Isolation, it scares people. The thought of being alone, experiencing total silence and disconnecting completely from any form of technology is a frightening thought for some. For others, solitude provides peace and relaxation. Distractions throughout our days are plentiful and the addiction to being busy often haunts those who are entrepreneurial minded or are gifted with the above average work ethic.
The content we consume and every single other aspect of our day contributes to our stress. Leave it unmanaged and the results could be catastrophic. We have all found ourselves at one point so busy and stressed that we can’t even think straight or control our emotions. Like a computer bogged down by years of usage and neglected upkeep, the effects of this neglect are similar to what happens to our brains.
Quicker than we could have ever imagined, the digital world has become an extension of our daily lives. With that comes its benefits and consequences. To deny the effects of subconscious mood shifts due to the content displayed within your social network’s news feeds is a form of denial. It would be like saying you felt nothing upon the moment Scar dug in his claws and whispered these words to Mustafa, Long Live the King.
Even if you love what you do, exhaustion, mental fatigue and distractions can become your worst enemy. A simple solution does exist, it’s taking advantage of your solitude and understanding how to get the most out of isolating yourself. Yes, that is right, you need to put yourself in solitary confinement. Embracing solitude is essential for critical thinking and decision making, all it takes is your willingness to step away.
Use these tips to get the most out of isolating yourself, it does not have to be torture:
Negotiate an agreement with yourself:
An idea is meaningless without execution. Negotiate a reasonable agreement with yourself about how you will find ways to isolate yourself throughout your day and begin to practice. Work it into your morning ritual, start small if needed. Find time within your day to break away from everything, even if only for 10 minutes or less. Compounded over time, even just a week, you will begin to notice the lasting effects of your daily reset.
Find a Happy Place:
Where will you go to be alone? Is it a room inside of your house or an area within your back yard? Figure out what your day allows for and find a physical location to escape to, free of distractions. If the weather is nice, take full advantage of it.
Airplane Mode is a feature attached to all cell phones and it is most effective when used outside of an airplane. Lose the need to immediately respond to every text or notification. You do not need to be constantly available. When you have a project to focus on, make Airplane Mode your best friend. When you are alone in your Happy Place, always have Airplane Mode on. You are not isolated if your phone is in your hand and notifications are distracting you.
Learn to Meditate:
Have you ever tried or attempted meditation? If not, there are plenty of online resources to help you―like the video above. I’ve attempted many forms of meditation and it all comes down to figuring out what works best for you. I’ve found that simply clearing my head of stray thoughts and focusing on the positives in life have had lasting benefits for me. Don’t just take it from me though, science has already figured out the real benefits of mediation.
Tap into your Flow:
Tapping into one’s flow can be achieved by anyone but it takes solitude and a disconnect from distractions. You can’t get into the zone if you are constantly distracted by an endless streams of digital chatter. That’s one of the reasons Airplane Mode is so effective. Your flow is a natural gift; distractions impede flow.
Take a Digital Sabbatical:
Find a balance, technology is great as it solves problems and helps us operate more efficiently. However, analog tools still have a place and purpose. Learn to work outside of the confines of your computer, smart phone or tablet―or watch! Even if you’re not working, take an entire Sunday to yourself, free of technology. Rest, relax, reset.
Step into an Isolation Tank:
Isolation Tanks―or Float Tanks as they are referred to today―have incredible stress relieving benefits and are again growing in popularity throughout the world. Float tanks are filled with water that is heated to your body temperature and have about 850 lbs. of epsom salt mixed within. The salt allows you the ability to effortlessly float in the water. When the tank is closed, you’re deprived of most of your senses and after extended periods of usage, you begin to experience theta brain waves like you do when dreaming. Float therapy have shown multiple payoffs, such as reducing stress by lowering cortisol levels; managing chronic pain, injury, and illness; fighting addiction and depression; elevating mood; and even improving sports performance.
Sometimes, all of the stresses of the world can be solved with a little bit of Me-Time. Instead of finding the negative in every problem, you may being to look for the new opportunity that lies within. And that one little change, can change your entire world.