I'm a psychotherapist and wellness coach, and founder of The Calm & Happy Gut Solution. I specialise in gut directed hypnotherapy and CBT for IBS, helping my clients to beat their symptoms without restrictive diets or being medicated the rest of their lives.
You may be wondering how to disconnect from technology? In a world where we are more connected than ever before, we are also scarily more disconnected from each other than we’ve ever been. Where to start? How do you begin to unplug from all your devices?
Have you noticed that text and instant messenger have replaced phone calls and catching up in person? It’s a sad but true fact of modern day life.
The divide between our work and home life has also become more blurred with the ping of emails arriving in your inbox long after you’ve left the office. We have become obsessed with checking our social media accounts before bedtime, and our mobile phones have become the first thing we reach for in the morning.
I’m sure it’s not the first time that you’ve heard the term ‘digital detox’ (also known as a digital cleanse). You may have already unplugged and undergone a digital detox of your own? How to disconnect from technology has become an increasingly common question, and one we’re still searching for answers on how to get started.
Technology and social media are incredible for so many reasons. If you’re like me, facebook has allowed me to reconnect with school friends I’ve not seen for over 20 years. Skype has also allowed me to speak with family back in the UK, and to work with clients all over the world.
But unfortunately, with the upside of being connected, comes the downside of being connected.
We live in a time when stress and anxiety levels are higher than ever. If you’re not ‘off’ you’re ‘on’, and our bodies and minds never truly have a chance to catch up, to rest, and to switch off. Over time your health can suffer as a result of not allowing yourself some down time. There’s a reason mindfulness has become such a growing tool in keeping your sanity intact.
But perhaps the thought of disconnecting from technology scares you senseless, and a digital detox is the furthest thing down on you ‘to-do list’? If that’s the case I have 3 simple tried and tested ways to help you find your own personal off switch.
This is absolutely the very first step for many reasons, but mainly because it’s your life and they are your rules. Start with where you feel most comfortable. For example no checking of emails after 8pm, or have a sip of water before you reach for your phone in the morning.
When disconnecting from technology going 24 hours without social media is a great way to regain control AND increase your self-awareness. You may not realise how much you are tied to your devices, so setting a goal to go cold turkey for 24 hours will not only help you understand how it’s impacting upon your life, it’ll also bring awareness to your ‘habit’. Yes my friends, senselessly checking your facebook every 10 minutes is a habit, and not a healthy one at that… And if being unplugged for 24 hours just seems too much right now, start with an evening and build up!
Anyone else feel they need to respond immediately to a text, a whatsapp or an instant message? So often we feel we ‘need’ to respond to an email, a text, an instant messenger STRAIGHT AWAY. I’ve got friends who describe the pressure they feel to respond immediately, as if not replying suddenly makes them a bad friend, or a bad employee. Chill. Seriously.
In the heightened state of the world we live in, it’s no surprise so many of us feel this way. But when did technology start controlling you? By not replying straight away, you’ll also teach people how to interact with you by the way you respond and do things.
So if you’re a chronic ‘reply straight away’ kinda person, I want you to challenge this. Ask yourself, what are you afraid of? What will happen if you don’t reply immediately? What would happen if you replied within an hour? How about within 4 hours?
Disconnecting from technology, becoming unplugged and undertaking a digital detox doesn’t have to mean complete cold turkey for the next month, it simply means reinstating who’s in control of your time and of your energy.
And that is most definitely you.
opt in form goes here... just paste it into the code box below!