For a long time in my life, I would have told you the I believe in that quote, and I still do. But I never really practiced it. I’m sure there are many of you out there who are just like I was… Knowing that disconnecting is beneficial, but not actually putting it into practice. In the past few years, I’ve tried to change that.
Recently, I went on my very first camping trip. It wasn’t always easy for me, but needless to say, it opened up my mind. From the outside perspective, disconnecting can seem like an unproductive, and wasteful use of time. After all, its all about THE GRIND right?
Well I’m here to tell you that disconnecting is a great use of your time. It can change your perspective, improve your health, and ultimately make you more productive.
My Camping Experience
I just went on my very first legit camping experience. And when I say legit, I don’t mean camping in an RV with running water and nice bathrooms..No, I mean the type of camping where the woods IS your bathroom. That’s right, no phone….no bathroom.
Growing up, camping, and outdoor activities in general had never really been big in my family. So this entire experience was new to me. However, being one who isn’t afraid to try new things, I was very excited to see what the experience was like. However, I definitely had my reservations. In fact, I asked myself the following questions…
- Are there going to be bears?
- What is this bathroom sitch gonna be like?
- What the hell am I going to be doing all day?
What did I find?
Overall the experience was great! As much as I enjoyed the open fire, and s’mores, my favorite part of camping was disconnecting from the outside world. Without cell reception, I was a little worried about how we were going to do all day.
As it turns out, time flies when your spending time with friends, and enjoying the outdoors, distraction free. I can honestly say that disconnecting and not having my phone with me was much easier than I thought it was going to be.
Disconnecting can also be considered “living in the moment”. Some may in the moment as mindfulness. The American Psychology Association defines mindfulness as “A moment to moment awareness of ones experience without judgement”. That means being in the moment, and disconnecting from outside influences. It means enjoying the moment without the bias of any outside influence.
The benefits of mindfulness are many. Some of these include increased focus, increased working memory, and decreased stress. Like the sound of that?….these are tremendous benefits that can positively impact your personal, and professional life. After all, a more focused, less stressed version of you is a more productive one.
Other Ways to Disconnect
Not into camping?..Thats Ok, there are many other ways to disconnect from the grind. Here’s a couple of my favorites.
Hiking is one of the best ways to disconnect from our lives. Hiking gives us the opportunity to be get in a workout, enjoy nature, and take in some beautiful scenery. I recommend it to my clients to break up the monotony of the gym routine.
Yes, the views can be beautiful, but try your best to not spend your entire hike snapping pics for Instagram or snapchat. Put your phone in your pocket, take a deep breath, and enjoy the view.
Tip: Not sure where to hike?…Alltrails.com archives, and rates over 100 different trails in Arizona.
Disconnecting doesn’t always mean changing your physical location. It means, disconnecting mentally as well. Although meditation is a practice that has been around for thousands of years, only recently, its benefits are starting to come into the spotlight.
Meditation is not just for hippies and. monks. Some of the world most successful entrepreneurs practice meditation everyday, as they realize its benefits. Some of these benefits include decreased rate of aging, increased happiness, and increased focus.
Tip: Not sure how to start?…Sit or lie down, close your eyes, and breathe. Focus on your breathing and how your body feels with each breath.
With our advancements in technology, it safe to say that priorities in our lives have changed. Many of us have become prisoners to technology, and fail to enjoy the beauty right in front of us. Instead of living in the moment, we live our lives based on texts, emails, and social media notifications.
Remember, these moments aren’t guaranteed. There is no refund on life. Let’s all make an effort to slow, relax, and enjoy each moment we have.