(This article was first published in connected women)
Written by Vinnie Mehta Founder of Nanos Arte
http://nanosarte.com Follow on Instagram : @nanosarte
After exhausting work hours and the hustle bustle of the day we all need a special corner to relax and calm our mind – and the easiest way to achieve that these days is to consume videos on our smart phones.
By scrolling through digital screens, we virtually spend hours and hours watching random videos coming our way.
In the old days, the working hours were not so long that we’d even go past our dinnertime, still working. We used to get enough daylight to release stress from a long day by having a nice cup of evening tea or coffee with our family and neighbors.
Today’s work hours have no cut-off time, and our mind has become a permanent resident of stress land. Most of us don’t even get to have dinner with our families every evening, which used to be an effective stress buster in the old days. Most working parents reach home after their children’s bedtime, and end up sitting alone with their smartphones, with the easy solution of scrolling through social media to just shut down their minds.
Some families I interviewed mentioned that one of the reasons they watch these videos is that they can’t sleep. Their mind is cluttered with lots of never ending thoughts.
We perceive social media as a brand new drug, which technology has unleashed and which will help our mind shut down after a long and stressful day. However, the reality is that we are living way more stressful lives now than ever before. Most of the people mentioned above said that they get headaches, and feel tired in the morning when they wake up.
Social media addiction has swallowed us in such a way that even when we have extra time, we now tend to spend it scrolling on screens. Our heads are always down and eyes are glued to screen. We don’t even realize when our child’s childhood has passed by. Every day we lose hundreds of smiles, eye contacts, and hearty conversations. We so-called globally connected citizens most often find ourselves alone with loneliness.
There is a big difference between following a particular show or watching video you love & enjoy with your family and having positive conversations about it, and watching random videos alone just as a way to pass time and to shut your brain without involving all your senses.
Hearty human connections can happen only when our senses will have a dialogue with other people’s emotions. Living in the moment of calmness and mindfulness will only come through real experiences, not just by watching random videos.
Let’s observe two scenarios and see if you feel the difference by just reading the visualization in each scenario:
Read the below visualization first, close your eyes and imagine:
You are walking outside and it’s a beautiful morning right after a heavy rainfall, trees’ soft branches are swinging with breeze, water droplets are falling all over and two pigeons are bathing in collected rainwater. You just took a deep breath with the fresh and earthy smell when your body is getting rubbed with cool breeze. Your friend from next door wished you a good morning with a beautiful smile.
Write down your feeling in a sentence or just one word.
Now watch the similar scenario as a video online, and you will find that your mind is getting involved and you are smiling, but your stress level and tiredness is still there and doesn’t feel the same as in first scenario.
In the first scenario, when we visualized it our subconscious mind sends us a signal to recollect similar true moments we have already lived in past. We feel rested and relaxed which gives us similar results as one may get from meditation.
But in the second scenario, we are watching the video without imagination, just our eyes are glued to the screen. It becomes a one-way conversation for the mind, and our mind shuts off without involving our senses at all, which often results in headache, stress to our body, and in the long run we start feeling more and more sleepless.
To relax and feel fresh we need to involve our senses along with our mind. Only then will our mind and body experience a stress-free shutdown.
Make a ritual to have one hour of family digital detox after work every day, and involve all your senses to relax your mind. You can do the following things:
- Start small, set an hour when you will not touch a digital screen and be accountable to yourself or tell your partner or children or a friend to hold you accountable
- Go for a nice walk with someone you enjoy spending time with
- Play with your children, let them lead you and be at their age
- If you have pets then you would know how quickly playing with them can take you out of your stressful moments
- Just sit, visualize and use your own imagination to re-live your past best moments and they will nicely carry you out of the stress zone towards calmness.
Be honest with yourself, and ask do you really not have any choice or time to distress through means other than watching mindless videos?
Written by Vinnie Mehta, Founder of Nanos Arte
This article was first published in connected women.