Technology – good or bad?

Did you know that putting your wet phone in a ziplock bag with uncooked rice actually works to dry it out?  You see, I have used this hack once before and on the weekend had to use it again, thanks to an upside down waterbottle in my bag….gggrrr!!  It’s all good now, as far as I’m aware, every feature on my phone is now functioning again, however, I’m not going to lie, there were a few nervous moments at the thought my phone may not work ever again!

Apps, photos, phone numbers, videos of my children completing random activities – all pieces that I didn’t have backed up anywhere else – could have been gone for good!!  I have backed them up now, you’ll be glad to know!  I can laugh about it now and feel super relieved, but it got me to thinking how reliant I’ve become on this said device – and I’m a digital immigrant!!  It did make me spare a thought for the digital natives, ie. those who have never known a life without technology, esp smartphones!!

For all it’s negatives, technology brings us lots of positives everyday.  I thought I’d take this opportunity to recommend a few apps that I personally use frequently (and would have missed dearly had my phone not recovered!):

SmilingMind – is a modern mediation app – comes from a Not For Profit organisation (of the same name) and helps people integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives.  There are programs for children 7 years and up.  Seeing the picture is the perfect reminder for me to practise meditation – with busy lives, we all need reminders!

MyFitnessPal – this one helps me be more conscious of what I’m eating and the nutrients that make up different foods.  There is also an exercise component and it keeps me honest (most of the time!)  You can even add friends to this one if you are looking for that added accountability!)

My Asics – as a runner, I like to use this app to guide my running plan – I put in the event that I’d like to train for and some other basic info and it comes up with the plan – the challenge is actually getting all the runs done!

The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet – I used this app religiously when I first started learning about the low FODMAP arrangement.  It contains very detailed information about ingredients and recommendations for anyone following this way of eating.

So anyways, I think technology sometimes gets a bad rap.  I don’t believe it is neither good or bad – it is how we use it that determines its usefulness – it’s up to us!

I’d like to think I use it to my advantage, do you?

Do you rely on YOUR smartphone as much as I clearly do??

What technology would you miss if you had to go without?

Featured Image – Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/photos/apple/”>VisualHunt</a&gt;

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I will not use my mobile phone whilst driving.

I’ve made a decision this week to never use my mobile phone while driving.

Yes, I confess, I’ve done it before – and if you asked my children I was ‘arrested’ – for the record, I wasn’t, but I may have received a sizeable fine and a little bit of a damaged ego – but that’s a story for another day!

You see, the reason for my decision and declaration as above is that I’ve been doing a great online (and free might, I add) course about Mindfulness and Peak Performance.  To tell the truth, whilst I’m a little behind, I’m actually loving it.  One of the notions we have been learning about the attentional blink and that effective multi tasking isn’t really even a thing, nor is it a way to be more productive.

In fact, complex multi-tasking sees increased errors, missed information and increased stress levels, which all, in turn activate the part of the brain which sets off the stress response. Like, walking and talking is an act of simple multitasking, but driving a car and using your mobile phone is an example of complex multi-tasking.

You know, multi-tasking is actually a ‘misnomer’ – it is not possible for our brains to process two tasks/activities at the same time- so while we think we are doing two things effectively at one time – WE’RE NOT – sorry ladies!

When our focus is on one task, not only is it not on the other task, there is also time lost on the time it takes to switch between tasks.

This time is called the attentional blink – so when previously I was talking on my phone and driving my car – neither was getting my focused attention – so I’m here telling you, I’m making the change – and if you ever catch me – feel free to call me out!

Another point to note is that the more stressed we are, the longer this ‘blink’ is – it makes me wonder about those people who work with two computer screens – I would absolutely question if they believe this makes them more productive??  And if they do think they are more productive, are they really?

Efficient attention switching on the other hand is a learned skill and one that I see is necessary in our modern world.  It sees intense focus on one task at a time, which decreases stress and increases productivity. Easier said than done, I know, but with practice, definitely an incredibly valuable skill to have in your repetoire`.

One way to learn this is through practicing mindfulness frequently, so when you actually need the skill, your mind knows what to do.  They used a good example in the course about learning to swim – you don’t wait until you are the man overboard before you learn how to swim – you diligently went to the lessons and learned the skill as a preventative measure – mindfulness practice, therefore, is a preventative measure for good physical and emotional health.

So…. what simple actions can you do today that will help you be more mindful?

  • Try catching yourself out and becoming more aware of your thoughts.
  • Do one task at a time – I’ve got to say this is harder than it sounds.  Keep practicing bringing your attention back to the task at hand.
  • Practice self-compassion when you catch your mind wandering off – just be gentle to yourself as you bring your attention back.

Remember becoming more mindful is a process to be practiced and that small daily actions are what become helpful habits.

I love sharing this information, the more I know about it, the more I believe mindfulness has such a place in this modern world we live in!

So, I’ve committed to not using my phone while I’m driving, and I’m working on some other simple, more mindful actions, what will you commit to?

 

Featured Image:

Image ID : 9113681
Image Type : Stock Vector
Copyright : John Takai

 

Just do something

This week, I started explaining to someone about the vision I have for Wellness Assist.  I must admit, when I said it out loud, even I was impressed!  But it is one thing to say you are going to do something and then its a whole different thing to wake up each day and take action!!

In simple terms, taking action is just about starting from where you are!  Consistent action brings results!  The motto for Wellness Assist is ‘Sustainable.  Balanced.  Achieveable.’ Does that sound like I’m suggesting you to give up EVERY kind of chocolate biscuit you enjoy?  Or commit to an exercise class EVERY night?  Or that I really believe that you can get 10 hours sleep EVERY night?  In case there is any confusion, I would not ask you to do any of those things.  I wouldn’t expect that you would consistently do any of those things because for one, they certainly aren’t sustainable, balanced or achievable in the long term.

I would, however, believe that you would be capable of getting a distant car park when you go to the shops to do some incidental exercise, or consciously examining how many teaspoons of sugar you are eating each day or even that you might dedicate five minutes to a daily deep breathing and/or meditation exercise.  Could you do those things?  You are more than capable of achieving those things and I may have bought them to the table to give you some ideas.  In light of those facts, do you think  I would be surprised if you didn’t make them into your own habits???  Do you know, I wouldn’t?!  I wouldn’t be surprised, because they are MY suggestions and not YOUR intentions that YOU are emotionally connected to. Bam!!

‘ Just do something’ will only work if you are emotionally connected to the ‘something’.  When I say emotionally connected, I’m referring to how good you would feel if you actually added those actions to your repertoire. Or if it suits you better, how you will feel, say, come the end of the year, those intentions are still that, intentions and not actions?!

Start from where you are, be consistent and take action on the things you know will get you closer to your intentions!

Have a great week!