How often do you find yourself checking your smartphone in a day? Recent surveys show that the average person checks his phone 150 times a day, and mindfulness may be a key to turning this trend around.
Diana Winston, director of mindfulness education at the Mindful Awareness Research Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, and other experts offer the following tips on www.addiction.com to alleviate digital distraction:
- Pay attention. Note how you feel after using digital devices or participating in social media, and observe how much time you spend on them. Increase awareness of how you are using technology and what role it plays in your life.
- Schedule times to engage. Use social media or read and respond to emails at specific times, rather than allowing media to determine how you organize your day.
- Develop a 5-minute practice. Take 5 minutes a day to simply sit and observe your breathing, or to conduct a body scan, and gradually work to increase the time. Experts note, however, that it’s more important to do this daily than to do it for lengthy periods.
- Stop and observe your impulse to email, tweet or post. Before you engage with social media or with a digital device, take a moment to pause and determine why. Simply observe the urge, and do nothing.
- Start small. Don’t expect to stop using all your devices right away. But consider stopping some habits, such as checking your smartphone before you get out of bed in the morning.
To learn more about this topic and get tips on how mind-body movement can help, read “Digital Distraction: Is Technology Supporting or Threatening Our Well-Being?” in the June 2013 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. To monitor how often you check your smartphone daily, use the free app Checky, www.checkyapp.com.
IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 12, Issue 6
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