelmed, behaviorally through changes in your eating or sleep patterns, cognitively with memory loss or trouble concentrating.
If you can’t afford to take time off and unplug in the south of France, here are six practical tips to develop a different mindset and restore balance right here at home:
Seek solitude. Set limits by saying 'no' to others and 'yes' to yourself. A physical place with little opportunity for distraction will free up your thoughts. Try not to worry about mistakes from the past or what the future will bring. As you disconnect, stay in the moment. Carve out quiet time each day and discover what brings you peace of mind.
Change your attitude. Emotional discomfort can be an opportunity for greater self understanding, and awareness is always the first step toward change. Learn how to face uncertainty with a positive attitude or turn pessimistic ideas into more optimistic ones. Some sessions with a cognitive therapist can teach you a lot about how to reframe your thoughts and gain a different perspective.
Practice meditation. Find ways to attend to your mind and spirit. Learn about techniques of deep breathing or develop a yoga discipline. Drop your thoughts into the space between breaths and steer your mind away from constant stimulation. Think about nothing and completely clear your head. Mindfulness is a concept derived from Buddhism that's central to meditation and involves being present and observant without judgment.
Begin to journal. Pick up a pen and start to write. Putting thoughts out of your mind and onto paper gets rid of the noise in your head. By not censoring yourself you can tap into your unconscious. Writing is cathartic and allows you to release pent up feelings. It’s a great process to help regulate your negative emotions and savor your positive ones.
Consider new priorities. Get out from behind your computer and open up to meaningful experiences. Trust what you discover - direct ways to express yourself and feel closer. Build actual relationships to feel a real sense of support and connection. Take a walk or have coffee with a friend. Enjoy a face to face meeting or business lunch instead of a webinar. Make a commitment to no texting during family time.
Embrace change. Stop focusing on status updates and mandate some time to reconnect with you. Rejuvenate, get in touch with what you really care about and tap into your dreams. If you take a much needed vacation, you’ll return with a new perspective and renewed excitement.Think about what’s holding you back from living the life you want and begin to pursue goals that are right for you.
Of course technology is here to stay—what would we do without data access? But you’ll give yourself a priceless gift by developing stress relievers to counteract burnout. And take heart as you embrace the calm of the present moment.