Jack Kornfield, one of the leading Buddhist teachers in America, says, “When we get caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another and ourselves.” Letting go of the busyness allows us to enter into a greater state of communion with ourselves and to lead a more authentic life.
The following are suggestions for staying more connected to ourselves as well as those around us in 2015 and beyond.
In today’s high tech world we are virtually ‘plugged in’ 24/7. Even with our devices turned off, the amount of electromagnetic energy constantly running in the background is enough to affect our quality of life on various levels — sleep, mood, concentration and overall wellness.
The negative effect of being tethered to our technology has been presented in numerous scientific publications, and although it is not feasible for every individual to completely disconnect from the digital world, setting time away from our devices is more and more recommended by medical and mental health officials around the world.
By disconnecting, we are able to recharge our mind and body, rest our brain, develop our creative side and be available for opportunities that invite intellectual stimulation.
Connect to Nature
Another way to recharge our body, mind and spirit is to get outside. There is growing empirical evidence that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.
Studies show that a 20-minute walk in nature is enough to not only alleviate symptoms of depression and boost vitality levels but also reduce stress and enhance mental clarity. Nature brings us to the here and now, it teaches us about the circle of life and our interconnectedness. Nature offers us the opportunity to re-establish our authentic connection to the planet and thus the universe.
Maintaining authentic connections to the people in our lives is essential for healthy relationships. Engaging with our digital device in the presence of others sends a clear message that we are not fully present, that our mind is elsewhere. This type of behaviour can adversely affect our relationships, creating feelings of frustration and lack of worth.
Allowing our devices to constantly be the primary focus in our lives affects the nature of how we interact with those around us. If left unchecked there is a risk of losing the openness and depth that can come from a meaningful interaction with the person in front of us.
Just as a dietary detox can help us balance the body’s systems and enhance our wellness, so too can a digital detox help re-establish the equilibrium in our lives as we reconnect to ourselves, to each other and to nature.
If you would like to try a digital detox join the upcoming National Day of Unplugging and discover the richness of life off the grid. Visit nationaldayofunplugging.com for more information.
Karen Gay, A-Roaming Bodyworker, is a holistic health practitioner practicing in Hanoi. For information on the types of services provided, visit a-roamingbodyworker.com