Digital Detox: 6 Important Benefits to Taking a Technology Break
Do you need a break from all the technology and gadgets in your life? Do you find yourself constantly checking your email, cell phone, or social media? Be honest with yourself here. It's easy to become obsessed with things like Facebook and email because we live in a world of technology.
Taking a break from technology can be very beneficial and it can even help you build resilience. Studies have shown that the mere presence of a phone, even if it is turned off, still creates a feeling of being less connected or listened to.
According to University of Wisconsin Health psychologist Shilagh Mirgain, it’s easy to get overloaded with information and that feeling can also bring on anxiety, especially if you are connected 24/7 to your digital devices.
According to Mirgain, there are many benefits to taking a technology break including:
- Better relationships. Nothing is more distracting or irritating than trying to hold a conversation with someone, especially a loved one if they are continually checking their cell phone.
- Increased productivity and focus. The truth is multitasking is really a myth. Any time you attempt to multitask, you decrease your focus away from important tasks.
- Enhanced self-worth. We tend to compare ourselves to the perfect personas we see on social media. As a result, we don’t often feel good about ourselves.
- Encourages mindfulness. Savoring and focusing on the moment, rather than the cell phone, helps encourage mindfulness, which can help reduce anxiety and stress.
- Reduction of stress. Constantly being plugged in can feel overwhelming.
- Enhanced physical health. Too much screen time means you aren’t out there doing other things like taking a walk, taking a fitness class, or getting fresh air.
If you are constantly reaching for your cell phone when having important conversations, it can be really distracting. If you want to nurture your relationship, put the phone down when having important conversations.
Constant texts and emails can also disrupt your focus causing you to take more time completing simple tasks. The best rule of thumb if you have an important project to focus on, is to either turn the phone on silent or turn it off temporarily.
Being constantly plugged in can also impact your self-worth. Comparing yourself to all the carefully perfected pictures on social media can make you feel inadequate. The truth is, you only see someone’s “A game” on social media, and you rarely see what is really occurring in their life. Reality is often very different from the carefully crafted images people post online.
It’s easy to feel like your work is never done because the emails never really stop! If you are looking for a way to detox digitally, email is a great place to start. Work to create boundaries by only checking email at certain times during the day. Try not to immediately check your email upon awakening, because that can also cause you to feel more stressed.
Social media can also drain your energy. We all need downtime at night. If you find yourself checking emails and Facebook while you’re attempting to relax at night or watch a movie, you won’t really be able to relax.
If you feel stressed in the evening, try taking a tech break for a nice change of pace. You probably don't even realize how attached or tethered you are to your device until you put it down at the end of the day.
Are You Guilty of This?
How many of you wake up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning and immediately reach for your cell phone to check your emails or social media accounts? Our devices can keep us locked into that stressed-out feeling, and it can be difficult to break out of.
If you really need to stay in touch for business or personal reasons - try putting your phone or device on the kitchen counter or some remote location instead. Doing so will allow you to step away from your device momentarily while still keeping it available if needed.
It's amazing how emotionally freeing it feels to do something simple like putting your cell phone down.
Living in the moment and practicing mindfulness can also help you shift your perspective and help you realize that life is meant to be lived within each precious moment.
In light of all of this, it’s important to stop and ask yourself when was the last time you just sat and relaxed without your tech gadget? When was the last time you took a walk just to enjoy the day or stopped to smell a flower to enjoy a moment? Once those moments pass, they are gone forever. Each moment is a gift and a blessing, and we need to start being a part of them again.
Make a pact today to put your technology down, even if it’s for only an hour or so. Start enjoying those small moments each and every day. Take a walk. Get some exercise. Do some yoga!
You might be surprised at how good you feel taking time out of each day to take a technology break. One great way to step away from technology is by taking a yoga class.
If you’re looking for online yoga, dance, fitness or life coaching in a more personal setting, such as one-on-one online coaching sessions, check out our platform today and choose an instructor that is right for you.
If you’re looking for an awesome resource to help you embrace uncertainty and thrive in a challenging new world along with some interesting reads on health and wellness, take a look at the articles on our blog.
By Leslie Riopel
Leslie is the creator of PlanetBlessed.org and the co-author of the Bless the Mess Mindfulness Journal: 53 Unique Mindfulness Exercises for Sur-Thriving in a Challenging New World available on Amazon.