Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Reducing Stress by Unplugging

In an era that revolves around computers and cell phones, we sometimes just need to unplug.  But what does that really mean?

It's not just the physical presence of a computer--its screen and keyboard; or a cell phone, with its thumb typing and scrolling that keeps us distracted from the life that exists right in front of us.  It's everything that comes with those machines.  Such as emails that fill our message box.  Voice messages that must be listened to and replied to.  Updates that require our attention.  Battery charging that has to be addressed throughout the day.  Tones and sounds that alert us all day to who is trying to reach us or what message type we just received (i.e., voice, email, page, etc.).

And then, there is the constant, unquenched human sense of curiosity that keeps us glued to our devices in order to extract endless information.  Anything at all we might be curious about can be typed in to one of our handy devices at any time, and it will produce enough information for us to feel we've gathered at least a piece of the answer.  Right there.  On the spot.

But we are forgetting what it really means to be human beings, and since we aren't the machines our machines push us to be, we need to go back now and then and remember to just be human.

Human is much more non-mechanical than a machine is.  Human beings need rest and it's clear we don't go as fast as machines do.  When we try to, we exhaust ourselves and then wonder why we are so tired.  Much of today's stress is caused when human beings attempt to keep up with a world pace that has exceeded their ability.  When this world pace pushes us on a daily basis to constantly stay plugged in, it's imperative that we take the initiative to intentionally unplug now and then.  This means putting the phone down, leaving the laptop at home, shutting off alerts, and yes, even unplugging completely sometimes.

If you find that just one day is more than you can handle to be away from your electronic connection to the world, then start out slow.  Try going for just one hour to begin with, and work you way up.  Leave the phone in the car during some events, or shut it off and set a timer in order to not turn it back on until the timer goes off.  Consider unplugging your computer an hour before bed and not plugging it back in until morning.  See how you do.

The point is that machines and humans are not the same thing.  A human being is not a machine.  It's a living organism and living things need rest and restoration periods in order to prevent and reduce stress.  When we become identified with our machines, we forget that they are not who we are and to put them down now and then and let the body rest, is one of the best things you can do to reduce your anxiety and stress level.

Thanks to theilr for the great photo