We live in a fast-paced world, our social interactions are punctuated with the almost mandatory response “busy”, when asked how we are. Time to reflect slips further and further down the priority list. And at the same time most people begin to report feeling stressed, anxious and even depressed. Relationships and self esteems are becoming damaged due to the constant comparing on social media not too mention more investment in conversations via messenger, divulging in “i-motional” relationships rather than intimate emotional connections face to face with your loved ones.
Lucky our beautiful Jacqui Manning knows some very simply strategies to help us switch on to turning off.
So, what to do?
One of the main culprits fuelling our crammed psyches is technology and social media, so it’s imperative to take breaks. Not to cut off altogether, but to get it back to being part of your life, rather than a major way you spend your time.
Even putting your phone away for an hour will bring you a sense of peace, as well as letting your brain have some much-needed relaxation time. When you are constantly on alert for texts, emails and updates, it keeps your body in a state of anticipation which increases levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), and can lead to being in a chronic state of ‘fight or flight”. This may lead to physical problems such as headaches, loss of libido, stomach upsets and more, as well as emotional disruptions such as depression and anxiety.
Hide your phone/tablet in a drawer so the visual cue of checking for messages isn’t there, and switch to silent mode.
Also, consider deleting facebook and twitter from your phone but allow yourself to check in a few times a day from your PC or laptop.
You may feel a spike in your anxiety at first, however it won’t take long before a sense of calm will take over, and you’ll be more able to be in the moment and enjoy what you are doing, whether that’s time alone or time with loved ones.
Leave your phone at home while you take the kids to the park and just enjoy being with them, rather than taking photos and posting them on Facebook, which will lead to reading other people’s updates and so the spiral goes on…
Taking time to self-reflect is essential for our wellbeing – whether it’s writing in a journal, making a vision board, listing your current goals and priorities will give you some direction and focus and help you get back on track to spending time where you want to.
If you find it hard to do this for yourself, see a professional for a session or two to work through where you are at and if you want to make changes.
If you have to be on your smartphones – we are however advocates for Meditation applications : ) Checkout Headspace or download the app and begin with just 10 mins a day of meditation practice to help get you in the right headspace.