Disconnecting to Connect Within
Disconnection from our day to day tasks and interactions has a crucial role in keeping us feeling balanced, with a healthy mind and body. Having our mind plugged in constantly to different tasks, problems, technology or social interactions creates a false idea of productivity. Its important to give our mind a break and disconnect so that we can connect to our selves and have more quality in our lives.
I recently realized this on a flight back home from Europe. I felt this state of bliss being completely disconnected in uninterrupted time. I had eight hours to do whatever I wished without my phone on or my computer to answer emails. So I relaxed, I read, I meditated, I caught up on movies that I haven’t had time to see, and I didn’t feel guilty about not being productive during this time.
Technology is surrounding us everywhere – at work, on our laptops, smartphones or tablets. We have internet available 24/7 on any of our mobile devices so we can basically access anything we want, any time of the day, be it work related or just fun. Besides work, technology is almost as hard to disconnect from unless you are really strict with yourself.
Addiction to technology makes us less present, irritable and impulsive, and results in withdrawal from the real life. Besides missing out on maybe some of the most enjoyable moments of the day, being always connected to some form of distraction keeps the brain always “on”. And this could be harmful for mental health.
Being always connected leads to anxiety and depression, reduces sleep quality and the overall emotional well-being. To avoid this, you need to set clear boundaries on when you’re using technology and when it’s time to restrain.
I personally was curious on how I can start implementing this kind of interrupted time into my life pragmatically when I’m not traveling, and whether or not it was realistic. So I experimented with taking an hour off a day from all technology. I powered off my cell phone (or put it on airplane mode) for one hour a day, and enjoy that time however it might be. Whether its grocery shopping, having lunch or walking through the park, I feel more mindful as I’m valuing this time.
At first, it felt a bit difficult to turn off and I worried about consequences of not being available. It took a conscious effort to remind myself of the days not too long ago when we didn’t have cell phones and were less reliant on quick access to technology.
Within a few days this habit of turning off and disconnecting became contagious and I had an easier time letting go.
Most importantly, this time allowed me to connect to myself without distraction and noise from my busy brain. I felt lighter and starting to feel more clarity with decision making and overall more peace and joy.
Other ways of disconnecting could be starting the day without using technology for the first hour and switching off everything 1-2 hours before sleep. Since turning off before bedtime, I have made the shift of reading rather than surfing the web and answering emails on my computer which also helped improve my sleep quality.
If you spent more time disconnected, what could you accomplish?
Try and take some steps to disconnect in order to connect to your beautiful self.