In this age, the smartphone has become a technological gadget that is almost like another limb of the human body. Majority of people across the world cannot leave the house without their phones, cannot spend a few minutes not knowing where your phone is or even go hours without checking your phone for notifications
With the growing screen time hours on smartphones, a number of social and health issues have arisen as now more than ever, there are more people dealing with the effects of
1. Have a mental passcode
The Passcode feature in every smartphone is primarily aimed to keep unwanted access and maintain the privacy of the phone’s owner. When you purchase a new smartphone, one of the steps when starting up and personalizing it including setting security features such as Passcode or patterns.
This ensures that not just anyone can use or view the contents on your phone.
How does this feature apply to practice mindfulness?
A key habit in achieving mindfulness is protecting your mind space. It is important to be mindful of what type of content you are consuming. We must stand guard at the doors to our minds and take a proactive approach to what we allow in.
For example, another great invention that has integrated in our day to day lives is social media apps. Facebook and Instagram serve us so much content to consume and in the few minutes we spend scrolling those apps, we have consumed way more content than one did 10 years ago.
As much as there’s some great insightful and helpful content, there is also negative and dark content. Protecting your space is making you sure you avoid negative content and being intentional on the kind of feed you want to see in this apps. You can control what you want to appear by choosing the accounts that give you great and positive feelings Eg inspiration or help and avoid accounts with content that give you negative feelings like comparision, sadness etc.
2. Recharge yourself when running low
All electronic gadgets must be plugged into a power source and recharged. Even smartphones that we use every single day of our lives must be recharged once a day to be functional for the next day. If the battery is not charged to full, somewhere in your usage the next day, your smartphone will completely shut down.
Like most of us smartphone users, we seldom want our phone’s battery to die on us and ensure we are always managing the battery life throughout daily usage.
The same goes for us, humans. Imagine if we constantly managed our energy levels ensuring we seldom feel drained or burnt out? Being conscious of what drains your energy daily and being intentional on finding methods to recharge your energy at any given time, day or situation will ensure you avoid feelings of burn out.
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There are so many ways of self-care like taking a short break from working and taking a walk outside, listening to music, going for a massage, playing a sport or practicing a hobby. But the most important way, for every human, to recharge themselves is by getting adequate hours of sleep.
As unimaginable it is for most of us to run 24hours a day, we cannot subject our minds and body to do the same. Rejuvenation or in this case, recharging is essential to allow the major processes in your mind and body a chance to shut down and restore the energy used.
3. Install good habits and uninstall bad habits.
Think about it. Apps are what define the usage of smartphones. Before Apps were developed most if not all phones were simple communication devices meaning phones were not used as much as they are in this day and age of tech advances.
Let’s for a second imagine, that habits we have, good or bad are like apps installed on a smart phone. From time to time, we pick up different apps from other smart phone users, install the apps and after a few tries realize that the app is not as useful as you thought, and what do you do? Uninstall it to create more space for apps that will be of use to you.
Installing or uninstalling a habit isnt as simple as it is when it comes to a phone. In the book The power of habit by Charles Duhigg, he explains how habits emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. In another word, the brain will make almost any routine into a habit because it allows our minds to ramp down more often.
Unlike apps, habits emerge without our permission we don’t have the ability to control them, but we’re conscious and aware of them. With that said, it’s still our responsibility to cultivate our own habits and take charge of our own life.
The same way certain apps drain out your phone battery the most, is the same way habits that do not serve you drain your energy.
Become aware of what drains your energy quickly, manage it or begin replacing (uninstall) that habit with a new one using the golden rule of habit change.
The same practices we do to keep our smartphones in good shape, can inspire mindful practices for our own minds and bodies.