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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

Embrace Mindfulness - Discard Mindlessness

Developing an alternative to mindless scrolling on your device

Social media is addictive. Our phones can hold us captive. As our fingers fly over apps we can while away hours without realizing it. Most of us are hooked on mindless scrolling and don't even realize it. We cannot be separated from our phones, checking it first thing in the morning and last thing at night, squinting at the blue glare and the small print, sucked into a virtual rabbit hole.

We scroll through Instagram feeds at gatherings, click through Facebook at the grocery store lines and forward WhatsApp tidbits with the earnestness of a verified newsfeed. Tik Tok is a global phenomenon that has attracted teenagers and housewives alike.

Recognizing the Problem

It also doesn’t help that our brains itch for the dopamine spike we get when we open a familiar app, explains psychologist Joshua Ehrlich. “It really is an addiction, and we’re wired for this,” he says. “The same brain pathways get stimulated as they do in chemical addiction.” Knowing this, we must recognize we are at an inflection point and perform cognitive crafting to consciously transform ourselves.

Leaning Into Solutions

Swiftly we have succumbed to mindless browsing every time we have a break, are faced with a difficult task, or when we are just plain bored. We need to set up roadblocks to stop ourselves from wasting time and indulging in vacuous scrolling. Turn off your notifications. No longer will you be drawn Pavlovian-like dings and chimes of every new push notification. Your focus will remain on the task on hand. Curate your content. If you are particular about what you feed your body be even more specific about what seeps into your mind. Clean up the clutter as well as the flow of information that finds it's way via your phone, Fear not #FOMO. No one lives under a rock: if something earth-shattering happens, the news will find its way into your consciousness.

Making an appointment with Yourself

We all recognize that social media is a mixed bag. We have to self-determined and accountable to ourselves. Lets consciously create alternate habits and eliminate distractions.

Instead let us learn to be mindful, practice calming techniques and still the monkey in our head. There is irrefutable evidence to suggest mindfulness can assist people coping with stress, anxiety and depression - these have become even more paramount during these times when we are faced with the complex challenges of self-isolation. Deep breathing exercises help us feel and become centered, appreciate and enjoy the simple joys that surround us.

Learning mindfulness is easy even in these uncertain times and involves regular meditation practice, which can be studied through exercises such as sitting, walking and breathing meditation, and mindful movement. They can be done as a family, in a group or all alone. Meditation practices are versatile, don’t involve any specialist equipment, and can be completed at home during lockdown. 

Gain back your Life, Take back your Time. Be intentional and proud as you break the bonds of a bad habit.

So, instead of reaching for your phone first thing in the morning, grab some precious moments to meditate, or take a quick walk around the block. Instead of checking emails late at night, put your phone away before bedtime and dig into a good book instead!

We are stronger together


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