Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Protect Your Emotional Health By Taking Time To Unplug From Your Device

Technology and personal hand held devices are here to stay.  We are reachable at any moment and feel obligated to respond immediately.  While there are benefits to this, there are a lot of drawbacks.  On a practical, safety level, being distracted by devices has caused traffic accidents and other machinery mishaps.  Overuse of the devices has been known to cause distraction and an unproductive workplace.  It also hurts our ability to communicate face to face and nurture personal relationships. 

As if those reasons are not enough to rethink our overuse of our phones, there is a new reason to add to the list.  It is hurting our emotional well-being.  Daniel Goleman (Co-Director of Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations) posted a great article on this in LinkedIn.  The constant distractions from a device and responding to them creates a perpetual state of being distracted.  Is a life of feeling distracted and not quite sure where and what to focus on a happy life?  Is it even a life that you even want?

In Ayurveda health is defined as well-being in both the body and mind.  The findings of phone overuse demonstrate the mind body correlation for health. Ayurveda recommends meditation as a way to calm the mind and ensure your health. Meditation is a great tool to compensate for the constant distractions.  Interestingly, the same brain circuits used to grow attentiveness in meditation are the same circuits harmed by the incessant viewing and responding to distractions.

Unplugging from their device can seem impossible to some people.  As a coach and proponent of Ayurveda's goal of gentle balancing, I say start slowly from wherever you are.  Can you turn it off during a meal?  Can you turn it off to go to sleep?  Can you turn it off when your kids and your husband are coming home from school or work just to connect with them?  Having attention to your life is worth it.

Stay healthy & well,

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