Our normal, daily cycle looks something like this:
Phone alarm goes off.
Check texts and gossip about the night before.
Create a playlist for the shower on your music app.
Work for eight hours, go on social media for nine.
Go home, talk on phone for two hours.
Go to bed, stalk ex on social media instead of sleeping.
It's no secret that we're attached to our phones. Even those of us with self-professed hippie ideals choose to share those views by tweeting about them from our phones and tablets.
There's no denying the huge impact phones have had on our lives. Thanks to the powerful little computers we store in our pockets, we're able to connect with our loved ones at the drop of a hat. (We can also ignore them when they're getting on our nerves.) We can track our steps and heart rate, and receive tips to stay physically fit. We can even swipe right when we see a cute guy. Modern technology, am I right?
But once in a while, we need a phone detox. Leaving your phone at home gets you in touch with your mind, body and spirit — something we can all benefit from.
So, the next time you're going for a run or heading out for the day, do yourself a favor and unplug for a little bit. Here are five reasons why your mind will thank you for it.
You leave the drama behind.
Being constantly connected to your friends can be a blessing — but it can also be a curse. (Well, maybe not a curse, but something other than a blessing, for sure.)
Let's be honest. When your friend is in the dressing room trying on kimonos, do you really need to review all eight options with her via text? And if you're in the midst of a breakup, forget about it: Every read receipt-no response combination is a portal to a broken promise.
When you leave your phone at home, you get a chance to focus inward, instead of perseverating on the problems of others. It's an opportunity to clear the clutter from your mind and detox from your stress.
You talk to new people.
Without your phone, you look open, and that openness will draw others in.
Imagine a hot celebrity is going undercover as a "regular person" to talk to real people. (I think it's called Method acting research.)
You're on the same subway car. If your head is buried in your phone, do you think the hot celeb is going to try to talk to you? No! He or she is going to talk to the person who is looking around. He's going to talk to the person who looks open.
Now obviously this isn't an everyday scenario, but it shows how you're cutting yourself off from the potentially amazing people who surround you.
You finally pay attention to what's going on around you.
There's something to be said for taking the time to appreciate your surroundings. Just think about all the stories you hear on the news about a pedestrian walking off the side of a cliff because he never looked up from his phone. Do you want that to be you?
When I go on a walk around my neighborhood without my phone in my pocket, it's amazing what I notice. The flower bed randomly sprouting between two buildings. The teeny-tiny bike shop at the end of the block. The man selling churros on the subway platform downtown. Have fun with the randomness going on around you!
I see things I've never noticed before, and I promise you'd experience the same.
You're more tuned in to your body.
It's more than being in tune with your surroundings — it's being in tune with your body.
Your mind has a chance to focus on your muscles and bones, and you may even find yourself sneaking in a casual workout to test your limits. Run around the block, scale the stairs, take advantage of that jungle gym in the park — seize on the opportunity to shake things up.
If you're homing in on your body's patterns and tendencies, you're better able to take care of yourself.
When you get your phone back, you appreciate being connected that much more.
When you return home after going a few hours without your phone, you'll find it sitting in the same place you left it.
At first you're afraid to check it. You know it's going to be overwhelming, with at least 10 text messages waiting for your reply, maybe a few emails and app notifications as well.
But then the fear subsides, and you realize that now, more than ever, you're actually happy to be connected. You took time for yourself, and you're ready to check in with the people in your life and in the news. You're more than ready — you're happy to do it.