Monthly Archives: August 2014

10 Simple Steps of How to be Mindful in a busy digital world of Internet and smartphones


10 simple to do steps in order to stay mindful in the digital world. The endless flow of information, deadlines, distractions and things to do can easily make you rush all the time, but there are things you can do to help yourself feel better and be more relaxed, whatever you do.

The world of screens, pixels and deadlines can be debilitating to us sometimes, not to mention our eyes. There is a difference between working calmly on a task (not multitasking) and rushing in a queue of never-ending projects and things to do next. Next, next, next… If I only finish this… When I do that, then… I’ve got 15 minutes, I can’t talk right now… Stop. Stop and breathe. This might be the only mindful moment within your day. Learn to appreciate it.

Yes, modern pace of living requires a lot of attention, dedication and time. Yet there is only a limited number of hours in a day. Unless you want to work at night overtime, but then you need to sleep sometimes… It’s very easy to fall into a vortex of doing, without really being. But what if we stop for a moment and really get our attention back to the present? Only then can we fully live. There are simple steps to do that and here they are:

1. One of the most basic things to do when you work on your computer a lot is to take regular breaks. And by regular I mean – really regular, let’s say every 45 minutes. This is for your eyes to rest (you still want to be able to see the number of a bus when you’re 65, right?), but it’s also to rest your mind. In order to do this, you can set up an alarm clock, to make sure you really do this. It’s so easy to get caught on the Internet, because there are millions of things that are really, truly interesting.

2. Take time for yourself. Schedule time off. This is pretty self explanatory, but it’s also too easy to catch yourself surfing the net on your day off, without going anywhere. We’ve all been there. Off time means what it means – you switch the off button. Only from time to time. The world will still be alright when you turn it on again (let’s hope so).

3. When you receive a message, it’s tempting to reply immediately, hit the button and then it’s gone. Sometimes we might have cringe-worthy moments, or a little guilt lurking from a shadow: ‘did I really say that?’ Once it’s posted, it’s there and there’s nothing you can do about it. Sometimes you can delete it, sometimes not. Even if you delete it, someone might have already seen it. Instead, take 2-3 deep breaths before replying, concentrating on the sound and feeling of your breathing. This will help you a lot in formulating a meaningful, mindful answer. Something you really want to say. Not just something on the spur of the moment.

4. When you have a long to-do list, instead of worrying about deadlines and the plan of your day, how about coming back to your feelings to assess whether what you are doing right now is important, useful, your priority? We know very well how to spend way too much time on something we didn’t really want to do. This link, that link… Even when all of them are interesting, it’s good to ask yourself: is this nourishing me? You will then be able to choose wisely, as (not to state the obvious) your time is limited.

5. I cannot stress how important it is to properly rest. Remembering to sleep enough number of hours and having some quiet time from time to time can do wonders. It really can.

6. Walks in nature. :) Oh yes. These are my favourite ones. It’s really good. The smell of fresh air, the look of the trees, the touch of the grass on your feet (you can walk barefoot in summer, yay!)… It all relaxes your body, leaving your mind in a pleasant state of calm. This is not the time to worry or plan things. This is just the time to walk. And looking at green relaxes your eyes, which is an additional bonus if you spend a long time in front of a computer.

7. Do nothing. Really. From time to time. No pressure, no plan, no ideas. Just be.

8. In order to not become completely digitalised, or a cyborg, I would advise you to find some non-digital hobby. So that you don’t stare at the screen in your free time. Something that involves other people (can be group games, hitchhiking, a local knitting group, gardening, or anything else that would make you feel good and be fun for you to do). Additionally, manual activities take the pressure off your mind and induce a more relaxed state, in which your subconscious may bring you ideas you were scratching your head over before, just like that – out of the blue. While you are making a bracelet, water your flowers or make a plane model, your brain is actively processing what happened earlier and preparing answers for you – just like you need them. Useful, huh?

9. Meet people. Instead of chatting on Facebook. I have nothing against Facebook, in fact, it can be a great way of connecting with people. I mean, instead of feeling lazy and chatting, make an effort sometimes to meet that person in real life and exchange your ideas live. You will feel the difference. Especially if you don’t see each other that often. You might see that person from a completely new perspective. Because, there is a limit to what we share online…

10. Last but not least… Have a pet :) My friend’s guinea pig always de-stresses her after a busy day at work. You cannot not smile when looking at a small cute creature who adores you and is waiting to be fed and cuddled. It’s so rewarding. And you can have a pretty good contact with an animal. It’s healing too. You can also tell it a secret and it won’t tell anyone… At least not in your language… ;) It’s really invigorating to have a little friend at home.

This list is obviously not exhaustive. If you come up with other ways of staying mindful in an increasingly fast, digitally-based life, let me know in the comments!

Breathe in, breathe out… Stay calm.

And have a nice morning/evening/day. :)


photo credit: lipemesquita via photopin cc