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Mindfulness

5 Easy Ways to Eliminate Your Phone as a Distraction

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5 Easy Ways to Eliminate Your Phone as a Distraction

With busy lives, the added stress of social media and the FOMO makes going about your day very difficult. You check your phone for one notification and voila! Somehow 3 hours go by. Productivity stays at a standstill. You keep reading for ways to increase your productivity and decrease your distractions, but then somehow again end up on sites that do nothing more than help you waste your time.

“To be honest, I think cell phones were invented by the devil.”

– Joe Hill

Using your phone for hours distracts you from your work, stops you from being productive, gives you FOMO, negatively influences you, creates a false sense of a perfect lifestyle, etc. I could go on listing the adverse effects that using social media has on us, but that is for another time.

Don’t get me wrong; I understand the advantages. I also understand how important social media is for entrepreneurs who are building a presence online. My point here is the moderation of the usage. We all know, using something more than intended does more harm than good. You might go to do some work, but somehow you get sucked down the rabbit hole. It has been said, through research, that a typical office worker needs at least 25 minutes to get back to their original work after an interruption.

“Cell phones are so convenient that they are an inconvenience.”

-Haruki Murakami

Honestly, this is not the only distraction you have in your daily life. The people around you have a huge effect on your productivity and your life in general. Social media is the same, following all the rich lifestyle influencers can negatively affect you, and you then go about your day feeling sad or inferior about your life and yourself.

Let’s talk about ways to eliminate the distractions from your life that you bring upon yourself.

1.  Carve out blocks of time

Setting blocks of time just to work or just use social media, is a good idea, because of the fact that, the other stuff doesn’t interfere with the decided task. Use the block method to set your calendar. Like, say8 AM to 9 AM is blocked for breakfast. 9 AM to 12 AM for work, and so on. You should set blocks for everything that you need to do daily, this way you can add new tasks around it. You can even go ahead and put these on your calendar so you can stay on task.

You can work with full concentration because you know you will soon be able to check all those posts you like. You can also browse through the net with no guilt in mind because you know you will be getting back to work soon.

2. Turn off notifications

5 Easy Ways to Eliminate Your Phone as a Distraction

The continuous pings you hear are the biggest distraction throughout the day. You get so used to it that sometimes even the ringing of our doorbell leads us to check our phone for notification. It is very important to shut it down for the period of time you are working.

When it is even remotely associated with work, it is much easier to convince ourselves that we have to check it. Most of the times, it isn’t that urgent. When you use the blocking method, you anyway won’t be away from your phones for long, so it will put your mind at ease that you are not missing anything crucial.

3. Use apps to block apps from using the internet

Sometimes I do need to keep my phone beside me. I cannot just turn off the internet, because some apps I need to use require an internet connection. This was when I discovered that there are apps that block the apps you don’t want to use from using the internet connection.

I use Focus for Mac to block some of my apps from getting internet like WhatsApp and Instagram, and then use the other apps with no notification distraction. This makes the functionality of my phone more flexible for me. Freedom is also a good option.

4. Use web applications

5 Easy Ways to Eliminate Your Phone as a Distraction

Phones are very convenient to use, which is why we can spend so much time on social media. While working if you feel the urge to use any of the sites that aren’t work-related. If that app has a web application, instead of using the apps of your phone, use the web application on your PC or laptop.

Some features on the app don’t work on the web app, and usually, they are the ones that keep you hooked for long, like the chat feature on Instagram. This way, you will only check the necessary thing, and because using web apps can be a bit of a hassle, it becomes easier to shut the site down.

“Technology offers us a unique opportunity, though rarely welcome, to practice patience.”

-Allan Lokos

5. Use your phone as a reward

I recently wrote an article about tips to overcome laziness. One of the points I talked about was setting a reward for yourself for finishing work. You can use your phone as a reward for working hard without distractions. Rewards are great incentives to get results. Also, this isn’t even a reward that will have a lot of negative effect on you like promising yourself a pastry later would.

The anticipation of browsing the internet will make you work faster, and when you are using social media, you will feel like you earned it. This removes any kind of negative feeling associated with using your phone.

“Cell phones, mobile e-mail, and all the other cool and slick gadgets can cause massive losses in our creative output and overall productivity.”

-Robin S. Sharma

In today’s digital age, it is difficult to not use your phone for long. It has sort of become a lifeline for many people, especially small businesses. But, you should know where to draw a line. Knowing when to put your foot down on your own habits is essential for growth. Recently I stopped using Facebook for a while and realized how it was affecting me, mostly in a bad way.

5 Easy Ways to Eliminate Your Phone as a Distraction

Unless you realize your problems and unless to accept them as problems, you won’t be ready to face them. Once you have zeroed in on your issue of constantly checking your phone, you can apply small measures to cut back from the habit.

Increasing productivity seems to be a hot topic with everyone. While we apply measures to increase productivity, we forget to make changes to our current lifestyle. Adopting new helpful habits is good, but evaluating your current habits from time to time is also much-needed.

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Habits

How Reading can impact your Day to Day Life?

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Reading is a healthy habit, which, if practiced daily, can change your entire life around. Do you want to know why? Through Reading, one can not only gain knowledge but also stay acquainted with the outside as well as the inside world. The best thing about reading daily is to have an isolated place for yourself in your mind, where you can run off to. Most people don’t have the patience or intention to read, and that too, daily. Though this is a habit that takes time to settle in but trust me, once it does, you would never regret it. So, here is a list of reasons why you should read daily?

Why should you read daily?

  • To gain knowledge

Once you start reading daily, and by Reading, it can be anything – you can read few pages of a novel, or a magazine, or newspaper, or even poetry – you would notice within weeks how much your knowledge regarding the outer world has improved. Through Reading, one can have clear information regarding the current affairs, and hence, stay updated.

  • To improve your vocabulary

Through Reading, you can definitely learn new words and hence, improve your vocabulary. Most people make it a habit to learn a new word from the dictionary every day, but if you read daily, you are bound to get new words and make a list of them on a notebook with their meanings, which is definitely going to be helpful for you.

  • To have a make-believe world

The most beautiful consequence of Reading is having one’s own imaginary world, where one can live a life full of magic. This is the extraordinary superpower one acquires while reading. In this busy daily life of ours, we all look for a secluded place where we can feel the essence of peace. Reading can fly you off to the imaginary land of sunflowers, daisies, and cats who can indeed talk.

  • To become more attentive

Most people lack patience nowadays. Being impatient and restless has become a severe problem in today’s world. Here, Reading can help you calm your mind and improve your observation skills. It works like meditation. In no time, you would find your mind focusing on details and becoming more attentive to events, which used to go unnoticed.

  • To reduce stress

Reading is similar to meditation, and hence, it definitely helps to reduce your stress. Books always have a calming effect on one’s mind. It takes you away from daily problems and stressful situations and helps your mind to gain stability. Not only it helps in reducing stress, but it also helps to decrease the anxiety levels of a person. 

Everyone should make reading a daily habit. One should switch off the mobile phones, turn off the television and take some time out to read. It works wonders on one’s day-to-day life and changes one person’s entire personality. Though it can be hard at first, with time, you would cherish the moments alone, reading in a corner while your mind is flying off to Narnia.

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Mindfulness

How Does Meditation Help You?

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Meditation

Meditation has the power to heal you in unprecedented ways. When you meditate properly, you can connect with your soul and inner voice. Sometimes the noise of our everyday life makes it challenging to listen to our own hearts. Especially in today’s time and age, when a sense of uncertainty has gripped the world, we need to calm ourselves down more than ever. 

Reconnecting with ourselves helps us understand what we need to do for our self-growth and development as well. Meditation lets you do this and more. In a state of complete silence, all you can hear is your breathing and heartbeat. As you count them slowly, you feel attuned to the vibrational energy of a different kind.

According to ancient mythologies, meditation levitated the soul to realms of the divine. I don’t know anything about that, but it is definitely true that you can free yourself through meditation. Take, for example, right now, this moment. 

Many of us around the world are locked in our homes because of the virus. It’s a sensation of imprisonment within the confines of the four walls, isn’t it? Well, not exactly if you let the power of meditation wash you over. When you focus within and connect to your soul, you free yourself from the anxieties, worries, and stress of day to day life. In that moment of truth, you are free, free from your inner bindings, and heaviness pulling you down. 

So, the point is you can achieve freedom right where you are through a meditative state of mind. Calming your mind down lets you accomplish complicated tasks with relative ease. Even the work that looks daunting can be solved when you put a clear, peaceful mind at work. 

There are innumerable benefits of meditating regularly. These benefits not only include alleviating some of the symptoms of physical ailments but also mental health problems. Especially when it comes to depression, stress, and anxiety, or associated disorders, there is limited dialogue, and the issues often remain unaddressed. 

For a generation thriving under tremendous pressure, the competition rat race to succeed mental health problems has become a new normal. Meditation comes in as a beneficial yet noninvasive therapy route and has shown marked differences towards a positive lifestyle. 

Let us look at some of the holistic benefits of meditation in terms of clinical conditions. 

With regular practice of meditation, it has been seen that anxiety decreases, improvement of emotional stability occurs, increases in clarity and peace of mind, mental agility, memory, and retention power rises. A significant increase in dopamine levels has also been observed after an hour of meditation, which increases your happiness levels! 

Moreover, meditation also lowers high blood pressure, lowers the levels of blood lactate, reduces anxiety attacks, reduces headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle, and joint problems, increases serotonin production, and improves mood and behavior of the immune system, and increases energy levels. 

A study conducted by UCLA also found that meditation slows down the process of aging in your brain. Now that’s interesting! Older meditators practicing for years had less profound loss of grey matter areas compared to their non-meditating counterparts. This directly affects memory, cognitive abilities, and decision-making powers that decline with the process of aging. Studies have also shown that the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thought processes, decreases through meditating. This brings a ruminating mind under control and increases a person’s ability to focus. According to Harvard scientist Sara Lazar and her team, “Eight weeks of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was seen to raise the cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which governs the learning and memory functions. Moreover, in certain areas of the brain that plays regulatory roles in emotion and self-referential processing. There were also significant decreases in brain cell volume of the amygdala, which is the center responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress – and these changes matched the participants’ self-reports of their stress levels, indicating that meditation not only changes the brain, but it changes our subjective perception and feelings as well.”

Studies have also shown that you can increase your concentration and attention span through meditation quite effectively. Moreover, according to a research group from the University of Kentucky, “Meditation provides at least a short-term performance improvement even in novice meditators.In long term meditators, multiple hours spent in meditation are associated with a significant decrease in total sleep time compared with age and sex-matched controls who did not meditate. Whether meditation can replace a portion of sleep or pay-off sleep debt is under further investigation.”

So, I hope by now, you are at least partially convinced about the unlimited potential of mediation. There are many options to bring in some well-being into your life, and meditation is one of them. The best part is it’s free and entirely up to you. 

Now that you hold the key, are you ready to give it a try and see some positive effects yourself? 

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Mindfulness

Why Do Animals Make Better Friends Than Humans?

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pets

Animals are the pure, raw souls that need little to be genuinely happy. In a world continually chasing after materialistic bliss and happiness, your furry friends find fulfillment in a bit of touch, a bit of affection, and a dollop of kindness. 

There are no layers or hidden agendas, it’s just a beautiful bond of simplicity, or as popularly known as love. Somehow, for this generation, the meaning of the word love has been lost in translation. We are always after something, something better, something newer. 

Our fast-paced approach has derailed basic human emotions and its purity. Friendships for many people is less of a bond, and more of an unsigned “give and take” policy. However, if you look into your dog’s crystal-clear eyes, nothing but love and deep affection reflect back. 

pets

That’s the beauty of building relations with animals; they want nothing but some warmth and your time. It’s a sense of fulfillment that makes you believe that being you is enough, along with an odd satisfying sense of acceptance when your four-legged buddy comes running up like there is no tomorrow.

Like a true friend, they listen to you and give you comfort in the most unprecedented ways. We may not share the same language, but some words can be understood even when unspoken. 

We all look for hope and belief to be alive. Sometimes, it just needs a kind pair of eyes to stare at you with honest attention, without any judgment, to find that hope. I also believe honesty is a magically powerful language found in abundance in our furry friends.

But this is not only about pets; all animals in this world have something profound to offer. Their sense of affection, love, and gratitude is like a lighthouse in a deep dark sea. 

All around the globe, you can find various instances of animals and their bonds with fellow humans developing in unimaginable ways, simply because of their beautiful, unspoiled souls. They are more precious than us, I think, by being able to portray love in the most natural and pure way. 

If you have found it, always hold on to this feeling, because it is fulfilling and heart-touching to witness true love in their eyes, and eyes are thought to be the window of souls. At the end of the day, we are lucky to share this world with them, because they truly teach us how to be loved in this crazy, big world. 

So try to do your part to save them and provide for them, because your act of kindness can go a long way!

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