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  • Writer's pictureMaiju Vohlonen

"Learn digi-mindfulness skills – say what?"

Updated: Mar 1

Digi-mindfulness is a term launched internationally, but which is hardly found on Finnish Google searches yet– still we may instinctively sense that there is something behind it, which humanity is in great need of at this moment. The truth is that many of us feel powerless in relation to the use of our smart devices - the even bigger "hippo in the living room" is our inability to regulate the device time of our children, but we will not go into this topic more deeply in this article. The change must first come from us adults, because how could we guide the offspring in a matter that we don't even understand ourselves yet. So why should you be interested in the time spent with smart devices at all?

This topic is already more familiar to most of us already through our own experience - we know that heavy use of smart devices has a detrimental effect on our sleep, increases anxiety and depression, increases the feeling of loneliness, erodes our ability to concentrate and, above all, prevents us from spending the precious hours of our lives on things that really matter; changing the world, increasing our well-being and on things which we really want to invest in. In addition to the fact that digital environments simply do not support the well-being of the human's mind or nervous system in large amounts, we easily miss out on living our lives when we can unwillingly spend hours a day on the smart phone and working with content that leaves us feeling empty and agitated. But what can we do about it?

In our previous blog, we already discussed how it is not our fault that we have become on some level addicted and behave against our own will by reaching again and again to our phone, even if we decided to focus on something else - we have been deliberately hooked to our smart devices. However, it is our responsibility to unhook ourselves from these devices and prevent them from luring us back into unconscious autopilot.

The first step in the digi-mindfulness process is withdrawal from devices, i.e. do a digital fast or digi-detox. After that the process will guide us to find a deep motivation for permanent change - to understand profoundly the price we pay for the unconscious use of smart devices and the benefits, which we can achieve with change we are seeking. Here we also make an inventory about the forces behind our own use of smart devices - to identify e.g. what kind of content or apps are the most problematic for us and takes up the most of our time, in what situations does this happen, what kind of emotional state are we in at that time, what need is behind these feelings and how could this need be filled in other ways. This is done through raising self-awareness. Lastly we make a practical plan for our future digital use on our post-retreat everyday life as our new digi-mindfulness program. In it we define e.g. the contents from which we want to refrain completely, we create healthy boundaries for those contents that we consider to be in line with our goals, we consider how to prevent interruptions and unwanted distractions from smart devices in our everyday activities and create a "safety plan" for how we will ensure that we stay on track with our plana and climb back on the horse again after falling (falling is a part of real life).

Taking back control over the use of smart devices, our ability to concentrate and a conscious life is not simple or easy in this noisy world of attention economy. If you want to have a digital detox and reflect on your personal digital behaviour in a supported and safe environment, read more about our silent retreats in summer 2024!

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