How long could you go without checking your phone, inbox, or Instagram likes?
The Interdependence Project founder Ethan Nichtern, author of the upcoming The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path, is challenging you to unplug from all of it for a full ten minutes each day this month—as part of Athleta’s Healthiest Year Ever—and giving it a shot might just make you a happier, nicer person.
“Becoming mindful of our present moment experience allows us to truly connect with the world around us, creating space and time for wise decision-making and generating compassion for the struggles everyone experiences,” Nichtern says.
Sounds promising, right? Check out these three ways following Nichtern’s simple tech detox can help you get healthier and more grounded, especially as holiday season approaches.
1. You’ll be more relaxed. “Slowing down and being present allows you to feel good,” Nichtern says. “When you are in the moment, you get to relax and not worry about the past or the future for the moment.” (Ahh.) In other words, you’ll actually be able to taste your vegan brownie or enjoy that conversation with your best friend. The photo you were just tagged in on Facebook will still be there later.
2. You’ll do each thing well, not lots of things poorly. Multitasking is sometimes necessary, but too much of it can lead to things falling through the cracks. “You can only really be mindful of one thing at a time,” Nichtern explains. “When your attention is scattered, you’re really just jumping around a lot.” That means your boss won’t be nearly as impressed with the work you turn in, even if it is stacked sky high.
3. You’ll be tuned in to what’s really important. “Turning off your device reminds you of the things that are important,” he says. “These are usually people. When you’re on your device, you’re doing a lot of things, but your mind forgets why you’re doing them. When you’re not, the why becomes the most important thing.” Read: This Thanksgiving, spend dinner talking with the people you love instead of wondering which filter to use on the turkey. —Jamie McKillop