Let’s talk about the art of doing nothing, truly being unplugged and without distraction. When was the last time you sat outside and just enjoyed nature? Started out the window to daydream? No computers. No video games. No television. No iPods.
Our overabundance of choices really causes us more anxiety than it does freedom. We constantly want that instant gratification of grabbing our phone for some form of input, entertainment, or distraction. But what would happen if we took the time to unplug?
In our hyper-connected world, unplugging gives us the chance to sort and prioritize. If we take a few minutes to unplug, to sit in meditation, we can gain valuable benefits. While focusing on our breath—because let us be honest, some of us would forget to breathe if it didn’t happen on its own—we give more oxygen to our bodies, including our brain.
This allows us to have more mental clarity and awareness. It gives positive traits and ideas the ability to surface and makes it easier to push negativity aside, both in and out of meditation. Meditation has wonderful healing benefits as well. We all experience stress in our lives; sometimes even just deciding between cereal at the grocery store can be a stressful experience. Too many choices can be overwhelming rather than freeing. Meditation can help alleviate that stress and keep our internal systems operating as they should. It can improve sleep, digestion, immunity, hormonal balances, and anxiety. It has also been shown to help people achieve the freedom we seek by helping them to overcome bad habits.
Boredom- or the act of unplugging- can put us in a place of discomfort, a place we don’t visit often enough. That discomfort is where motivation begins and that motivation leads to a more fulfilled life.
1. Start Small
Try incorporating 2-3 minutes of meditation a day to start. You can gradually increase the amount of time as you get used to the practice.
2. Be Mindful
If just sitting and being with your thoughts sounds intimidating, try using the time to set 3 goals for the day, 2 small and 1 big. Or you can use the time to think of 5 things you are thankful for.
3. Find Time
I had a yoga teacher who practiced meditation for at least 30 minutes a day. Not for you? Spend an extra 3 minutes in the shower. Turn off Netflix 15 minutes earlier before bed. Take that time to add some unplugged, mindful moments into your day.
4. Stay Focused
If you need some guidance in meditation, find an article or a book to read. You can also download the app Headspace, which can help guide you through a meditation to keep you centered and focused. However, no sneaking looks at social media, after all the whole point is to spend the time disconnecting from technology and connecting with yourself!
Adding mindful moments to your day, even if they are small, will give you more clarity and direction. Spend a few minutes doing nothing, creating silence, and your goals, and motivation will soon be louder than ever.