We’ve reached a point where we are losing touch with each other as well as ourselves. We put more emphasis on our phones, and less emphasis on face to face interactions. We don’t take the time out of our day to appreciate what’s going on around us.
Here are three ways to get back in touch with the real world.
1. Put the Phone Down
Okay, I get it. It’s the most obvious thing I could have told you. Try not touching your phone the entire time you’re hanging out with your friend. See: it’s harder than it sounds.
We have become so attached to our phones that we freak out when they’re not within our immediate reach. We’ve stopped paying attention to the people in front of us because we are so focused on our phones.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who, while you were telling them a story, didn’t look up from their phone once? It’s a bad feeling, isn’t it? It seems like their phone is more important than what you have to say.
Being on a college campus, I am surrounded by people who are glued to their phones. I cannot count how many times people have almost walked into me because they weren’t looking where they were walking. Or, I was walking behind someone who can’t text and walk for their life. I have long legs. I’m not waiting behind you. Get a move on.
Something else that’s pretty amazing when you put down your phone is how much you will begin to appreciate about the world around you. It’s autumn now, so if you’re in the North, the trees are starting to turn an amazing reddish-yellow color. It’s fantastic—just like the sunsets—but you won’t be able to notice it unless you start to look around you as you walk outside. Simply putting your phone down will allow you to see the world in general, and in a new light.
2. Go Out with Friends
I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of only texting people and not seeing them as much in person. Texting is great. Social media can be great. The main purpose of it all is to link you to the people in your life more easily. That’s just not what we use it for as often.
Even when we do hang out with friends, we usually just sit around someone’s room, either watching TV or on our phones together. That gets so boring. “There’s nothing to do,” is a common excuse. Take a walk outside, find new places and find something.
Being on your phone for an extended period of time just means that you’re bored. Instead of staying in every time you hang out with your friends, try going out for a walk in the park or even around town.
Treat yourself and go out to dinner with them. You don’t even have to go out to be in the moment. If you want to sit around with your friends for the night, go ahead! Just try to actually talk to them. Imagine how crazy it must’ve been way back when we didn’t have any technology at all. People actually got to know each other. People had to find things to do.
If you’re going to go out to dinner with your friends, here’s a challenge. Put everyone’s phones in the middle of the table, face down. The first person to touches their phone loses and has to pay the entire tip. You’d be surprised at how challenging this game can be for some people.
3. Do Something You Love
We all have something that makes us happy. Whether it’s exercising, taking pictures, doing makeup or listening to music. We all have something. Even if you think you don’t, you can always try out a little bit of everything and see what you like best.
For me, I have always loved photography. It’s a way for me to connect with the world going on around me. I love being able to capture a moment from my perspective and showing people a different way to see their world. It’s a form of expression through art. It really grounds me. We all need to find something that grounds us and is a reflection of ourselves.
We all need a moment to get out of our own heads and return to a normal state. Everyone gets stressed out, and we need something to snap us out of that. If you struggle to snap out of that, then try something as simple as controlling your breathing. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Do this three times and count out loud. *breathe* 1 *breathe* 2 … you get the point. It really does help.
Maybe what you love isn’t doing something that’s calming. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you love it, then do it. Unless it’s killing people. Please don’t do that.
We all need to take a moment and step back from where we are currently. We all need to look at the world around us and notice small things that we love about it. We can all find something.
If you have any more ideas about what to do to be more in the moment, please share them in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!