Energy Medicine for Digital Mindfulness

In this day and age, it is almost impossible to avoid using electronics that put us on social media, on our favorite internet news sites, constantly texting, playing games, answering countless emails and choosing between thousands of on-demand television shows. While this advancement in technology can be very profitable for business and even enrich our lives with mindful use, it can also create a sense of isolation with over- consumption. We hear time and time again from clients about the negative impact on their physical and emotional health from either their own excessive use or that of a loved one. People can be in the same room without actually communicating with one another because one or both have their eyes and minds riveted on a phone, TV or even wristwatch! As we can attest by sending you this newsletter electronically, there is usefulness in this digital age and we cannot expect everyone to go off the grid. How then can we determine the right way and amount of information to consume? How can we create digital mindfulness in our lives and how can we use Energy Medicine to help?

The journey to digital mindfulness is a personal one, but the great Thich Nhat Hahn has given us a starting place with his five mindfulness teachings. In short, these mindfulness teachingss are: 1) Protect life and decrease violence, 2) Practice social justice, 3) Practice responsible sexual behavior, 4) Practice deep listening and loving speech and 5) Practice mindful consumption. This last one is the most pertinent to the topic at hand. He has said, “I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me.” What a great mindset to consider in our own journeys to digital mindfulness.

In the book, “The Power of Off” by New York psychotherapist Nancy Colier, it is explained why it is so important for our physical health to turn off daily. She tells us that “without open spaces and downtime, the nervous system never shuts down – it’s in constant fight-or-flight mode. We’re wired and tired all the time. Even computers reboot, but we’re not doing it.”Below are some tips to consider for improving your health and the health of your relationships by “turning off.”

1)  Take an inventory of your current use of electronics. Are you using social media truly as a way to connect with others or as a way to escape? Is your use of the phone, television, computer or gaming system putting a strain on your relationships? Decide which electronic use is necessary (e.g. work cell phone and emails), which is vitally important to keep you connected to those you love (e.g. viewing photos of grandkids on social media), and consider dropping the rest. Take this opportunity to discuss family use and set some boundaries to help family time be a more mindful time. A popular restaurant for families created a challenge in 2016 in which the restaurant provided diners with a box to put their cell phones in during the meal so that they could dine distraction-free. If they lasted the whole meal, they received a free dessert. While food may not need be the reward, consider a similar challenge for your own dinner table and decide the reward together as you eat distraction-free!

2)  Be present in the moment, even if you are alone. The best present you can give someone during this holiday season is being “present” when you are with them. Being mindful is in fact being fully present. When you are talking with someone, are you in the moment and focusing on the conversation or are you texting someone else or even thinking about texting someone else? When you are alone are you afraid of silence? Use the silence to focus on your breathing and calming your mind.

3)  Clear toxins. Being inundated with technology, electromagnetic frequencies (EMF’s), and the demands of a digital life can create toxicity in your aura. Some signs that excessive toxins exist in your aura are: over sensitivity to aromas, sounds and other sensations; repeated colds or flu; low emotional, mental and physical endurance and existence of chronic pain. Toxins that stagnate in the Auric field will compromise its ability to protect your body from illness. A clear, strong, healthy Aura helps to raise your energetic vibration and keeps you feeling resilient and happy. Click here to learn ways to clear the aura.

4)  Get more sleep. Speaking of the health effects of digital use, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said, “Perhaps the most dramatic impact is the reduction in the amount of sleep.” In the 1960s, most adults were sleeping for eight and a half hours a night, but the average now is less than seven. Block explains the effects of bright light (blue light) on the body and how it disrupts the sleep cycle. The bright light from cell phones and televisions causes a reduction in Melatonin, the sleep regulating hormone, decreases Leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full, and increases Ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry. We tend to think that we gain weight from being sedentary while using electronics, but in reality the sleep disruption from electronics can cause weight gain too. So how do we reduce the impact of electronics on our sleep? The easiest way is to unplug your WIFI and remove televisions, computers, laptops and cell phones from the bedroom; if you cannot remove them, turn off the devices an hour before you plan to go to sleep. Use that last hour of the day to review the day, talk with those you live with, read, practice mindfulness techniques, pray or meditate. You may also find these Energy Medicine for Sleep tips to be helpful too.  Click here.

5)  Protect your eyes. Over use of digital technology can create eye strain. When we look at a computer screen and then look away from the screen (at another person, papers on our desk, etc.), our eyes are focusing and refocusing each time we change what we are looking at. That wears on our eyes and creates strain from over use, just as with any other muscle. There are many things we can do to reduce this strain or even prevent it from happening. First, reduce the amount of unnecessary time on electronics. Second, for every 20 minutes looking at the screen, take a 20 second break. During that break focus on something far away. Third, reduce overhead lighting to reduce screen glare, position yourself at least arm-length distance from the screen and increase font size. Fourth, there are many Energy Medicine techniques you can use to improve your eye health. Click here to watch Dr. Melanie explain some of these techniques.

yoga-woods-woman.jpg6) Spend more time in nature.  Being in nature is a wonderful way to get more grounded, to release electromagnetic frequencies, increase Vitamin D, and bring more joy into your life. Being active by doing your Daily Energy Routine, yoga, walking, biking, hiking, skiing or enjoying your favorite exercise “electronic free” is an excellent way to reconnect to your heart space.  We hope you will get outside, get active and have fun!

Reflecting on the insights of, Thich Nhat Hahn, “Mindful consumption is the object of this precept. We are what we consume. If we look deeply into the items that we consume every day, we will come to know our own nature very well.” If you look deeply into your daily digital use habits, what do you learn about your own nature?
At this time of year, let’s continue giving our time and attention to those in our lives that matter most. Let’s take care of ourselves by consuming technology with intention and mindfulness.