In this month’s news, Sarah Thum-Bonnano, business psychologist and mindfulness expert at The Wellbeing Project, explores how the practice of mindfulness can help to reduce some of the harmful effects of digital technology and the ‘always on’ culture.
In just 10 years, technology has revolutionised our lives. It has brought huge benefits and transformed how we interact with one another. But it hasn’t come without a cost.
In the UK alone people check their smartphones, on average, every 12 minutes of the waking day. This ‘always on’ culture, has broken the boundaries between work and home life, is disrupting sleep and is impacting our mental health.
To take back control, and stay in charge, it’s crucial that we better manage our relationship with technology. I propose a two-pronged approach:
- Practice mindfulness to build awareness of our behaviour patterns
- Learn practical strategies to break the habit
Build awareness through mindfulness
Mindfulness is an ancient mind-body awareness technique that can help us slow down, and notice our behaviour and the impact it has. Through regular practice, we can learn to be present, to observe and to participate in our life moment-by-moment.
As we build awareness, we can start to notice our daily habits and the impact they have. We are then in a much better position to make choices that support us and the people around us.
Practical strategies to break the ‘always on’ habit.
Once, you’ve decided to change the way you do things, it can be helpful to have a few strategies up your sleeve. Here are just 3 ways you can reduce your phone time:
- Commit to switching off your phone at least one hour before you go to bed.
- Buy an old-fashioned alarm clock. Leave the phone out of the bedroom.
- Take a tech break. Leave your phone at home and go for a walk.
Small changes can make a big difference. And they start with taking a moment to pay attention, and notice what’s happening.
To find out more about mindfulness and our other Flourish workshops, follow the link.