Editor’s note: This is a sneak peek from the upcoming April issue. You can expect the entire issue online next month.
Why you need to consistently reboot, unplug and regenerate
Boy, have we gotten busy. Our reasons for being “on” most of the time might include economic pressure, a need to stay connected socially, or even having a creative idea that just has to be shared with as many people as possible.
Fair enough. These are all good reasons to stay busy. Yet, with tech companies inventing wonderful new tools that have become soft addictions for many of us, it’s getting harder to put down our cellphones, iPads and laptops to take much-needed breaks from our busyness.
Can I Hit Pause?
People find they are staying connected to their screens, thinking about work, and stressing over past and future events, even at home or on vacation. I lived on Maui for five years and I saw it everywhere, from mad texting going on at poolside at luxury resorts to serious cellphone conversations on a trail in the Bamboo Forest.
It’s hard to unplug. So even on vacation, many people are overstimulating their brains and disconnecting—from their bodies and the important people around them.
So what can we do? Make mind-body balance a new essential daily habit.
Steps for a More Mind-Body Balanced Life
Just as we unplug and reboot our smart tools when they freeze or act lethargic, we need to reboot ourselves regularly. When you unplug and regenerate consistently, your brain gets to relax and your decisions and life activities become more balanced. Here are seven helpful tips.
1. Take time out: Take some dedicated time each week to unplug and examine your work/life/online scale. Schedule an appointment with yourself as the CEO of your life to make a plan to assess your activities to see if they are balanced to your satisfaction.
2. Map your priorities: List what is a priority to you in key areas of your life. From your health, career and relationships to relaxation, fun and personal growth, put your priorities on your calendar first. Having your priorities and desires clearly mapped out in this way greatly assists you to stay balanced and move in the direction you really want.
3. Keep agreements with yourself: This is essential. It is key to giving you a rock-solid foundation from which to create the balanced life you desire. If you keep 50 percent of your agreements, you will get 50 percent results.
4. Mind your body: Listen to your body when making decisions. If your body says “no” to a busy project, listen. When your body lines up with your perfect life plan, it becomes a reliable barometer that can remind you to make choices in every moment that will give you energy and the balanced life you seek.
5. Take command of your devices: Stay connected to your body while using smart tools. Keep your head up and don’t lean in to your devices. Have them adjust to you, instead of you adjusting to them. Poor posture—like when you stare down at your phone for hours straight—can cause neck pain and cut off oxygen to your brain. You then spend more time healing ailments than doing what you truly desire to do.
6. Remember to stretch: Take hourly stretch breaks. Stretch your neck up and down and sideways, especially when you are using smart tools. Get up and shake out any tension or stiffness to create more body-mind balance.
7. Test your balance: Take a body-mind balance assessment test. (This Whole Body Intelligence Assessment is one option: http://dilogr.com/app1/s/3ee555015191992.) You’ll receive specific written and audio tips and solutions based on your responses. And you’ll be on your way to achieving more body-mind balance in your life and work.
Steve Sisgold has appeared on major radio and TV networks and shows, including PBS, Oprah and Monte, and written blogs for Psychology Today. He holds an M.A. in marketing, a B.S. in business and a certification in body-centered psychotherapy. His book, What’s Your Body Telling You?, from McGraw-Hill, was No. 1 on Amazon.com in several categories, and his most recent book, Whole Body Intelligence, launched as the No. 1 Hot New Release on Amazon.