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10 Skills We’ve Lost Due to Smart Phones and PDAs and Simple Ways to Get Those Skills Back

10 Skills We’ve Lost Due to Smart Phones and PDAs and Simple Ways to Get Those Skills Back

1. Memorizing phone numbers

It was a hassle remembering numbers. Now we simply add them to our contacts list. That usually works well unless our device is lost, stolen, or damaged. No one can be expected to remember all their contact numbers. What we can do is memorize 5 of our most important contact numbers. This should include a mixture of family, friends and business. If you’re really ambitious you can memorize 5 contacts for each category.

2. Map reading skills

The convenience and effectiveness of GPS guidance systems and digital maps generated by search engines is undeniable. They’ve definitely made our lives easier. What we don’t get from using these devices and applications are the increased ability to understand spatial orientation, representative symbolism, and navigation. To renew or acquire those skills, try using physical maps to plan your next trek. Whether it’s a long or short trip, take time to stop and safely chart your progress. After a few excursions, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how efficient a tactile map can be.

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3. Photography

Even amateur photography required a rudimentary learning curve about lighting, depth, and composition. This was true for analog and digital photography. Most smart phone camera’s automatically make these adjustments. We no longer have to learn the art of photography. On most devices, this is easily rectified by turning off the automatic settings. Experiment with manually setting the scene modes, lighting, and zoom. You just may learn that you’re a “true Photog.”

4. Fact checking

Reference books and encyclopedias were once the gold standard for finding reference information. They provided peer reviewed and fact checked data on a vast array of subjects. They just aren’t as convenient and rapidly updated as search engines, digital reference materials, and databases. That said, the results of information derived from digital sources aren’t always reliable. Their information is limited by the review process. No one wants to be embarrassed by regurgitating false information. It’s taken time, but most people now realize that wiki retrieved data comes with a caveat. To make certain you’re disseminating factual information, make an effort to strictly utilize reputable and reliable sources.

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5. Reading comprehension

The primary culprits are E-readers. They’re convenient and can store thousands of books. There’s also evidence that their format makes it more difficult for users to retain and recall information they just read. Don’t worry, there’s no need to give up your e-reader! What we should do is make an effort to read printed books. This will be especially helpful when perusing information we need for academic or career purposes.

6. Hand written correspondence

Writing letters and notes incorporated hand writing skills, organizational skills, and learning about the person or persons you correspond with. This is another easily regained skill. Send a letter to an old friend, relative or acquaintance. If you’re truly feeling adventurous, join a pen pal club!

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7. Conversations

This one may seem counter-intuitive, especially considering how many people have smart phones, but it’s true! We actually use email and texts far more than we talk. It’s more prevalent among certain demographics, but it touches them all. The solution is self explanatory: take time make phone calls.

8. Currency

Using coins and paper money requires fast arithmetic and accurate calculations. Sure debit cards are often more practical, but cash has its benefits. In addition keeping our calculating skills sharp, cash can actually be safer to use than debit cards. Use cash for purchases under ten dollars. While ostensibly debit cards are safer, they’re are susceptible to fraudulent practices such as skimming. This often happens at locations where make quick, low dollar transactions. If you inadvertently lose a small amount of cash you’re not going to be too upset. On the hand, if your debit card is compromised it could become a true fiasco.

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9. Walking

Distracted walking detracts from the observations and experience of walking. It can also be dangerous. Accidents can easily occur when we become immersed in text messages. An easy solution is to set observation goals for each trip. If it’s a routine walking commute, make a game of noting the changes, no matter how subtle, on your commute.

10. Expanding our knowledge base

The convenience of nearly instantaneous information can easily become a crutch. If we’re not knowledgeable about certain subjects such as physics, politics, or music we know we can look it up online. That’s not necessarily a negative. What’s problematic is that we often look up and recite the information, but don’t actually absorb it. It may seem daunting, but this is arguably the easiest skill to revitalize. Whenever you reference an unfamiliar subject take time to actually learn the information.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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