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5 Simple Ways to Unplug and Be More Mindful In Your Life

5 Simple Ways to Unplug and Be More Mindful In Your Life

In a world that is driven by constant innovation in technology and our innate need to want more and more in life, at what point does the society plateau or get comfortable at what is?  Probably NEVER!  Remember playing outside until the sun went down, leisurely trips to the local library to pick out books for the week, and having to look things up in the encyclopedia?  Nowadays, it seems as though the world is at our fingertips making life so much easier.  Or is it?

Going through life too fast

At what point does it become too much?  No longer do we gasp when a toddler who can’t even talk yet is able to navigate an Ipad or a cell phone better than some adults.  No longer do we question whether it’s ok to take leave from work by a quick text to your superior. Little by little our social etiquette is changing, but at what cost?

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So much stress is caused by the overload of stimulation. The amount of information coming at people is alarming.  Our bodies have not yet evolved to be able to handle it, so it is necessary to be mindful of how much is too much. Simplifying, minimizing, and slowing down are all ways we can create more peace in our daily lives and reduce the pressure we are putting on ourselves to keep up.

Cell phones have become an extension of ourselves

At concerts, instead of the glow of the lighters, the cast of white light recording to capture the moment illuminates the crowd.  Our ability to engage and connect with people and moments in life diminish with the incessant need to post, check-in and hashtag our experiences.

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New generations are losing their peripheral vision, people are injuring themselves while walking and texting, and social skills among our youth are not being developed appropriately for their age. Instead of creating memories in our mind, we rely on our hard drives to store them for us. The art of a handwritten letter or card or even learning how to write a script is becoming a thing of the past.  While social media, technology, and innovation have helped our daily lives, having an awareness of what impact it has on our relationships, quality of life, and stress levels can encourage all of us to unplug and recharge ourselves every so often.

In so many ways, we are all at the mercy of technology.  In order to create balance and a lifestyle that will allow you to be present in your life, it is necessary to create healthy habits.

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5 simple ways to become more present in life

Here are some tips that will help you manage just that;

  1. Create a cell-free time in your day – Often times having your phone next to you at all times creates the need to check in too often.  It’s so hard to shy away from that green or blue notification light blinking away!  Dedicate breaks of time where your cell phone is out of sight, so you can focus and truly be with people during your day.  Create a set of personal rules, such as no phone interactions at the dinner table, while you have company over, or while you are in a public place.
  2. Silence notifications – When you are not required to answer a text, call, or email, turn your phone on silent so that you can avoid constant distraction and not be tempted to answer immediately.  Stress can be caused by the pressure felt by having to answer immediately or multi-task.  We are more efficient doing one task at a time!
  3. Tune into nature – One of the best ways to ensure you are centered and engaged in the present is to be out in nature. Soaking in the sounds, getting some fresh air and sun exposure is amazing for the mind, body, and spirit.
  4. Read a book – Too much screen time is wreaking havoc on our eyes, posture, and brains. Taking breaks from the screen to read a book is a nice way to still get information and enjoyment, but without the physical strain induced by an electronic device. If you like to read in bed, prop a pillow behind your head so you are not looking down at the book, this ensures your neck is in a neutral position.
  5. Play music – Instead of having your television on all day on the weekend, opt for playing music instead.  Music can enhance focus, promote creativity, and relax the mind.

5 benefits of unplugging

This will instantly enable you to become more present in your life and that in turn will do the following;

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  • Strengthen interpersonal communication and your relationships
  • Boost creativity and focus
  • De-stress and calm anxiety or fear
  • Improve gratitude
  • Create inner peace and joy

Try to incorporate these tips into your daily routine and life will suddenly become more engaging and less stressful!

Featured photo credit: www.pexels.com via pexels.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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