Do you ever notice how connected we are to our cell phones, laptops, video games, email, etc.? It’s always interesting to just watch how others interact nowadays. People go out to eat and look at your phone the whole time, instead of actually being in the “here and now” with whomever your with. Now, to be clear, this isn’t some “holier than thou” blog post as I type this on my computer. This is just the reality of our world these days. We have obligations that require email and cell phones. However, I think it’s safe to say that most people still check their work email/phone on vacations, reach for their phones to distract themselves when they’re bored, or do some kind of weird dance if they think they’ve lost their iPhone. “You okay, man?”
Anyway, we all have some level of addiction to our digital devices. I want to propose to you a way to perhaps “slow down” your life. Let’s face it. We’re not here that long, anyway. It seems like we just rush through life nowadays, waiting for the weekend. This isn’t true for everyone, but I think my point is clear. I find the best time to try this practice is, in fact, on a weekend. For a day, simply turn off your phone. Of course, if the idea of turning off your phone gives you anxiety, then do a pre-emptive strike and let those who would most likely contact you know that you’ll be without a phone for the day. If taking your turned off phone with you to wherever you’re going that day puts you at ease, then do that, too. If you decide to try this practice, notice how quickly you will reach for your phone. I notice it myself every time. To take advantage of this slowing of time, get out and do something enjoyable. Go for a hike in the woods, or whatever floats your boat.
From a simplistic, Chinese Medicine perspective, taking a break from the digital world allows your body’s Yang (fire/activity) to rest. The digital world is often times very stimulating to the body, whether we know it or not. Taking this digital break allows the body’s Yin (water/stillness) to be dominant. Having this balance restored can allow you to live a much fuller life.
Adam Gloyeske, L.Ac.