In today's digital world, it can be a real challenge to disconnect and find some true quiet time. The advancements of technology have made everything accessible and life much easier, but it is not hard to see the potential side effects on the people. Not only can, 'being too connected' negatively impact your productivity, health and relationships - It can also hold you back from reaching your true potential, achieve your dreams and really live your life.
Adopting habits characteristic of a flourishing lifestyle is a must if you want to see some changes in your life! I try to be as health conscious as possible and my secret for keeping trouble free is by eating nutritious and REAL food. I try buy organic as much as I can and prefer a local farmers market (supporting local is always a plus) to the supermarkets. Don't worry, I am still a massive burger fan, but by cooking at home a lot and using good ingredients, I get to be healthy and STILL get my takeout as a treat when I would like :-)
Don't forget to drink a lot of water during the day, that was a life changer for me. You can add teas and other 'good for you' drinks to spice it up as well! It really all comes down to being creative and having fun with it, I used to think that healthy is bland and boring but I honestly couldn't be more wrong.
The Stoic philosopher Epictetus said:
"Every habit and capability is confirmed and grows in its corresponding actions,. . . therefore, if you want to do something make a habit of it”
Once you get started making small changes they will become part of your life and in no time you will feel renewed.
Every morning, the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, reminded himself that he needed to contribute his part to the world. His morning routine consisted of journaling, breakfast and self reflection. The emperor would plan his day ahead and note potential struggles.
There is no set routine that works for everyone, we all have different interests, passions and lifestyles. My morning routine now days includes coffee making for me and my partner, a bit of reading, a nice shower (I am practicing having a cold one :o ) and a short walk or some other sort of movement/exercise. A morning yoga or meditation session are a great idea.
Waking up a little earlier than needed is a fantastic start, there is just so much potentially wasted time early on, that we could utilize for self growth and starting our day stress free. Sacrificing 30 mins of movie time at night and replacing it with an earlier wake up can be super beneficial. Focusing on your morning ritual, be it making coffee or a smoothie or whatever else you enjoy doing first thing, without the distraction of your phone can set you up and really give you time to start your day fresh. I try leave my phone charging in a different room overnight so that I do not get tempted to glance at it straight away, and trust me it works!
3.GIVE PEOPLE YOUR FULL ATTENTION
In order to express authentically who we are, we must engage in one on one conversations with others, and that should really be offline! There is no greater gift we can give someone than our full attention. More often than what we realize, we find ourselves being with someone physically, but not being there mentally. Instead, we are with our smartphones, messaging someone else or checking a notification.
There is a Stoic affirmation one can repeat every morning (could become part of that morning routine), it goes like this:
"Today I will be present with others, not distracted"
As with anything we do in life, today could be the last time we interact with a loved one. So why not make every single moment count. Choose to be Here Now! Everyone needs to be heard and to feel truly connected, try it out for yourself and see the results.
Check out this quote by Marcus Aurelius:
“Do external things distract you? Then make time for yourself to learn something worthwhile; stop letting yourself be pulled in all directions.”
4.ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS
It’s normal to be excited for big events, but putting all your energy toward these main milestones can make you skip past common (but equally important) parts of your day-to-day life!
There is no specific guide to what counts as a big or little thing in ones life, it is something you have to decide for yourself. I recently made a blog post on the Greek tradition of playing the komboloi, a Hellenic beaded pastime and stress relief toy! I myself spend a little bit of time sitting and playing with the worry beads every day, while pondering.
Practices like that are very important to keep one in the moment and grounded. Search for your "little thing" and start having fun with it :)
Robert Brault Said:
"Enjoy the little things because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."
5.TAKE A TECH BREAK
According to Orianna Fielding, author of Unplugged: How to live mindfully in a digital world, "Putting your digital connectivity on 'pause' is like switching ourselves onto 'airplane mode'. The relief we feel when we are legitimately allowed to disconnect and allow ourselves to unplug indicates our need to find a way to introduce more balance into the digital layer of our lives." The best and most effective way of doing so is by allocating consistent, structured tech free downtime into our lives.
Taking the first step as with everything is always going to be the hardest part. Try not to think of that downtime as a negative, instead embrace this time by doing things you would normally be too distracted to do, such as reading a book or magazine(something physical and not online), writing, being artistic or creative or even spend some quality and mindful time with your pet.
The benefits of a digital detox are felt almost immediately. As time slows down, we feel less rushed and can focus more clearly. Try put your attention in less things, that way you will not feel overloaded and will have some quality time with what matters to you.
"A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there."
6.RECONNECT WITH YOUR BODY
Reconnecting with your body by getting it moving acts as a perfect counterpoint to the inactive hours spent in front of a screen!
Mindfulness enables us to take a step back and view ourselves and our emotions from a different perspective. This allows us to be more in control of our feelings, rather than be controlled by them. It also allows us to step back from restlessness and anxiety. We spend way too much time living inside our heads, and as a result we become overrun with thoughts and have lost touch with our senses.
Practice mindfulness now and feel the difference! There are many ways of being more mindful, next activity you take part in, from eating to gardening or patting your cat, allow yourself to be fully immersed in the moment. Leave whatever could distract you away and spend that time solely focusing in what it is that you are doing.
Athletes call that experience "Being in the zone". Your sensory system will be enabled, your focus will increase, your movements will be in flow and you will enjoy the activity on a different level.
8.CREATE A SANCTUARY
Creating a sanctuary space means making a technology free, unplugged space at home that you can retreat to in order to re-balance. Find a quiet place that has few distractions, a space where you can meditate, read, practice yoga, listen or play music and pretty much step back from your day to day life.
Trudi Bennet speaks about the importance of a sanctuary in "kids in nature". She says: "Sanctuary is more than safety. It’s about creating a home or a sense of place. It contains your identity because you’ve built it. Sanctuary holds some of you – your heart and your creativity. It holds the connection that you made with that tree and those branches as you put it together. It holds the relationship of who you built it with. It’s not constructed out of the desperation of needing shelter, but out of wanting to be connected and wanting to feel a strong relationship to where you are. A strong relationship with the people, the animals, plants and the general country is an important element in creating a sense of belonging"
I usually meditate in the afternoon, just before dinner. I sit outside, sometimes with a small glass of wine and think about the day so far, goods and bads, my plans for the next day and the near future. I then sit still for five minutes and visualize nature, a waterfall, a beach, trees or the sea. The entire session takes no more than ten minutes.
This little practice has become life changing to me. It helps me close the day with contentment and approach the next with strength, courage and determination. Definitely has helped reduce my stress.
Meditation is practically synonymous with Stoic Philosophy. The Stoics found the idea of gathering your thoughts, recollecting and self analyzing as therapeutic and necessary for a pleasant life experience.
Check out our How to mediate Blog Post if you need some direction. Don't forget that there is no set way, and everyone has to find their best method:)
Gratitude is a natural expression of mindfulness. Being grateful acts as a reminder that there are many important parts of your life that simply cannot be experienced digitally. Brandon Tumblin, host of "The strong stoic" podcast, says in his article, "How to practise Gratitude", that humans have an obsession with negativity. It is something that comes naturally, as we are an organism, and most organisms always try to survive. He explains: "it makes logical sense that we would naturally gravitate towards detecting danger as opposed to feeling grateful for the good things that we do have. After all, what evolutionary advantage is there to feeling good about the clothing that you have on when you already have it? Would it not make more sense to, instead, focus on what you don’t have so that you can go out and get it?''.
Thankfully, there are ways to overcome this desire to survive.
"It may sound obvious (because it is), but the antidote to ingratitude is practicing gratitude. Despite its obviousness, it is curious that many of us fail to incorporate this into our daily lives. Perhaps the reason is that gratitude is a practice. That is, it’s something that you must practice regularly with the knowledge that you’ll never be perfect at it, and you’ll inevitably miss the mark."
A good practical way of expressing gratitude is by keeping a journal. In it you can list up to 10 things that you are grateful for today.(Best time would be before bed when you can review the day or first thing in the morning, also needless to say that we should always be grateful for being alive).
The journal will act as a database of your unplugged, great moments! It will also acts as a constant reminder of the amazing things in your life.
Stepping away from the ceaseless bombardment of digital distractions will give you the space to look for things to be grateful for. The practice of continuous gratitude will enable you to notice the little things that we so often miss while we are focused on a screen and instead begin to look for the positive in every situation.
"Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys"
Our world is going a direction, new to the human race. We need to adapt to this new way of life, and we are very good at doing so! But it takes time. This century has had so many drastic advantages in technology and changes in our traditional ways that it is only natural to be overwhelmed. Within two generations we have gone from not having a fridge or a phone to Uber eats and the likes of on demand food at any time... If there was ever a good time to be more mindful about the way we live it is NOW!
I really hope you enjoyed and found value in this post, take care and i will see you soon:)