Unplugging for a Weekend

What if I told you there was something you do every day that can have a serious impact on your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being? It can lead to issues like eyestrain, poor sleep, and difficulty concentrating on tasks. It can also lead to depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation.

What if I also told you there was a cure…and it was free? You’d want to know what to do, wouldn’t you?

The issue is technology overload. The cure is simply unplugging.

As simple as that sounds, for most people, literally going off the grid for a weekend by turning off electronic devices and focusing on real people and nature seems like too big a challenge to tackle.  But here’s why you should.

Stop unhealthy conditioning!   Pavlov used a bell – your cell phone uses a notification tone or vibration.  Both, however, cause the same response.  You’ve conditioned yourself to stop focusing on whatever you were doing and jump to answer the text or a call.  Pure and simple, you’re constantly interrupting your life for the instant gratification of being acknowledged by someone – even when that someone could just be a mass-distributed ad from your grocery store.

You’ll be more focused and mindful. Despite the apparent panache of being able to “multitask,” technically, you can’t.  The human brain cannot process more than a single thing at a time, according to a study at the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.  When you’re talking on your cell phone while you’re driving, or chopping onions, or finishing a report, you’re not doing either activity as well as you could.

You’ll sleep more deeply and peacefully.  Dr. Andrew Weil, founder, professor, and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, refers to the importance of “sleep hygiene.”  Doing a sweep of the bedroom to get rid of electronic devices, from TVs to cell phones to iPads, will effectively “clean” the room of artificial and LED lights that interfere with the quality of your sleep.  Watching TV or checking the internet before you try to fall asleep causes your brain to fire off an arsenal of electrical activity and triggers the body’s cortisol production for a “fight or flight” response to stimulus.  Artificial light from screens can also suppress the release of melatonin, which helps us get deep, restorative sleep.

You’ll improve your social skills. Despite the fact we have more access to information than ever before, we can be woefully unprepared to carry on a pleasant conversation, in person, with an actual person.  The late Dr. Candace Pert, an American neuroscientist who discovered the opiate receptor and medically proved the concept of “chakras,” reported that people are hard-wired for human companionship.  We can’t substitute cyber connections for essential face-to-face interactions.  Mindfully sharing space and spending time with one, several or many others nourishes our emotions, mind, and spirit in a way a technological link-up never will.

You’ll feel more grounded.  The relatively new science of Green Therapy has proven that spending even a few minutes outside daily will reduce symptoms of ADHD, stress, and depression.  Hospital patients with just a glimpse of a tree outside their window need less pain medication, heal more quickly, and are discharged earlier than those without a visual connection to nature.  Imagine the sense of well-being and groundedness you could achieve with a weekend of digging your toes in the grass or sand!

You’ll rediscover yourself.  Without any technological distractions for an entire weekend, you’ll have the opportunity to plug back into the magnificent being that is YOU.  Listen to the music you love.  Get together with friends and family you haven’t seen for a while.  Read that book you’ve been hearing about.  Watch a sunrise or sunset from the porch, or the beach, or the mountaintop. Meditate, and feel your heart and soul expand as you journey inward.

Do a complete “technological cleanse’ at the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego or Austin, Texas.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health, and give you practical tips to use when you get back home. Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.