6 Ways to Find Happiness In The Digital World
There’s no doubt we live in a digital era, locked to screens whether it be our laptops, tablets or the TV. But the most attached device is the one which lives in our pockets - our phone. Our phone has become a lifeline connecting us to the rest of the world. From videos, cameras and games, to banking and business, an encyclopaedia and an emergency lifeline, we just can’t get enough.
Just think, when the last time was you spent the day out, phoneless. Honestly, I can’t remember a time, especially not on purpose. With the average person spending six or more hours a day on their phone, it's no wonder that we have separation anxiety, aka nomophobia (fear of being with no mobile).
In a 2012 study, 66% of people said they felt “panicked” when separated from their phones. ("10 Ways To Disconnect From Your Phone And Actually Enjoy Your Summer", 2016)
Although there are plenty of good things to come from being continuously connected, the drawbacks can be harmful to our health and mental wellbeing. The continuous vibrations and pings can leave us feeling on edge, stressed, and distracted from important tasks. In addition, to causing sleep disturbances, eye strain and depression, being too reliant on your phone can cause social isolation and relationship issues.
When we unplug, we give ourselves the time and space to decompress and recharge.
So, here are 6 things you can do to combat the health impacts of excessive screen time:
(Let me know your favourite offline activities in the comments)
Created by Danielle Jones
1. Read a book:
Whilst the convenience of having an Amazon library of books stashed in you back pocket is, well …amazing, there’s nothing like the feeling of turning the pages of a physical book. It is proven that reading a book rather than an e-book boosts retention, aids sleep problems, and reduces eye strain. Allow your mind to fully engage in a story and immerse yourself into another world, improving imagination and creativity, without the distraction of notifications.
Meditation now more than ever is becoming more recognised in the western world as a practice for good mental health and well-being. Mediation is great for grounding and reconnecting with the earth, as well as calming the mind and easing stress and tension in the body.
In the morning, instead of browsing through your phone, try a short 5-10 minute meditation focusing on deep breathing, to decrease the attachment to your phone. There are some great beginner friendly meditations on YouTube, or if you’d like to try something with daily structure, I recommend the Headspace app.
1. Write/draw: There’s something so therapeutic about putting a pen to paper, whether you prefer drawing or writing, let your imagination run wild. Taking the time to focus on the details can be a great stress reliever and can help improve critical thinking, as well as creativity of course. Tip: Try exploring your local area for inspiration rather than mindlessly scroll through Pinterest. 2. Exercise: It’s well known that exercise releases endorphins and leaves you feeling happier after moving your body-whether it’s a 10 minute jog or an hour yoga flow. Getting the body moving has some great health benefits, from strength, flexibility and focus to immune boosting. Here are some activities you can try:
- Swimming - Rugby - Football - Yoga - Hike - Dancing - Gymnastics - Netball - Tennis - Climbing - Boxing - Weight training - Rowing - Plenty more out there!
1. Spend time outside:
Take in your surroundings rather than head down scrolling; whether that’s walking the dog, discovering the micro world in your garden, or enjoying a sunset. Allowing the mind to wander and take in the quiet moments clears opens are minds to creativity, have eureka moments, and to feel comfortable in our own company. Not to mention the fresh air helps make you feel more alert.
Question: Would you rather have… a phone or a dog?
1. Board games/jigsaws
Do you ever think back to those evening playing board games round your friend’s house after school...? I do, and it was so much fun! Board games and jigsaws, or any puzzle for that matter are still so enjoyable, even as we get older. Plan a get together with your family or friends to play a few board games. Not only is this a great social activity but it also boosts your problem solving and keeping your active.
Some of my go to games are: Cluedo, which is just a classic; Pictionary, always a family favourite; and a more recent favourite, Code Names.
So, there are my 6 activities that you can do to combat nomophobia and be a happier you in this digital world. However, don’t let this list limit your imagination there are plenty of things you can do without your phone. So, next time you’re planning something to do, leave your phone at home, enjoy life, and live in the moment!
Don’t forget to leave a comment including suggestions for no phone activities you enjoy.
Danielle Jones, Cohort 31, Apprentice Artworker at Havas Lynx