This morning I awoke to realise that my mobile phone was out of charge - the consequences of late-night scrolling I guess. I usually go for a walk in the morning and watch the sunrise. Today I debated whether or not to do so because I couldn't take the phone. Yes I actually thought about staying home with my phone - sad but true. However, I had a firm and caring conversation with myself about self-care and decided that it was a beautiful morning; the dog was barking; and I was awake anyway so I ventured out into the big wide world without my Iphone.
Here’s what happened
I connected with people - real people
I bumped into two friends that I hadn't seen all week and had an actual conversation. The last time I bumped into them on my walk I was so busy on Instagram that all I said was a quick “hi”. This time it was different and I am seeing them again this afternoon. I also spoke with two other random people on my journey and exchanged more than just pleasantries. We all want a sense of belonging and if we’re constantly looking down at our iPhones, we can't connect with those right in front of us.
I captured gorgeous memories that will last beyond a battery
I looked up and saw the most beautiful sunrise - soft pinks, yellows and blues. I appreciated the straight lines and aquamarine colour of the surf. Instead of taking an iPhoto, I took (what we call in my house) a "memory pic" and this image I can access any time - I don't need battery. Also what happened when I looked up was that I saw a whale in the distance. This was something I had been searching for on my walks for ages and who knows how many missed opportunities there were, but today, because I looked up. I saw that elusive whale.
I worked out the kinks in my neck
It is amazing that as Homo sapiens we have evolved to walk erect and yet we're hunching back down now to look at our screens. Technology is transforming how we hold ourselves, contorting our bodies into what the New Zealand physiotherapist Steve August calls the iHunch. (I am constantly telling my nine year old to sit back from his screen.) Preliminary research conducted by Maarten W. Bos has shown that the slouched forward position over our phones actually makes us less assertive. Our physiology affects our mental state. What happened when I left my phone at home was that I walked more upright which was better for my posture, my blood flow, my energy levels and overall physical well being.
I remembered important things
Because there is less distraction by seemingly little things on my phone, the bigger and more important things came to the front of my mind and I prioritised better. The brain can only hold so much information so by leaving behind our iPhones from time to time we can help the anterior cingulate cortex to more easily filter what is relevant and what is not relevant.
I remembered where my children’s passports were so they can go on holiday. (I had been trying to remember for days!)
I am more relaxed
Now that I am back at home and my phone is still plugged into the wall, what I notice about myself is that I feel lighter - my breathing is deeper; my head is clear and I am simply more present with myself.
I am more in a state of being. - I feel in balance with who I am.
Now the challenge is of course to stay off the iPhone as much as possible today and only use the iPhone for its purpose - to connect…not to distract.
Connect with your balanced self today.
take care, big hugs and namaste