National Day of Unplugging March 9-10

Give you eyes and your mind a break. Put down the technology.

Give you eyes and your mind a break. Put down the technology.

Do you ever find yourself stressed, distracted, overwhelmed, and exhausted by today’s constant interaction with technology? It may be time to unplug.

The National Day of Unplugging will take place March 9-10. It’s purspose is to raise awareness and encourage everyone to stop and unplug to take stock of themselves, their lives, and their surroundings. Give your eyes a break from the phone and laptop and take a look around, and inside yourself.

“Take these characteristics of our evolutionary biology — we have minds that are wandering, scanning, and getting distracted — and then equip us with smartphones, laptops, and the Internet. The effects are magnified,” says Laurie J. Cameron, mindful leadership expert and author of The Mindful Day: Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm, and Joy From Morning to Evening. “And to complicate our tech-saturated scene, we are connected more than ever in a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (referred to as VUCA), and it is easy to understand the forces that came together to create what Time magazine christened ‘The Mindful Revolution’.”

Here are three simple ways to unplug that can be incorporated into everyone’s daily lives:

1. Tune Into Your Surroundings: Mindfulness begins with awareness. Cameron recommends focusing on three domains: sensing, being, and doing. Pause for a moment to take notice of what you see around you, then gradually narrow your focus to details, colors, and textures. Notice what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel.

2. Turn your attention inward. Are you calm? Nervous? Content? Sad? Grateful? Energized? Consider how your emotions might be coloring your thoughts and behaviors. Just by acknowledging your emotions, you’re already empowering yourself to act with greater wisdom and care — or, even better, to start shifting your attitude if that’s what’s needed.

3. Focus on what you’re doing. Are you cognizant of your actions and behaviors, or are you on autopilot: moving trancelike through the train station, waiting mindlessly in line at the bus stop, or sitting numbly in traffic? Try narrating each step: I am walking by the shops now. I am sitting on the train. I am looking at the colors of the leaves through the window.

“As you build your awareness, strengthening your ‘observer,’ you’ll start to see everyday scenes more vividly, to detect subtle differences in how you feel, and to be more conscious of how you conduct yourself,” Laurie says. “This is the gateway to living with more calm, connection and joy.”

For more tips on mindfulness, visit


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