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Switching off to Switch on, as featured in HealthWisdom Magazine

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How often do you think you check your phone? I am afraid it's more than you think, we spend on average - 3 hours & 15 minutes on our phones every day. That’s 49 days per year! We have technology making us accessible 24/7/365 reachable on multiple platforms, so It's no surprise we find ourselves exhausted, if we are always-connected and never-switched-off.

But true wisdom, real experiences and joy won’t come through those technologies. The first stages of the Internet were about data but now we have plenty of data, in fact we’re drowning in it and all the distraction we could ever hope for. Technology has been very good at giving us what we want, but not always what we need.

What do we need to do is limit our use of technology because it is blame for rising levels of stress and anxiety in both adults and teenagers, who are controlled by their smartphones and social media. Because of this there has been a rise in the number of us choosing to switch off, to take a break, use ‘do not disturb’ so we can take a moment to experience life physically, not through a screen.

So how can we switch off?

Essentially, a digital detox means disconnecting from your phone, your laptop, your emails and anything else that buzzes or pings, for a specified period of time.

How long for is up to you but we recommend you start small, find what works for you but essentially practice and repetition allows you to form new habits, that in time will become second nature.

Will a digital detox really make a difference?

There has been debate around the impact of a digital detox and there is research to support it can be beneficial. There is also evidence to suggest that taking a break from social media has positive effects to our well-being, our life satisfaction increases and our emotions become more positive.

If you've got the willpower, there's no reason why you can't delete your apps and switch off your device at home. If that sounds too drastic, try putting your phone on airplane mode so you can focus, disable push notifications or put your phone on silent.

If that is still too harsh, try leaving your phone in your bag when you are out for lunch with friends, read a book on the tube instead of scrolling through instagram, or go for a walk at lunch handset free, you will be amazed what you take in around you when you have your head up, not down.

To take it one step further, some of us are opting for digital free holidays, if your first words when checking into a hotel are ‘can you tell me the wifi password, please?’ then technology is almost certainly hampering your hard-earned time out.

There are many digital detox holidays to choose from, with some hotels that reward you for leaving your phone in a locked box at reception.

I know what you’re thinking, It can be a little scary to switch off from social media and not be contactable. However, you will soon realise that the world doesn’t fall apart if you don’t reposed to your emails within a day. Life goes on and remember everyone is concentrating on living their life and not wondering where you are with yours!

Tech is part of our world. But, like anything else, overdoing it can have some negative effects.

Try spending an hour of your workday offline, and you’ll get more done than you can imagine.

The goal isn’t to spend less time on your phone, the goal is to spend more time on your life.

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© 2019 Copywright of Equanimity Limited