Technology can be a great thing. It can help us to connect with others, leverage our time, and capture moments that might otherwise slip away. But it can also be addictive and take us away from our primary relationships with people, places, and things. The dilemma is around misuse. The mindlessness of it, when it is used to babysit, escape, or avoid life and all the emotions that it produces. In this article, I provide 10 tips and technologies to help you to be mindful and healthy around its use.
Tip #01: Be present in the moment. Technology can often distract us from what is happening around us. When we are focused on our screens, we are not paying attention to the people and things that are right in front of us. To be more mindful, try to put your phone down and focus on what is happening in the present moment. At least, be mindful of your breathing and where your fingers and keyboard are taking you.
Tip #02: Set boundaries. Technology can be addictive, and it is important to set boundaries so that you are not using it mindlessly. It’s especially addictive to young minds that have not fully formed. If you use it, as a tool, then decide on how much time to spend on your phone each day and stick to it. And when you are with family or friends, put your phone away and focus on the conversation. Nothing is more sad then to see a family out for a good time and everyone is on their phone.
Tip #03: Be aware of your emotions. Technology can often magnify our emotions, especially if we are using it to escape or avoid life. When you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, take a break from technology, and focus on your breath. This will help you to calm down and recenter yourself. Deep breathing through the nose, and out the mouth slowly, can help you center and reboot your nervous system.
Tip #04: Connect with others. Technology can be a great way to connect with others. Use social media to stay connected with friends and family or use video chat to see them face-to-face. Try to reach out to someone that you’ve not talked to in a long time and have a video call. Life is too short, and we all need to feel more connected and less alone.
Tip #05: Take breaks. Our attention spans are shorter than ever, and it is important to take breaks from technology. Get up and move around, go outside for a walk, or spend time with friends and family. This will help you to rejuvenate your mind and body. I recommend that you look at the Pomodoro technique, set focused time for 25 minutes then take a break, walk, move, refresh and reboot.
Tip #06: Pay attention to your habits. Technology can often dictate our lives if we are not careful. Be aware of the ways that you are using technology and try to change your habits if they are not healthy. For example, try not to use your phone in bed, or only check social media once a day. Delete apps that don’t “pay rent” – they are mindless.
Tip #07: Use Technology Mindfully. There are many mindfulness apps and technologies that can help you to be more mindful. Try using a meditation app, or a mindfulness timer to help you focus on the present moment. I recommend InsightTimer, Headspace, Calm, and there are many others out there as well.
Tip #08: Be patient. Technology is constantly evolving, and it can be hard to keep up with all the changes. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to adjust to new technologies. Remember that you don’t have to use every new app or gadget that comes out.
Tip #09: Know your limits. Technology can be a great thing, but it is important to know your limits. Don’t spend all day on your phone and try not to use technology when you are tired or stressed. This will help you to avoid overuse, mindless surfing, and make sure that you are using technology in a mindful way to soothe.
Tip #010: Take a Technology Sabbath. A Technology Sabbath is a day where you unplug from all forms of technology. This can be a great way to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body. Try doing this once a week, or once a month, to help you stay connected to the present moment.
Technology can be a great thing, but it is important to use it mindfully. These ten tips will help you to use technology in a way that is beneficial to your mental and physical health. Try using one or two of these tips each week and see how they help you to connect with the world around you.
We hope this gives you a better understanding of how mindfulness can be helpful in the aging process. If you would like to learn more about practicing mindfulness, we have a blog, e-books, and courses you can use to learn more. Contact Keith W. Fiveson, in Port Washington, NY for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Submitted by Keith W. Fiveson