The question of "how to digital detox" has been circulating amongst people for a while now. But we are going to answer this for you today.
Your phone is probably connected to you right now, are we right? It's most likely that we are! And even if it is glued to your hand, it is without a doubt in your eye line and at an easy-to-reach location.
This increased screen time, along with the dopamine influx that comes every time you receive a text, email, call or notification is causing havoc on your mental wellbeing, relationships and physical health.
Do not worry, a digital detox does not mean you have to completely separate yourself from your gadgets and your online life. You just need to adhere to four simple tips that will lead you to a digital reduction and a fulfilled, tranquil "real" life.
What Is Digital Detox
A digital detox is a length of time that you will stop using electronic devices like phones, laptops or computers. This is a time that is used to focus on lessening stress or concentrate on social conversation and mingling in the real world.
Why You Should Consider Less Tech
There are many reasons why you should make the effort to use less technology and unplug.
Reduces Jealousy, Envy and Loneliness
Researchers conducted a study on Facebook that found that for every three people who checked their Facebook, one of them felt far more dissatisfied and unhappy with their lives.
How many likes you receive, what people comment under photos, the physical appearance of others, holiday locations and family togetherness that is displayed on Facebook can contribute to a brewing feeling of envy.
Fights the Fear of Missing Out
Since we see our friends' and family's every move (near enough at least) on their social media pages, we have a consistent, never-ending stream of notifications that promote our fear of being left out. FOMO has been dubbed as an actual psychological disorder, that is how bad it has become.
Allows Solitude to be Found
Being totally and utterly by yourself allows you to feel grounded to the earth around you and gives you a moment or two of much-needed stillness to reflect on the decisions you have made, what you actually want out of life and evaluate everything.
Allows You to Notice That The Best is In Front of You
People tend to forget that life is happening in front of them. This is the best part of our lives — the constant of whatever is in front of you at any given moment.
You can't beat a face-to-face social interaction which involves eye contact, authentic conversation and real facial reactions. However, if you are so preoccupied with your phone, you won't be there to experience all of this. This is where FOMO really should set in.
Although technology can lead to creation — think graphic design, animation, writing — however, most of the time that you are using tech, you are consuming.
By unplugging, you are handing yourself a chance to live your passions and creatively come up with ways to solve issues.
Life is About Eye Contact and Flesh
The online world can provide you with some truly unbeatable connections with people who you otherwise would not have met. But, having said this, regardless of how you feel about the people you have met on the internet, it will never be able to match the wonderful act of face-to-face interactions.
Without a screen to filter the eye contact and communication, conversing with someone brings a whole valuable experience that technology will never be able to replicate.
Addiction Can Only Be Seen When the Object is Taken Away
If you never try to go a day without your devices, you will not realise how deeply addicted you are. Of course, this is just how addiction to anything works.
When you do switch your screens off and step away, notice how badly you want to turn around, pick them up and switch them back on.
The Four Ways to Digital Detox
As our title suggests, we are going to hand you four ways you can kick your digital addiction away for good. Do not panic, you start slowly!
Easing Off Your Phone Daily
Much like you would not be able to run before you could walk, you have to gently ease into giving yourself breaks from the online universal.
On the first day that you decide to embark on this journey, turn off your phone (or put it down and don't look at it) for 10-15 minutes. On the second day, you can then bump it up to half an hour or so and continue to do this each day.
Switch to Airplane Mode
Switching your phone to airplane mode would stop notifications coming through and distracting you from your real-life every 5 minutes. This way, you can still have the screen on if you must but you won't be bombarded with endless notifications.
Enforce a Technology Ban in the Bedroom
The majority of people take their phones and devices not only into the bedroom but actually into bed with them. If you do this then remember that is excruciatingly detrimental to your sleep and you can develop a form of insomnia if you do this for prolonged periods of time.
However, you may use your phone as an alarm clock but, if you are having trouble sleeping then your first reaction might be to reach for your device. Our advice? Get an alarm clock! This rules out anything like this happening and allows you to have some time in the morning without screens.
Practise Mindfulness Techniques
Mindfulness is the act of paying close attention to the moment that you are in whether that be your surroundings, feelings or thoughts. The aim of this is to improve your mental wellbeing and bring about a state of calm.
You may not know this, but practising yoga to reduce anxiety is a type of mindfulness exercise so, if you already go to a yoga class — keep it up! And if you don't, it is one of the many good lifestyle habits you should employ.
This will not only distract you from your digital detox, but it will also increase your overall health.
Creating Long Term Good Habits
Now you know how to digital detox, it's important to realise that you can't practise these tips just once and expect amazing results. You need to keep it consistent in order to develop long term stress management techniques.