I was watching a 1960’s movie the other day and it struck me that everything involved a cigarette. The actors smoked as they talked in coffee shops, on the street, and in business meetings at the office or a restaurant. They smoked before and after dinner and throughout it. They smoked first thing in the morning and also in bed at night. They smoked before and after intimacies and even between kissing. Any possible situation there was smoking, and it all looked relaxed and natural, well accepted in the community.
(Please understand I’m not promoting or diminishing smoking, I’m just trying to establish the scene at this point.
Smart phone obsession
I look around now, and what is so obvious to me is that we have created the same type of relationship with our smart phones. Our technology has become an extension of many of us, always at the ready, it’s practically habitual to check our phones for missed calls, messages, posts, updates, emails. It’s like a rush of adrenalin, the impulse to check, the checking, the quick reply. You could say somewhat of an addiction. I know, I feel drawn to just have a quick look to see if a message has come in…..ah… And before I know it time has passed and I have been taken into a tangent / side tracked into looking at something else. Bet you haven’t done that before?!
Have you experienced being without your phone or technology, due to loss, damage or being out of range – an unspeakable situation! When my smart phone went for a swim, catastrophising began immediately……how will I contact people, did I back it up, what happens in an emergency, how long before I can get it back……and this is for someone who purposely leaves the phone at home periodically to reduce reliance! This was the day out horse riding my phone had a wash.
It’s hard to imagine how we coped before technology. I survived well on a pre-paid phone – just calls and texts, when I bought a smart phone with Internet connection my life changed, I could check my emails anywhere, I become more mobile but I also became more accessible.
An unbreakable habit?
So what is this, a habit to check, a habit to be busy, to be always doing something? We push ourselves to do more, find ways to be more productive and often our health suffers, as we disconnect with our body, emotions and thoughts. Is this why mindfulness, meditation and yoga, that is ways to be with oneself without distractions, have been gaining popularity in the last few years?
This is our nearby lake, I sat here just talking to my friend yesterday, so peaceful.
I remember the days of smoking in the office, at restaurants and bars, hanging my clothes up outside to air first, before washing them the next day. Especially in some Asian countries it has only been in the last ten or so years that smoking in public places has started to change, as I experienced living in Japan. Being a non-smoker it was wonderful to return recently and see there was some changes.
Is it also possible that we can change our reliance on our smart phones, be more mindful of where, how and when we use them?
Challenges and tips to reduce our reliance on smartphones
1. Smart phones and technology keep us busy, both our physical and mental bodies. When do we get to have down time to just be with ourselves? Can you challenge yourself to 10 minutes, one hour or even an evening without looking at your phone? Can you pop it in a special location and come back to it later? If you need extra help to do this, the new Forest app helps you put down your phone and focus on what’s more important in your life. It works by planting a tree whenever you focus on a task for 30 minutes such as your work, or be with your friends and kills the tree if you use your phone within the 30 minutes! Let me know how you go.
2. Resist the temptation to get on the technology grid and just reconnect with yourself and nature. Go for a walk without your phone breathe in the fresh air and find a flower to smell. At home you could water a plant and cuddle your pet, take your phone out of your pocket first! do some gardening. Just get outside and leave the phone at home for a bit.
3. Attempt to deepen your relationship with yourself and your emotions. Instead of reaching for your phone to scroll through social media, try journaling – write down how you’re feeling, whats working for you and whats not. Really take some time to step back and think about whats really going on with you right now. Not always easy, so just write one sentence.
4. Rather than texting or emailing someone, get up and go sit with them face to face, communicate with them, share your thoughts and emotions in full sentences. Even go so far as to have a ‘phone ban’ when you’re with friends and family, to make sure you’re giving each other your undivided attention.
Anyway it’s time for me to get off my technology, walk home, pull a few weeds, as I wander around our garden smelling the old fashioned roses (above rose from my garden) and have a morning cuppa by myself!
Tell me and our other readers, how are you going to Live life, the simple life and create balance this week?
BeBliss, Gabrielle xx
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