The average person spends at least 2.15 hours a day on social media alone – up from 1.5 hours in 2012. And check their smartphone every 12 minutes. When all sources of screen time are accounted for, we now spend an average of a day a week online. During the pandemic, which right now seems a distant memory, screen-time usage increased from 40 percent to 80 percent from pre-Covid levels which shows the appetite we are capable of having. Forty percent of users aged over 35 years first look at their smartphone within five minutes of waking up. For the under 35 years set, this trend rises to 65%! Though it’s no surprise that screen-time usage for adults and children has skyrocketed, the actual numbers are nonetheless staggering.
Beyond the obvious concern of what is missed during this time (outdoor activities, in-person interactions), research has shown screen time is linked to ADHD, anxiety, depression, increased aggression, and even psychosis. If that sounds extreme, keep reading to see what steps you can take for a much-needed digital detox and ways to unplug.
What Is a Digital Detox?
A digital detox is a period of time when you voluntarily unplug from using digital devices, including smartphones, computers, and social media platforms. The goal is to take a technology detox break from the constant barrage of digital stimuli that can leave us feeling frazzled and disconnected. It’s a chance to recharge, refocus, and reconnect with the physical world around you, without the distractions of technology.
How to Prepare for a Digital Detox
The first step is to set some clear boundaries. Decide how long you want to unplug for, and what you want to include in your detox. These defined boundaries form the foundation of your digital detox and could be anything from a day without your phone to a full week without any technology whatsoever. If you need to stay connected for work or other reasons, consider limiting your use to specific times of the day, or setting a timer to remind you to take breaks throughout the day.
Once you’ve established your boundaries, it’s time to prepare for your digital detox. Start by letting your friends and family know that you’ll be off the grid for a while, so they don’t worry about your sudden disappearance. This step could include posting clear messages on your status on social media pages, whatsapp accounts, and similar reminders so it’s clear to everyone that your digital silence is explained and temporary. Next, you’ll want to prepare a list of offline activities that you can do during your detox, such as reading a book, going for a walk, or trying a new hobby to fill up the time you’d usually spend online.
Now, it’s time to unplug and recharge. Put your smartphone on airplane mode, or turn it off entirely. Shut down your computer, and step away from the screen. Take a deep breath, and relish in the quietness and peace that comes with shutting out the noise of notifications and alerts.
What to Expect From Your Digital Detox
For starters, you may find that you have way more time than you thought you had before your digital detox. Without the constant distractions of social media, email, and Whatsapp/text messages, you might find that you’re more productive, more present, and more engaged with the world around you. You may discover new hobbies or interests that you never had time for before. And, you may find that your relationships with the people in your life improve, as you’re able to give them your full focused attention without the constant pull of technology.
But, a digital detox isn’t just about what you do during the time you refrain from technology use. It’s also about the broader impact that it can have on your life. By taking a break from technology, you’re giving yourself a chance to reflect on your relationship with technology itself. You may realise that you’re spending too much time on your phone, or that social media is causing you undue stress or anxiety. You may find that you’re missing out on the joys of the present moment by constantly being plugged in. By stepping back and re-evaluating your use of technology, you can make more intentional choices about how you engage with technology, moving forward.
Digital Detox Exercise to Try
Have you ever walked into a room and felt the energy to be dense? Or perhaps met someone for the first time that you immediately clicked because you liked their energy? You’re likely sensing other people’s aura around you. According to quantum physics, everything – including solid things such as tables, chairs, and our physical bodies – is composed of tightly packed atoms vibrating together forming “an aura”.
So since auras are all about energy, as we go about our day-to-day lives, we can pick up energy from others and the outside world that makes us feel off and ungrounded. This is where aura cleansing comes into play, which, as its name suggests, is about cleaning your aura of other energies that are not your own. An aura cleanse is a powerful exercise to try during a digital detox that clears your energy and promotes a sense of wellness and balance.
How to Do an Effective Aura Cleanse
An aura cleanse involves removing any negative energy or energy blockages from your aura, which is the energy field that surrounds your physical body:
Step 1: Find a quiet, peaceful space where you won’t be interrupted. Sit or stand comfortably, and take a few deep breaths to relax your body and calm your mind.
Step 2: Visualise a bright, white light surrounding your body. This light represents positive energy and is your spiritual protection.
Step 3: Imagine a cleansing wind flowing through your body from the top of your head down to your toes. This wind is sweeping away any negative energy or blockages that are clinging to your aura.
Step 4: As you visualise the cleansing wind, you may also wish to use your hands to physically sweep away any negative energy that you feel around your body.
Step 5: Next, visualise a ball of light floating above your head. This light is pure and cleansing, and is charged with the intention to remove any remaining blockages from your aura.
Step 6: Now, bring your attention to each chakra in your body, starting from the top of your head and working your way down. There are a total of seven chakras at specific placements from your crown (top of your head) all the way down to your root chakra (at the base of your spine). Visualise each chakra opening and filling with the cleansing light from the ball above your head.
Step 7: As you work through your chakras, you may want to repeat a mantra or affirmation to help focus your mind and stay grounded. For example, you could repeat, “I release all negativity and embrace positive energy” as you visualise each chakra opening and clearing.
Step 8: Once you have worked through all of your chakras, visualise the cleansing light surrounding your body once again. Take a deep breath, and feel a sense of peace and renewal in your energy field.
Step 9: Finish the aura cleanse by expressing gratitude for the opportunity to clear your energy and promoting wellness and balance in your life.
Remember, an aura cleanse is a process that may take time and practice to perfect. With regular practice, you can develop your own techniques to detox your energy and promote healing and harmony in your mind, body, and spirit.
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The daily grind can be challenging but doesn’t need to be impossible. It’s crucial to take care of ourselves and our base health needs. A digital detox can be a transformative experience, giving you the chance to unplug, recharge, and reconnect with yourself and others in the world around you. So, put down your phone, step away from the screen, and take some much needed time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life without technology. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you for it.
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