Disconnect (just a bit) for happiness

Disconnect (just a bit) for happiness

Gadgets and screens are such an integral part of our lives these days; and in many ways, they're fantastic!

But there's no doubt that like anything, they can have a dark side; and this dark side can impact (negatively) on our happiness. 

Which is why I thought you, who're all interested in enjoying better lives with more happiness, would be interested in this article offering 7 tips to enjoy a richer, happier life despite digital distractions…

by Elizabeth Tenety via the Washington Post

Who has time anymore to relax? To disconnect? Take a breather? Be truly present?

And it’s not just the ping of our electronic devices that’s distracting us. It’s the cultural (and economic) pressure to constantly be more productive, to do more with our time. It’s what happens when the Protestant work ethic meets always-on Internet culture.

Who doesn’t want a break from that ruthless life?

So enter ‘Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better and Loving More’ a new book by Rachel Macy Stafford, which serves as a guide to us, the weary masses. Part memoir, part better-living roadmap, Stafford weaves together insights from her once hyper-busy schedule to call readers to a richer life that is less “productive,” but way more meaningful.

The “hands free revolution,” she describes was born when Stafford, a working mom of two, realized that she was always rushing from family obligation to professional opportunity, without any time in between to connect to loved ones or have a quiet moment to herself. People would ask her, ”Rachel, how do you do it all?” and upon further reflection, Stafford says she found the answer to be “extremely painful.” She says the truth was, “I could do it all because I missed out on life.”

As someone who makes her living in part by engaging with the hundreds of thousands of followers of her popular blog, Stafford is far from a technophobe. But she is a voice in the digital wilderness, calling modern Americans to find ways to put technology and our high-pressure culture, in its proper place in our lives.

Want to join her revolution? Here’s what to make time for—and what to start to eliminate from your life:

[Related: How to live a better life while actually spending less]

What to make time for:

1.  Pockets of time to connect: “I know I can’t possibly cherish every moment,” she acknowledges in the book. Instead, ask yourself “How do I realistically live life now to avoid the pain of regret later?” One way? Take Stafford’s example of creating sacred pockets of time to eliminate distraction and commit to being fully present with loved ones.  “I simply thought about the times of the day when I was in the presence of my loved ones,” she explains in an interview. For her family, that means committing to 30-60 minute chunks of time without distraction, four times a day: From first thing in the morning until her children to go school, then again when they arrive home, at dinnertime, and finally for bedtime, she explains, “I am present and available. . . it’s our big connection time as a family.”

2. Once you find those new opportunities to connect, get vulnerable. It’s not enough (though it’s great) to just be present. Take the time to articulate your feelings to others. “I will not assume [my loved ones] know how I feel,” she writes. If you’re struggling with how to do it, Stafford suggests a script: “Today I will set aside my insecurities and ask my spouse, child, parent or loved one if I can hold them close. I will listen to their heartbeat, breathe in their scent, and tell them how much I love them. There will be obstacles and challenges that will interfere in carrying out these moments of connection, but I will not let the distractions of my life stop me from investing in what matters most—at least not today.”

…keep reading the full & original article HERE