Taking Time Out to Unplug and Relax 

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Stop. Sit down for a minute. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. 

Are you back now? Good. How do you feel? How do you think you would feel if you could take 10 minutes of complete silence and “empty mindedness” every day? 

It’s essential that we take time out to recharge our batteries every day. Not only with a nap or by sleeping at night, but just sitting with our eyes closed and meditating for a few minutes in the middle of the day. 

Many people spend large amounts of time on their different electronic devices, using social media, playing games, and constantly being stimulated. Facebook, text messages and selfies take up large amounts of energy that takes away from yourself and your loved ones. Watching videos and TV shows on our phones, crushing candy, or sending tweets all sap our energy and keep us from focusing on our mind-body connection. 

You need to disconnect in order to reconnect with your own mental state and to the people that matter the most to you, like your family and friends. 

Right now, selfies are the big thing. People taking pictures of themselves with their friends at some cool restaurant, concert, or special event. And while selfies can be something lovely, like documenting a kiss with your special someone or a concert with your friend, is it really? How much attention are you paying to your friend when you have to think about the camera angle, lighting, composition, then mess with the filters, and upload it to your Instagram or Facebook account. 

This takes away the time and energy you should be spending with your friend or significant other and living in the moment with them. 

This type of scenario happens all the time in many different ways with technology. People are on their cell phones all the time seeing who they need to text next, checking email, checking in to Swarm and Yelp, or retweeting jokes they saw on Twitter. Others are watching TV and movies, or playing video games. 

Having these kinds of distractions can affect your mind-body connection and your relationships with others by distracting you. You’re spending time communicating with people who aren’t even there, devoting your energy to a tiny electronic box and not the flesh and blood person sitting next to you. Take some time to disconnect from this hyper-connected world, and do something that distracts you from the different problems. 

Go camping and leave all electronic devices behind. Commit to shutting everything off before dinner and not turning them back on until morning. Or go on an electronic fast every weekend. Do something that doesn’t involve wifi and data connections, and instead focus on relationships and human connections. 

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Dr. Alex Ledgister is not your typical “Success Coach.” The former Marine who holds a Ph.D.

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