Day 6. Master the art of doing nothing

There's no time like the present.
Slow Your Scroll Challenge

DAY 6 OF 10

Master the art of doing nothing

Can you remember the last time you spent 5 minutes alone with your thoughts? Unless you practice meditation, it's probably been a while. Doing nothing can feel pretty uncomfortable, after all. And scrolling is a delicious escape.

But what if we told you that this desire to be distracted is ultimately robbing you of a deeper, and more fulfilling life?

Mindfulness may be the answer to mindless scrolling

Mindfulness is the practice of shifting your attention to the present moment, over and over again. There are countless techniques and methods to help you do this, but all the styles of mindfulness share a common goal: to help you feel more in control of the pace, content, and impact of your thoughts on your well-being.

Research has found that this core principle of mindfulness, called "present moment of awareness," enhances our ability to cope with stress. Some other benefits of mindfulness include:

  • increased self-compassion
  • less emotional reactivity
  • a better ability to control your behavior
  • decreased rumination

How mindfulness can help you scroll less

One of the core skills you can gain through meditating and mindfulness is better control over how you react to thoughts and emotions. This enhanced ability to manage your behaviors and habits can be applied to how much time you spend on social media.

For example, if you have a hard time not looking at social media throughout the workday, mindfulness can help you train your focus. By being mindful of each given moment, you can start to notice when your brain wants to pick up your phone. And instead of immediately giving in like usual, you can take a small pause and choose not to engage.

We won't pretend this is easy. The instant gratification of scrolling is a lot more enticing than investing in the longer-term payoff promised by mindfulness. But research shows that spending too much time engaging with "pleasure-only" activities, like social media, can ultimately have negative effects on your psychological health.

Today's challenge: Check in with your surroundings

Next time you're waiting in line somewhere, resist the urge to reach for your phone. Instead, use the simple practice below to reconnect with your surroundings.

Take a few moments to name the following:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can feel
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

Until tomorrow,
The Healthline Team

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