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Unplug to Reconnect: A Happiness Tip

technologyMy technical savvy is extremely limited. In fact, it’s limited to this:

  1. Shut down the item or unplug it.
  2. Wait 10 seconds.
  3. Turn it back on or plug it back in.
  4. Wait a little while longer.
  5. Try again.

If those steps don’t work, I turn to my two technological experts, Google and my husband. Most of the time, though, those simple steps fix my issue. Whatever I was on gets its break, clears away whatever was the trouble, and comes back fresh and ready.

Think about this:  That reboot is technology needing a break from you. Yes, in this situation, you operated your technology too long without a break or a reboot, it started behaving inappropriately, and you gave it the break it needed.

The same is true for us. We also need a break from technology. Sometimes, all we need to do is unplug to reconnect with the wonderful people and things around us.

Take a Break When…

Here are some suggestions of when you should put away your technology. By getting rid of whatever is in your hand, you will be more conscious of what is happening in the present. Being present is a great way to increase your happiness.

Take a break from technology when:

1. You are face to face with people.

Whether you are at a family event, spending time with friends, or having a meeting at the office; now is a terrible time to be engaged in technology. You are with people. Talk to them. Then, you won’t need to send them messages or ask them questions later.

By setting your technology aside, you can really pay attention to what is being said. Furthermore, without distraction, you’ll be able to quickly process your thoughts and communicate them to others.

This smooth and open communication is enjoyable. You will be happy and smile. It’s possible that someone will say something that will make you unexpectedly laugh. There is so much humor in life, but some days you really have to keep your ears open and listen for it.

Plus, if you start tending to your phone in the middle of a conversation, it sends a message to the person you’re speaking with that they’re less important than whatever is happening on your phone. Each time your phone dings or you look at it, you’re detracting from what could be a wonderful conversation.

So, put your technology away and, if applicable, put it on silent.

2. You are face to face with pets.

Your pets need attention. They need your attention and, if you’ve been gone all day, they probably feel like they need it right now.

Set your technology aside so that you can use two hands to show that you care. One of my cats is very specific about this. If you’re not using two hands to pet him, you’re not really committed to what you’re doing. And he’s right.

When I use two hands to love on my pets, I do a better job of rubbing the sweet spots and showing them the love they need. I also find that I’m more likely give them compliments and verbal praise.

Plus, did you know that the physical motion of petting your pets is calming to yourself? Studies have shown that petting your pets calms pet owners and creates an overall improvement in their personal health.

3. You are cooking.

If there is ever a bad time to pay more attention to technology than what you are actually doing, it’s when you’re cooking. As someone who has lost sides, main dishes, and pot holders because of lack of focus in the kitchen; I feel qualified to give this advice with authority.

Trust me. Leave the electronics alone while you’re cooking.

4. You start to feel anger or depression because of what you’re reading or hearing.

If you are hearing or reading things that make you feel angry or depressed, it’s time to take a break. It’s just that simple. Turn off the TV or your phone, block certain people or posts from your Facebook feed, or block certain hashtags on Twitter. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

5. You want to go to sleep within the next hour.

If you are preparing to go to sleep within the next hour, it’s best to turn off all screens. This means TVs, phones, tablets, computers, and any other screen that emits a blue light. People who don’t have screen time for at least an hour before bed time often have better quality sleep than those who don’t follow this simple tip.

I hope these suggestions help increase your happiness. For more tips on how to create and appreciate happiness in your life, check out my other happiness-related posts:  “Have Mid-Week Fun,” “Embrace Your Dread,” “Listen Up!,” “Purge and Get Rid of Things that Are Holding You Back,” “#1Tip I Took from Therapy,” “Have a Plan,” and “Reconnect with Your Younger Self.”

When are some other times that you unplug? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.

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