In an age when exciting new technologies are around every corner, and our lives feel busier than ever, digital devices promise the path to organization, productivity and connectivity. The problem is that we often become so entrenched and addicted to technology that we come to depend on it for our happiness, only to end up feeling isolated and drained.
Work emails demand our attention and focus. Social media implicitly suggests we’ll be cool and happy if we stay connected. Texting promises a simple method of communication. But all of them limit our ability to focus on the things that really matter: Life and human connection.
But your digital devices don’t have to zap you of your happiness any longer. Hack your way to happiness by taking these 5 simple steps to breaking your daily tech addiction.
Keep technology in its place
Digital devices do not belong in the bedroom. Your health and happiness is dependent in large part on a restful night’s sleep. But using your digital devices before falling asleep stimulates your senses. The devices’ blue light affects melatonin levels up to 30%, making a deep, restful sleep nearly impossible. Instead, let yourself truly unwind at the end of your day. The moments before you fall asleep are a powerful time to refresh and reprogram yourself by focusing on the things you’re grateful for, and solidify your happiness mindset.
Embrace your power hour
The time between waking up and launching into you day are your grounding moments. Avoid going online during this time. Instead, take an hour upon waking to establish a positive mindset through some inspirational and motivational reading, meditation or exercise. This will help you feel happier and more energized throughout your day.
Strengthen human connection
In an age of social media, it’s easy to fall into the mistaken idea that you can be a social person—behind a screen. Social media ironically does the opposite of what its name claims. Living life behind a screen can increase loneliness and isolation. Spend at least an hour each day connecting with yourself or with another person. As you pour into their life, and they into yours, you’ll feel more connected and happier than ever.
Find into your focus
Constant notifications and email alerts might seem like the answer to productivity, but they can actually squelch it by inhibiting your focus and ability to get things done. Shut off your notifications, or go on focus mode, for at least half of your working day. Directing your focus will enable you to get things done, and feel happier and more accomplished at the end of the day. You can minimize daily device distractions further by sorting through all your notifications and determining which are most important to keep. Shut the others off for good.
Launch a digital detox weekend
Detox your life. Leave the electronics behind (you can take one phone along for emergencies only) and spend some quality time with friends. Take a nature walk or hike. Reconnect with each other. Find out what is going on in each other’s lives. Cook and enjoy some healthy food together. Play. Discover. Create. Laugh. Reflect. Meditate. The weekend of reconnecting to life will do your mind, body and soul good—and you might just make it a regular part of your week.
Rediscovering life in its fullest form begins with the simplest first steps. Turn your eyes from your phone to the world of beauty and adventure around you and step into life. Then celebrate your progress and the world around you. Cheers!