Maintaining Mental Health in the Time of Social Media Distractions

The more I think about the time we are living the crazier İt feels. I am a bridge who connects the generation of black and white televisions with several channels ( I clearly remember one my greatgrandmother had)  and at the same time I am the one who is holding iphone with the applications which allow  me showing my mom the place which is thousands of kilometers away from her.  We are living in the age of immense possibilities where the technologies dominate our life more and more. Such an advance of technology  has provoked the ability to multifunction,  when at the same time we can answer the phone,  check an email,  listen to the music and probably trying to do some other things. Lots of us would claim that being multifunctional is great and it allows to finish lots of work. To the surprise of those defenders, the results of scientists show that dealing with many tasks at the same time create much stress and the results of the work can have a lower quality. (Remember how it feels using a phone while driving)  Daily our brain performs endless functions, generates thousands of thoughts and process information which is pouring from all the corners.  Can you imagine what can happen to our mental health if we continue exploiting our brain like that? As we train our body there is a practice for training our brain, which is gaining popularity more and more and is called Mindfulness. So let’s decipher this term together. Mindfulness is the quality of awareness that comes from paying attention to yourself, others and the world around you in a certain way. Jon Kabat-Zinn speaks of it as the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally.  Lovingkindness, savouring, gratitude, self-appreciation are four pillars of mindfulness. The pillars which can enrich your life, help slow down in the hectic rhythm of big cities, develop gratefulness and self-appreciation and hopefully find the balance.

So why did I need it and what benefit it brought me one year ago? A year ago I was like an hamster in the wheel – many hours at work, always in a  hurry, losing my things, having one thousand and one thought running through my head, attacks of anxiety, annoyance  were a part of me and  made my life difficult to enjoy. So luckily, I came across the course of mindfulness which I started to incorporate into my daily life and could see the changes almost immediately. The important thing that it is not only a practice for adults but also some help for children. The experiments showed that after several weeks of mindfulness   the classes with the behavioral problems experienced improvements in their way of behaving and as the result the academic success was getting higher.

So let’s  see an example the way mindfulness works  in a real life:  1. So  I am writing this article and while I am typing it my mind can busy with several more thoughts like what is going on instagram and facebook because I might be missing something important. The thing of multifunnctionality and this is what mindfulness disagrees with. So I am teaching myself staying focused on one thing at one time, paying attention which will help to work more efficiently and achieve better results. 2. While writing this I might deal with self criticism that I am bad at writing and why am I am writing it and this when the concept  of self appreciation must be applied like – I might make mistakes while writing  but this is the way I am learning. 3 At the same point gratefulness might be applied- I am grateful for having opportunities sitting in my comfortable room feeling healthy writing and sharing my writing with people.  4. When my focus gets switched and my thoughts wander around there a mindful breathing exercise which can help to gain your focus back. In a nutshell mindfulness is the way of learning being in the moment, enjoying it, savoring and being grateful for it.  This is the practice which won’t be built overnight, it will take some time and efforts in order to incorporate mindfulness in your daily life but the reward,   less stressful more peaceful life, is worth it.

Some interesting materials can be found here.

Mındfulschools

(The documentary which shows the way mindfulness was incorporated in one of the school where behavioral problems prevailed and the way the students could help themselves and improve their academic success and relationships between each other.)

Futurelearn  offers two free online courses with detailed  guidance on mindfulness.

Some interesting Ted talks:

The book I used:

Mindfulness in Eight Weeks

Mındfulness Works (if you dont have a chance buying a book, recordings for practicing meditation can be found here.)

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