Energy Medicine for Digital Mindfulness
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.
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.
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.
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.