We live in an age where everything is at our fingertips – knowledge, relationships, entertainment. The connectivity we feel today is nothing like history has ever seen before, and it can be addictive. However, while the internet has been a positive force for change in a lot of ways, it has its own share of shortcomings. Information is more widespread, but fake news abounds. Social media has brought people together, but it can also portray a false narrative that forces us to paint our own lives as inferior. The arrival of streaming services has allowed us to quickly discover content that stimulates our imaginations, at the cost of its presence overshadowing real experiences.
Instead of falling victim to these common dangers of constant connectivity, make the choice to put your phone down and focus on you. Here are few things that you can try to heal your mind, strengthen your body and recharge your soul:
Move your Body
We have grown more sedentary with the advent of technology, when we should be growing more active by using the extra time that technology has allowed us. When we aren’t sitting in front of a screen at our desk jobs for five days a week, we’re relaxing in front of the TV and simultaneously scrolling through our phones. Exercise is vital to our health, but we have a tendency to ignore it in favor of the immediate gratification of today’s entertainment. Moving your body doesn’t have to be miserable: the key to a long-term exercise habit is to find something that you love. Try everything! From gym memberships, sport teams, hikes or walks with your dog, you’re bound to find something you like. Just put that phone down and get moving.
Strengthen your Spirit
Finding peace within yourself is just as important as developing your physical health. Cultivate a habit of introspectiveness, holding yourself accountable for your own choices and actions. Learn to love yourself, and explore your own likes and dislikes. One way that this could be achieved is to keep a private journal of your thoughts – list your achievements for the day, and everything that made you happy. Alternatively, you could try to meditate. Some find a meditative peace in their religion, while others work on their breathing techniques and clearing their mind. Some find peace in creative expression, while still others find therapy in verbalizing their feelings. No matter what you choose to do, surround yourself with the things that make you happy and remember that mental health is instrumental to overall wellbeing.
Go off the Grid
Opting to go without your phone for a period of time can do wonders for your mental health, and it doesn’t have to be a punishment – there are plenty of places where it makes complete sense. Some places run yoga retreats where silence is sacred while participants strive toward inner peace, meaning that phones are not kept on your person. In Sri Lanka, where Ayurveda is commonplace, people seek serenity and the ancient healing techniques of their forefathers by withdrawing to retreats like the Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions, which specializes in the art. If a retreat doesn’t sound like your thing, simply gather a group of your closest friends and make a pact to turn your phones off when you’re together. Try to live in the moment doing what makes you happy, and when you turn that phone back on you will know how much better you can be without it.
Converse over Dinner
We all have our own lives to lead, and the majority of our days don’t always involve the people we love. However, the one place that our days intersect at is at meal times. Make sure that you have at least one meal a day with your partner or your family, screen-free. Whether you’re dining at a fancy restaurant, the great outdoors or even on a comfortable hotel bed like at Water Garden Sigiriya, it’s imperative to focus only on your food and the company you’re in. Ask about their day, tell them about yours, and make sure that everyone’s voice is heard. Finally, remember to enjoy the taste of your food; often we find that we have quickly finished a meal without truly appreciating it because our minds were focused elsewhere.
Overall, just make a conscious decision to be in the present. Time is fleeting, so silence your phone, strike up a conversation with someone you love, and live in the moment.