Sometimes it can feel like we are chained to our tech devices, and too much time staring at a screen can make our brain feel completely frazzled. Here, we share 5 digital detox tips to help you achieve a more balanced, calmer life…
Re-Focus On What’s Important
If you find yourself aimlessly scrolling through your social media apps whilst you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or during your lunch break or first thing in a morning as you wake up, it’s time to assess the importance of your daily tech time. Using your phone or your tablet can sometimes feed our brain with dopamine, the neurotransmitter we need to help keep us motivated and living our best lives. Sometimes, however, using our tech doesn’t give us that rush of dopamine bliss, and this is where the addictive aspect comes in. Our brain starts to worry that it isn’t getting enough stimulation, so it’ll start chasing the rush more and more. This cyclical feeling of craving technology and getting little out of it can be troublesome and confusing for your brain, but it will try over and over again to find that dopamine fix until you break the habit. The brain is incredibly clever and you can train it to re-focus and cut off specific addictive behaviour. Put effort into re-aligning your tech usage and your brain will soon support you in resetting. Instead of reaching for your device when it’s unnecessary, think about what else you could do to bring a little moment of wellbeing into your life; reading a page of a book, a 5-minute meditation session, making yourself a smoothie. Be patient but consistent in changing your habits and you’ll soon find yourself feeling less attached to your tech.
De-Clutter Your Tech
Technology does have its benefits; it can be used to improve and streamline our lives, to stay in contact with loved ones, and engage our creative sides. This means however that there is a tendency for us to rely on our smartphones too much withing our daily lives. To prevent information overload, it may be a good idea to engage in a ‘spring-clean’ of the apps on your smartphone. Do you really need them? In Marie Kondo’s words, do they spark joy? Try and cut down your apps to only the essentials. If you’re looking to save money, clear out your shopping apps. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the news, delete your news apps. Tap into how you’re feeling right now and assess your apps accordingly. Think of it this way: the fewer apps you have, the less content you have to browse.
Create Digital Detox Spaces
Our third digital detox tip involves your surroundings. Although technology is all around us, we still access it through physical devices. If you’re a stickler for having your smartphone or tablet stuck to your hand, be stricter with yourself and assign specific ‘tech-free’ zones at home. The ideal place to ban your smartphone and tablets is your bedroom. Screentime during nighttime can seriously affect the quality of our sleep. Pick a certain tech area in your living room perhaps where you keep all your devices whilst you’re at home. Once you get used to it, you’ll find that your average screentime will significantly drop as you’ll be less inclined to randomly browse your social apps. Winner, winner!
Give Yourself Digital Detox Goals
Be a little more regimented in your approach to your tech use. Give yourself certain goals during your digital detox that will help you decrease your screentime and give yourself little rewards if you achieve them! Whether you decide to only use your social platforms on a desktop instead of your phone or give yourself a maximum limit for your daily screentime, setting goals helps your brain focus on what needs to happen, and once you confirm them, you won’t want to fail! Keep your spirits high and make sure you treat yourself to something new you’ve been excited about for a while at the end of the month if you manage to keep up with your goals. This way, you’re both challenging and awarding your brain for using your tech less. Plus, as it becomes less habitual, you’ll naturally want to spend less time staring at your tech anyway.