There aren’t many items in our lives that enjoy the all access pass we give our smart phones. From boardrooms to bedrooms, bathroom stalls to dinner tables, these units go everywhere. While this behavior is accepted, expected and largely habitual, there are some real benefits to creating device-free zones in our lives. Consider….
Technology-free bedrooms lead to better sleep. A recent study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston affirmed what many bedtime scrollers already suspected; “We found the body’s natural circadian rhythms were interrupted by the short-wavelength enriched light, otherwise known as blue light, from these electronic devices”. Other research shows that we sleep better when we avoid screens for at least 30 minutes before retiring. And, for the “But my phone is my alarm” crowd, try an old fashioned alarm clock.
E-free times of day mean we have more time to do….anything we want. We all have ideas about the amazing things we’d do if only we had time. Without mobile distractors, we DO have time. Researchers found that mobile users checked email on their phones an average of 20 times daily, which translates to two hours a day (besides working hours) spent staring at our smarty phones. Put the phone away and finally there will be time to…
Get active WITHOUT the device. Physical activity improves wellbeing, eases stress, boosts creativity and feels good. Yes, gym memberships and classes are great, but really we’re talking about keeping it simple with a walk, an easy stretching break or any enjoyable movement based practice. Just do it without technology.
Make mealtime a phone-free zone. Studies show that the Fear of Mission Out motivates us to monitor our technology, even at the expense of experiencing the present. The good news is everything is recorded forever, so take time to mindfully enjoy the meal, be grateful for the experience (gratitude is proven to improve attitude) and tune back in after eating.
It’s said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. And, while going device-free might lead to a deep longing for technology, ditching the screens can also make our hearts grow fonder for other things. Start simple; identify a time when usage is unnecessary/habitual and instead of tuning in, put the device away. Then do something unencumbered by technology. You never know what lies beyond the screen until you look and see.