Clearing and giving ourselves a time out from digital overload is crucial to living a fulfilled and inspired life.
You know that feeling when you feel like you have to reach for your cell phone to check social media, your texts or emails or else you just won't be able to focus?
Maybe for you it's when you first wake up or maybe it's when you're attempting to finally get settled and be productive and yet you feel this pull and hear a voice, "just check one more time."
It's like we have this extension of our hands that's a part of us and we feel the lack of presence when it's off to the side or put away.
I know for me sometimes I'll check my phone for a minute while I'm sitting at lunch or waiting for something, then I'll put it in my bag and less than a minute later I'm pulled to check it again. If I follow this instinct, then I know all of a sudden 10 minutes will pass and I'll still be scrolling my instagram feed, checking messages and maybe hopping over to play a game for a minute.
Instead, I like to take a breath and remind myself that I just checked it and ask, "what am I really wanting from checking my phone right now?" Often times the answer is connection. Then, I can decide in that moment how I can best serve myself and fill myself up with the connection I truly desire.
And, if the answer happens to be something I remember I want to take care of, then I'll grab the phone intentionally and text or email back, or call to book that appointment or jot a note down. When I put the phone down afterwards I can feel clear and accomplished and move on to the next priority item without wasting time.
Filling our time with unproductive and uninspiring tasks leaves us feeling drained, depleted and lowers our own feeling of self-worth.
We know how addictive our technology can be for us as adults, and this is even more magnified for children. It's important that we learn how to best use technology as a tool so we can be an example rather than constantly at the effect of our device.
We're losing how to connect in our being and be in touch with what's truly happening in our bodies.
There's so much information in our body when we listen.
It's key to learn how to be comfortable in our own stillness. The more comfortable we can be with certain moments, experiences or parts of ourselves that are uncomfortable, the more healing we'll have, the more present we'll be and the more progress we'll make.
There's a few types of digital overwhelm:
- Too much clutter and noise on our devices. This can be way too many emails, an unorganized desktop full of things to be filed later, not knowing where to find key files and feeling overwhelm everytime you have to work on a project or waste time searching for the same thing multiple times a day or throughout the week. (Tips for clearing out emails here.)
- Too much time on our devices. Feeling distracted and disconnected within ourselves. Our brains are constantly firing when we’re unintentionally around technology causing our sympathetic nervous system to be dominant. This can cause anxiety, restlessness and feeling hyper alert and confused.
- Lack of purpose and clarity. When we're around technology just to socialize, escape or to fill ourselves up in a way that's incongruent to our true purpose, we're left feeling uninspired and unfulfilled. This leaves us searching and not feeling good enough about ourselves and continues a looping pattern the more we seek or compare our lives to others. We beat ourselves up instead of find and own our own genius.
We all have wealth in the areas of life that are most important to us. It's helpful in these times to put down the device and see what's really true.
Ultimately, in addition to time away from our devices, it's time truly spent with ourselves that's the antidote to this tech craze.
Focus on who you are as a being
Remember, we often use technology for doing and accomplishing. You may have heard the phrase we’re a human being, not just a human doing. I always love reminding myself of this. Yes, we have a lot that gets done throughout every day, and at the same time, the more intentional, mindful, focused and connected we are, the more fulfilled and present we will be.
Use technology to serve you and your outcomes rather than as something that takes over your life or creates distance with real life experiences and people.
P.S. Here are two other blog posts on the topic: