I’ve been taking a social media vacation. I needed a break. The more people I speak with, it seems that I am not alone. Others are also spending less time in their online communities yearning for a simpler way of life without the need for constant connection.
How is it that the very thing called social media has actually created a world that feels more lonely than ever before? Why does it now take effort to post, click, and interact, when it used to be light and fun? Why are many of us feeling anti-social with a need to disconnect?
There are a number of factors at play. The main reason this is happening is because we are actually having less and less physical interaction and the cyber world of likes, friends, and emoji’s has attempted to replace communication and connectedness. The bubble we’ve created of online dating and socializing has finally hit us hard. We’ve become burned out from this seemingly artificial way of feeling loved.
The problem is that we have forgotten what it’s truly like to bond and have intimate relationships which can only be created by speaking, listening and being present with another human being. Instead, we partially get involved when in truth, it isn’t a complete relationship. If we aren’t talking on the telephone, facetiming, or meeting up for coffee, then it’s somehow inadequate. Is it better than nothing? Probably. But when it comes to feeding our souls and uplifting our spirits, it may just be having the opposite effect.
With an increase in depression and suicide rates, it has shown that over time, this world of online chatter can magnify our feelings of loneliness, and leave us feeling depleted and unsupported. To top it off, if we’re already feeling down and then tune in to other’s fabulous lives on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, it only deepens our isolation.
Maybe it’s time to do a social media detox. Here is how:
- Take a Break– Especially if you’re struggling emotionally or spiritually, stop scrolling through your social media accounts. The world will not end if you take 7 days away from your feed.
- Replace it– Once you start your week long detox, replace your social media time doing something else. What excites you creatively that you’ve been putting off? When was the last time you read a book or took a class? How can you get back into real life instead of your online one?
- Stop the Habit– Any habit or addiction takes work to overcome. You’ll need to literally make conscious efforts to leave your phone in the car or in a different room in order to be more fully present in your life. If you’re out with friends, stop with the impulsive need to check your accounts and BE HERE NOW.
- Back to Basics– Start booking lunches and hikes with friends and make a point of bonding physically. Reach out to old friends in order to reconnect. If you’re looking to date, spend less time on the dating apps and more time at networking events or social gatherings. There is nothing more important than that we have physical connection, especially with those that lift us up.
- Change Your Routine– It is so easy to do the same thing over and over again and sometimes structure is a good thing. But during this cleanse, force yourself to do something different. Finally book that group bowling or karaoke night or take a two-day getaway without the need to post every single detail about your trip.
- Delegate – If you use social media for work purposes, hire somebody to help. There are plenty of people who can take over and assist with your online messaging. Learning to let go and asking for help will free you up and make room for exciting new opportunities and relationships.
- Selfies to Selfless– For goodness sakes, stop with the selfies already. Feeling the need to capture every moment of your day is just boring and truth be told, nobody really cares about what you ate for lunch. Instead, be present in what is and breathe in every second instead of looking for the perfect lighting and backdrop for your next photo.
If you’re like me, you may feel more isolated and disconnected than ever. While it’s easy to blame social media, we cannot be held captive any longer. We must make a conscious choice to break free from this modern way of being and get back to living life fully. Spending time in nature, enjoying community, relaxing over candlelight and wine, and listening to soothing music are some examples of how to do this.
If you’re feeling burned out it’s up to you to make choices that lift you back up. The very thing that we have come to rely on to make us happy and to give us a sense of support, is doing the opposite. There is no better time to take a break and see what it’s like to enjoy yourself without the busyness of our online world. Day by day, start to cleanse and recreate new habits that are life-enhancing, heart opening, and ultimately, the way things were meant to be.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness and Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
Lately I’ve been sitting in a place unlike anywhere I’ve been before. I literally live my day-to-day experience without concrete goals, ambitions, or a particular destination in mind. This is the first time in my life where I have “no place to go” and I am surprisingly present and calm.
If you’re like me, you have thrived on pushing yourself towards achieving some type of future vision. You’ve found motivation through mental images of your dream home, the newest model of your favorite sports car, a perfect wedding, or manifesting the ideal physique. Whatever it is, most of us have been taught that desires equal a fulfilling reality. While I’d agree that as humans, we are often energized by new things, anytime we place our happiness in the hands of stuff yet to be accomplished, we are sure to be disappointed, and we may never find ourselves fully present in what is.
So how do we live more in the here and now and will we still attract a good experience if we stop trying? I have always been afraid to take a break from wanting with fear that my life would somehow go backwards, thinking that if I didn’t dream or desire, I’d simply shrivel up and die or at the very least, live some type of mediocre existence.
In fact, the opposite has occurred. I feel more alive than ever! Taking the pressure off to BE SOMEBODY, GET SOMEWHERE, and HAVE MORE STUFF has created an unparalleled presence and joy in THIS moment unlike anything I’ve felt before.
We’ve all heard about allowing enlightenment in through meditation and spiritual practice, and in theory, we understand what this entails. But unless we actually experience it, it’s difficult to grasp what it really means to live in the present.
This may come with age and maturity, and I’m in no way saying that I have mastered it, but when we can just slow down, take a breath, and realize that there is NO PLACE TO GET TO, and that everything outside of us is an illusion of sorts, then we begin to gain the wisdom that is described in ancient texts around the world. Knowing that we are enough just as we are. We are enough with or without our stuff, whether we are single or married, healthy or sick, rich or poor. We are enough because we are here!
Yes, we are physical beings having a spiritual experience and chances are that we will always have dreams of people, places, and things that we want to attract because we desire expansion and growth. But we may also find a time when we can simply allow these new manifestations to show up authentically without pushing or pressuring ourselves or others.
Nothing is more important than that we feel good. When we can sit in such a high vibration, we no longer worry if positive occurrences are ahead, because we understand that like attracts like. Happy attracts happy. Peace attracts more peaceful encounters. And at the end of day, we stop labeling whether something is good or bad anyway.
What would your life be like if you hopped off the hamster wheel? Who would you be if you took time out to truly enjoy the fragrant roses, to be awed by the simple fact that you are here, and without the pressure to move forward? What amazing things would show up for you if you began to live differently?
They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. Are you getting the results you want? Are you happy? Maybe looking for results is the problem.
I’m not suggesting that we merely sit back and halt all action, but when we can fully experience pleasure in what is, then shifts begin to happen naturally and we begin to act from a place of authenticity and alignment with less effort, stress, or strain to achieve.
Maybe, just maybe, it is time to contemplate a new way of being. Letting go. Surrendering. Living with ease. You may be in awe by the magic that begins to show up after releasing the lifetime effort of incessant striving. What would your life be like if you let yourself off the hook, made room for bigger and better things to appear while you’re busy, not being busy?
A life without goals may just bring you heaps of happiness and fulfillment, loftier than you could ever dream.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
This theme seemed especially important to me as we near the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it is a wonderful time of the year to slow down, enjoy the company of loved ones, and reflect on the year that has passed.
During this period, it’s a great opportunity to look at where we want to change and improve. One thing is certain, we are humans doing often more than we are humans being. Life is busy and I regularly hear my friends saying, “where has the year gone?” I can relate. It seems like yesterday that I celebrated Christmas 2016.
My parents used to tell me that time goes faster the older you get. And while that may be true, I feel that it is our pre-occupation with social media, technology, and staying connected that speeds it up even more and has caused us to miss out on some of life’s most beautiful experiences.
So, as we go into 2018, I am proposing that we do things a little differently. Here are just some of my thoughts about how we might gently go from a human doing to a human being.
Disconnect: Consider taking one day per week or a few hours each day unburdened by technology. Perhaps make Sunday your technology-free day where you disconnect and get completely present with life. Focus wholly on your friends and family or your tasks at hand without constant distractions from your cell phone, computer or television. Be present fully and completely.
Time Out: Carve out space every single day to go inward. Be silent, reflect, give thanks, read, pray, meditate, journal, practice yoga, or paint. Do something that causes you to pay attention to your intuition, spirit and creativity. Nothing is more important especially in this busy world.
Nature: Schedule excursions in nature. Connect with the earth in ways that you haven’t before. You will notice that time will stand still and you’ll feel refreshed and centered. If you’re in a warm climate, walk barefoot every day. The practice of daily grounding is not only good for your health but also your mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being.
Mission: Begin to ask the bigger questions like “what is my life’s mission and how can I serve?” Then start to request guidance and clues as to how you might begin living it. Mission, purpose, and service are closely aligned and those who create this deep meaning in their daily routine experience a more fulfilling and joyful life even in the face of challenges.
Basics: More and more, we need to get back to basics like community, comfort, and celebration. Create a relaxing home and office. Light candles, read a book by the fire, take a bath, curl up with a cozy blanket, and invite your best friend over for a glass of wine or afternoon tea.
We see the signs all around us. People are yearning for connection and simplicity. Many are feeling the ongoing pressures of living a busy life often leading to emotional and spiritual breakdowns as well as illness.
We are in a time when living a good and uncomplicated life is vital. One with meaning, purpose, presence, and love. There is no other way. It’s a new chapter to shift our awareness and align with what it truly means to be a human being.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!