Unplug! Did You Know Your Happiness Depends on It?

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Technology is amazing, advancing innovation in health, industry and everyday life. Who knew it would take over people’s attention and become so addictive? Research shows that people are more intimate with their devices than with close relationships! 

More than half the time communication is carried out via text or some other digital format. We are looking at screens, for hours at a time, at work, home, school, or even when going out with family and friends. Face to face communication is so infrequent, an entire generation has anxiety when faced with the possibility of an in-person conversation.

Having phones has brought to much information and access to our everyday life and now it is time to learn how to turn it off and start relating again, in the old fashion way.

Phones and computers are distracting and they have become the default mode to pass the time. When we don’t have something to do or need a break, a lot of us instantly reach for our phone or turn on the TV. Unfortunately, this habit can have a negative impact on our health. Screens cause the brain to get sluggish from all the scrolling and scanning of headlines. 

Ask yourself, when was the last time you took a break from screens and completely unplugged?

In a life full of inescapable screens, it is essential to schedule in a block of time to unplug each day. Research has shown that you can improve sleep, productivity, and connections with the important people, just by turning off the screens and learning to refocus your attention.

Make a habit of turning off notifications during your sleep time. Read something inspirational before bed – do not look at your email or social media. Give your brain something healthy and positive to focus on while you are sleeping. Research has found the light from the screens disrupts the body sleep cycle.

The more comfortable you are stepping away from the screen, the easier it will be to have healthy conversations and get to know people around you. Just because you can find out every detail and novel bit of trivia, doesn’t mean you should. The more you rely on google to answer your questions, the less comfortable your brain is at coming up with creative and unique ideas.

Reconnect

Take your unplugging time as a way to reconnect with family and friends! Have a game night, work on a project with each other, or find recreational activities to do outside, over a weekend. Something as simple as going for a walk and chatting about your life and what’s new can have an impact on your relationship. Staying away from the screens leaves more time for having a conversation with those who matter most to you.

Reflect

Putting the phone down and picking up a pen and paper to reflect on your past week or month can help to improve your focus and productivity. Give yourself time to review your highs and lows and how that has affected your past couple days. Goals and future endeavors can be another major part of your life that you can reflect on such as what you want to change and where you want to be in the next month, year, and so on.

Refresh

Self care is an important part of your life and is often something that gets put on the backburner. Scrolling through social media is not unwinding; it is numbing. And too often people end up in a comparison rut when they scroll through the media channels wondering, “where are all of my great vacation pictures, etc.”

Blocking out time away from your phone or computer is the perfect opportunity to get some rest. Refresh by taking a bath, meditating, or even cooking your favorite meal that you have put off, for lack of time. Step away from the screens and by do so, you will feel less frantic. 

Try to block out time within the next couple days and see how much of a difference it makes to take time away from technology. Do you feel more focused and productive? Were you able to come back having more energy than before?

Whatever you would love to do to relax and reenergize, is an amazing way to refresh before jumping back into screens.

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Dr. Cynthia Howard

Executive Coach  Performance Consultant  LSSBB

It takes resilience and agility to stay focused in these disruptive times. We want to help you get ahead of the challenges in this digital age with short practical tips. Go forward. Be your best

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