Hi there and thanks for visiting :)
I know that being without a mobile phone is something very alien to most of us so I wanted to share how a week without the usual attachment to my phone has allowed me to live more in the moment.
Personally, I don’t think the mobile phone is very advantageous to living mindfully. I am fully aware of this and the effect it has on my productivity and mental health but I am still unable to fully detach myself from it on a daily basis.
I do, however, refuse to beat myself up about this because I believe that this awareness is enough to help combat its negative effects.
Mobile phones are incredibly useful, and I do believe having one in my life is necessary and can increase the quality and efficiency of it overall.
However, I also strongly feel the need to free myself from the incessant urge to check it and the desire to document every part of my life.
When we read a message of any kind it takes our brains time to recover from this information, even after we have stopped the action of reading or responding. So, continually checking our emails, messages and social media means we never give our minds a rest.
If we cannot clear our minds, we cannot give our mind fully to the moment and apply our full attention to whatever task or activity we are doing in the present.
Here are some ways that my phone-less week have helped me:
I have been able to appreciate the moment more
I love taking photos to share with my family and friends or to post on Instagram because I love to share experiences and moments that make me happy. When I feel deep gratitude I want to share it because I want others to feel it too. However, it is true that doing this somewhat takes you away from the moment.
We all know this, yet we still do it.
After all the most important pictures are the ones we see in our memories right?
I know that sounds incredibly cheesy but it’s true.
Not taking photos of everything has allowed me to appreciate spending time doing things I enjoy, with people I love, even more so.
So often I find myself not being observant enough and forgetting the simplest of details. Without the attachment to my phone I find I can actually remember these moments better and be able to recall details with more ease.
I have experienced more moments of stillness
I have been able to appreciate a lot more moments of nothingness.
I have noticed that when I’m in a situation where I have a few moments to spare I end up reaching for my phone. For example, when I’m having coffee with a friend and they go to use the bathroom. Usually, in this moment, I would undoubtedly check my phone and have a quick, aimless scroll through Instagram.
The past week I have felt this urge, and then immediately let it go. It’s much easier to let go of something when it’s completely out of your control.
Letting go of an urge to partake in an addictive or invaluable action so you can just be, is incredibly liberating, and doing this repetitively is so beneficial to your mental health and ability to be in control of your mind and your life.
I have felt less anxious and stressed
When I receive messages and emails I feel pressure to respond and guilty if I don’t reply quickly enough. Most of my messages start with an apology because I feel so bad about not responding to people immediately - how crazy!
My email inbox is cluttered and actually consists of a lot more information I don’t need, than I do. Seeing all this junk in my inbox makes me feel disorganised and anxious, like I have a lot of things I should be doing.
In reality only a few of the emails need my attention. As for these emails, I will most likely read them and not respond immediately, meaning they are at the back of my mind, causing more anxiety about things I need to do.
Not having a phone has caused me to wait for an appropriate time to sit down with my laptop, when I can dedicate a section of my time to responding to emails and then let my mind be free from it.
I don’t feel guilty about all the messages I need to respond to because I have accepted it is out of my control for the time being and I therefore have let it go.
I have been way more focused in the tasks I am doing and more productive overall
Recently I have started to believe that everything we do in life, even the everyday mundane tasks and the ones we don’t enjoy so much, should be done with meaning and purpose. Whatever it is that we are doing at any given moment, we should consider our purpose and we should therefore give it our full attention.
This is how we live in the natural flow of life and this is how we deliver quality and efficiency in what we do.
I have a tendency, as I’m sure many of you do, to check my phone regularly - just in case – in case what!? (I have realised that the majority of things are not that urgent).
This takes my focus away from the task at hand. If we are fully immersed in the present moment, really centred on what we are doing, without the urge to check our phones, we can be so much more productive and better find our flow.
When we are in this uninterrupted flow we become more productive, creative and enjoy the process a lot more.
I feel more confident and positive
Finally, because I could go on forever, but I don’t want to bore you (as if I could 😉), I want to touch on the issue of comparison. It’s so hard, even if you are a confident person and happy with your life, not to compare yourself with peoples’ polished lives on social media.
Just a week away from seeing the perceived perfection that dominates my Instagram feed every day, has led me to feel more confident in my own skin.
Besides this, not being exposed to so much information in general, in particular negative information, which is impossible to avoid on the internet, has made space for more gratitude and positivity in my life.
I have more energy to direct toward things that matter, as it is not being drained by negative information, thoughts and self-doubt.
On a side note I have managed to finish two whole books and started a third - this is life changing! My usual reading speed is about 2 pages a night before I fall asleep!
I know that most of you will not do this but I want to challenge you to go one full day without your phone.
For some people this will be more difficult - if you need your phone for work purposes or so you can stay in contact with your children, for example - but I’m certain you can find one day where it is possible.
Maaaaybe it’s possible one day at the weekend, when you are not working and spending the day with your children. If you cannot do a whole day, try a full morning or afternoon, or not checking your phone at all for the first few hours of the day.
I can already hear your excuses!
I bet you can’t do it! 😉 (Yes I’m attempting to use reverse psychology on you – and what?)
Happy Hump-day friends!