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How to Manage Your Digital Environment – 6 Practical Ideas from Pete Dunlap

The concept of mindful technology is edging its way into the mainstream as more and more people want to break free of unhealthy digital habits.

Pete Dunlap, Founder of Digital Detangler, is poised to help with this uniquely modern problem. He empowers individuals, schools, and businesses to transform their digital environments for greater well-being.

Robert Plotkin recently interviewed Pete on the Technology for Mindfulness podcast to learn how he became the Digital Detangler and what individuals can do to take control of their own technology use. Continue reading How to Manage Your Digital Environment – 6 Practical Ideas from Pete Dunlap

How to Take Back Your Health Without Putting Your Smartphone Down

Our smartphone helps us stay connected with those we love and can keep us safe.

It helps us navigate uncharted roads, light dark rooms, manage our to-do list, and keep up with world events.

It entertains us and gives us the ability to find an answer to virtually any question at a moment’s notice.

And the power of the handheld devices in our pockets grows by the day.

But while the benefits of 21st Century technology, especially smartphones, is undeniable, the conversation about our smartphone habits and their effect on our mental and physical health is becoming louder.

How to Take Back Your Health Without Putting Your Smartphone Down

Are smartphones good or bad for you?

So, what’s the verdict? Exactly what are smartphones doing to us? Are they bad? Good for us?

Researchers are still learning all the potential effects associated with regular smartphone use. However, most aren’t out of the ordinary of side effects connected to overuse in really anything else.

A meta-analysis published in the Global Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies found that studies have reported a range of potential health-related issues in connection with smartphone use such as:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Wrist pain
  • Arthritis
  • Increased stress and reduced happiness
  • And issues relating to a lack of social connection

Arthritis and wrist pain are common problems among those who type for long periods of time each day and isn’t restricted to smartphone use. Plus, simple hand and finger exercises started now and continued regularly can do wonders to help stave off the effects of both.

Sleeplessness is connected mostly to the blue light which smartphones give off. All you need to do is turn your phone off at least one hour before bed (though two is better) and you’re good.

But what about those last ones: issues relating to a lack of social connection and increased stress and reduced happiness? Those are more nebulous and it’s where the real mental health issues lie.

Persuasion vs. coercion

Smartphones and their associated software (and all of the Internet, really) are designed to profit from your attention. The more eyeballs that are on their assets, the better business is for them.

That means they’ve gone to great lengths to attract you and keep you coming back for more (especially social media).

But that means your attention is being, well, manipulated in a way.

How to Take Back Your Health Without Putting Your Smartphone DownBut is that really so bad? As Nir Eyal, author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, pointed out recently on the TFM podcast, there are two kinds of psychological manipulation:

  • Persuasion: Getting someone to do something they want to do. (Positive)
  • Coercion: Getting someone to do something they don’t want to do. (Negative, unethical)

Coercion is clearly unethical. But persuasion can be as harmless as a product being designed in a way that is pleasing to the eye when you see it on the shelf in a store. In other words, it’s something we’re used to and is in most cases acceptable.

Smartphone software has been criticized for their use of these kinds of manipulation techniques, as BrainCraft recently explored:

However, these “tricks” are used in everything from supermarkets to department stores, street signs, and movie posters. This kind of persuasion is a part of all of our lives that we accept as being useful and even, in some cases, necessary.

Getting mindful about your smartphone use

So then, what’s the problem? The problem is smartphones, and the digital world in general, take these persuasion tricks and turn them up several notches in an effort to monopolize our attention.

Without enough self-control and intentional choices regarding their use, things like Facebook and Instagram will begin to swallow up huge portions of your time.

And that’s where smartphones can become harmful.

Studies have found that mindlessly flipping through social media can increase our anxiety, diminish our self-esteem, and ironically lead to feelings of social isolation.

In addition, they lead to multi-tasking, often doing one thing while we’re mindlessly flipping at the same time. And this can kind of split attention can affect our happiness, as one Harvard study found.

These are real health challenges that can’t be overlooked.

However, it’s exactly what we just mentioned that is needed to keep this from happening: more self-control and intentional choices about how we use our devices.

With those in place, you can enjoy your smartphone without being ruled by it.

How to take back your health without putting your phone down

Clearly, smartphones and the software connected to them aren’t entirely bad.

I have many apps on my phone I owe a great deal of convenience, comfort, and pleasure to– and you probably feel the same.

But the way many of us use our smartphones isn’t entirely healthy, and a growing dependence upon our devices can only make that worse. That is unless we do something about it.

Here are tips for taking back your health without putting your phone down:

Cultivate better self-awareness

Though a simple principle, self-awareness is at the heart of taking back your health– and attention– in terms of your smartphone use.

Without becoming, and staying aware of how you’re using your phone you can’t ever hope to manage that use in a healthy way.

How to Take Back Your Health Without Putting Your Smartphone Down
First, use an app like Moment to get an idea of how (and how much) you’re using your smartphone. This alone will give you all kinds of useful information.

Once you’ve done that, begin to pay attention to how you’re using your phone. Notice how you jump each time a notification chime goes off and how you lose yourself in your feed for thirty minutes before realizing what you’re doing.

A simple smartphone mindfulness practice will help you begin to notice your basic patterns of behavior and that awareness is a powerful motivator to change.

Even if you don’t do anything else, just becoming aware of your behaviors in connection with your device is incredibly useful.

How to Take Back Your Health Without Putting Your Smartphone Down

Do an app inventory and identify your ‘guilty pleasures’

Now that you’ve started to become aware of your smartphone habits, it’s time to do a little reorganizing.

First, do a clean sweep of your phone by deleting any apps you just don’t need or can live without. Really try to cut it down to the essential apps you actually use regularly or believe you get some sort of value from.

Next, identify your ‘guilty pleasure’ apps such as Facebook, Snapchat, or your favorite game. How much time are you spending on it? What are you doing while you’re on the app? How do you feel afterward?

Do you really need the app? What would happen if you deleted it? If you can’t bring yourself to do that (or at least cut your use down), consider making the app(s) more difficult to access.

One way to do that is to remove the app from your phone screen. That way, you need to use your home screen to search for the app or pull up your full app list and scroll to find and open it.

This little bit of resistance to opening the app will often be all you need to manage your use effectively.

Manage how your phone interacts with you

Now that you’ve done a good cleaning of your phone, identified the real problem apps, and made them more difficult to get to, it’s time to look at managing how your phone interacts with you.

The most obvious example of this is with your notifications. Turn off all non-people-centric notifications to start and consider turning all notifications off for many or all apps (for some, this isn’t a choice, so do what you can).

How to Take Back Your Health Without Putting Your Smartphone Down

Next, go grayscale. Grayscale is a color palette swap that makes the phone turn black-and-white. This is useful because it removes the color triggers we’ve been conditioned to respond to for our favorite apps.

Every phone is different, but to access it on an iPhone go to:

  • Settings ->
  • General ->
  • Accessibility ->
  • Accessibility Shortcut ->
  • Color filters

By setting it up this way, you can triple tap the home button to turn grayscale back on whenever you need it (such as when you’re on an app).

And lastly, try to keep your home screen to tools or lesser-used apps only.

All those guilty pleasure apps you should either set to a second page or, preferably, delete from your home screen so you need to search them out as mentioned earlier.

Either way, cut your home screen down to those apps which serve a specific use. That will help you condition yourself to see that your phone is a tool more than a device used for enjoyment.

Take back control

Smartphones aren’t bad, but the software used within them is often designed to monopolize our attention.

And that, under the right circumstances, can be unhealthy.

However, that amazing little device is and has always been in your hands. You ultimately control how you use it.

There are tools and techniques you can use to manage your use. Use them to keep your attention centered where you want it to go while taking advantage of all those apps you can’t live without.

4 Ways Technology Can Improve Your Relationships – A Conversation with Marla Mattenson

When you read the latest headlines, you’d think technology is the worst thing to happen to couples since… well, ever. After all, it takes our attention away from our partners, right?

Not so fast. It’s not all bad news. Marla Mattenson has a different perspective, and it’s quite empowering.

Technology and Relationships: Better Together?


Marla is an accomplished relationship & intimacy expert who specializes in coaching entrepreneurs.

With her background in neuroscience, she uses pattern recognition to reveal the negative habitual responses couples experience and how to change them.

technology and relationships
In her work with busy, tech-dependent professionals (and through personal experience), she began to see how technology, when used intentionally, can be a powerful tool to resolve conflict, build intimacy, and add a playful element to relationships.

Marla’s exciting insights about technology and relationships were the focus of her conversation with Robert Plotkin on the Technology for Mindfulness podcast.

Here are four practical tips from Marla on how to transform both your relationship and your business by using technology mindfully.

Four Ways to Improve Your Relationship Using Technology 

1. Send supportive messages throughout the day (but at the right time)


The hustle of building a business often means long days at the office and frequent travel.

Technology is the perfect way to stay in touch. But for most of us, our daily messages are more practical than loving.

“What time are you getting home?” and “Did you thaw the chicken?” aren’t what Marla has in mind.

Instead, she recommends adding some playfulness and support to let your partner know you’re thinking of them.

  • Tell them they’re gonna rock that big meeting with investors
  • Send a funny meme if they’re low on energy and need a laugh
  • Record a ten-second video message to tell your partner how awesome they are and that you miss them
  • Or simply send a sweet emoji


Marla adds one crucial caveat: send your messages at the right time. Share your calendars so you can see when your partner has downtime. After all, sending a high-five emoji for their big investor meeting isn’t as helpful when their phone pings right in the middle of it!

Knowing each other’s calendars helps you stay in sync with their daily challenges and offer thoughtful support at just the right time.

2. Keep track of meaningful conversations – and act on them!


Another way to stay in tune with your partner is to take note of important things they say.

Whether it takes place within an everyday chat or a deep, soul-searching conversation, they’re sharing their interests, hopes, and dreams. It might be:

  • People they miss and want to see
  • Places they want to go
  • Items they would love
  • Experiences they want to have
Marla suggests keeping track of these on your smartphone as they happen.

Your partner may already be on to their next project, wishing they could make time, but you can set things in motion… and surprise them!

For example, perhaps you’re driving by a restaurant, and they mention how much they’d like to expand their horizons when it comes to food.

You could hop on Yelp right then and make a reservation for somewhere you’ve never gone.

Feeling heard is tremendously powerful in a relationship. Technology can help you remember these little details, so you can show them you’re always listening.

3. Use technology to diffuse emotionally charged moments


Despite your best efforts, you won’t always be in sync with your partner.

When conflicts happen, typical relationship advice is to stay away from technology. After all, your partner might misunderstand.

A famous study by UCLA researcher Albert Mehrabian showed that we overwhelmingly react to others not by the actual words spoken, but by their body language and tone of voice.

This might seem like a valid reason not to use technology when you have a conflict. But Marla takes a different approach.

She and her partner Julian decided in advance that during an argument, they can only send connecting, positive messages. Nothing mean or insulting that they’ll regret later – or that will add fuel to the fire.

There are two benefits to this:

  1. Staying connected – You’re not completely blocking communication. For many couples, closing off contact altogether triggers feelings of abandonment, making them feel worse.
  2. Committing to kindness and love – Even though you may not like the person at that moment, you’re remembering that you do love them, and you’ll get through this difficulty.
Marla also added an insightful tip: When you’re angry and not ready to talk, just send an emoji. Something as simple as a heart will show your partner that you love them, but you need space.

By intentionally choosing how you’ll use technology during a conflict, you can avoid saying (or texting) hurtful words in the heat of the moment.

4. Bonus for brave couples – reflect negative statements back to your partner


Speaking of hurtful words, Marla also shared a practice couples may want to use if something negative slips out, whether or not you’re in the midst of an argument.

She cautioned that it requires a lot of trust and vulnerability, but the rewards can be significant.

If you say something that impacts your partner in a negative way, give them permission to text it back to you. This is a form of reflection.

However, by using technology, it’s especially powerful because the words are devoid of all body language and tone of voice.

When you read it, you can perceive how harsh or unpleasant it was for your partner to hear.

Naturally, this requires a bit of bravery. Your partner must avoid “taking the bait” and responding negatively. You need to be open to seeing an ugly part of yourself. And vice versa.

To see if you’re ready, have a loving conversation about how you can both dedicate yourselves to the truth, no matter how difficult, rather than feeling comfortable. For many entrepreneur couples, personal growth is a common goal. Practices like these bring you closer to your partner and help you both grow into your best selves.

Use technology to improve your relationship


When you’re intentional about both, technology and relationships don’t have to be competing priorities.

Ready to put these tips into practice? Marla welcomes questions and comments!

Thriving as an Entrepreneur in the Digital Age – 5 Lessons from Dr. Sherry Walling

Dr. Sherry Walling offers a unique perspective on entrepreneur burnout.

As both an accomplished clinical psychologist and the spouse of a serial tech entrepreneur, she’s combined insights from both roles and developed a much-needed resource called ZenFounder.

On a recent Technology for Mindfulness podcast, our founder Robert Plotkin interviewed Dr. Walling to learn more about her work.

They chatted about entrepreneur stress, how it’s made worse by the frenetic pace of technology, and her recommendations for founders (and their partners).
Continue reading Thriving as an Entrepreneur in the Digital Age – 5 Lessons from Dr. Sherry Walling

25 Mindfulness Quotes to Help You Hit the Pause Button

In our modern society, technology is often an obstacle to mindfulness. It’s so easy to reach for your smartphone when the pangs of loneliness, fear, or boredom appear.

After all, it offers instant relief. And we’re only human.

If you want to break this reflex and empower yourself when it comes to technology, you’re in the right place. In today’s blog, we begin with inspiration.

We’ve gathered 25 mindfulness quotes to help you remember why it’s so important to accept the present, embrace your feelings, and welcome the gifts that mindfulness offers us.

25 Mindfulness Quotes

Use these mindfulness quotes for encouragement or motivation. Share them with friends and family.

Then explore the other resources on our website to gain control of technology– making it a tool for mindfulness rather than a barrier to your practice.

Accepting (Even Loving) the Present

These mindfulness quotes focus on the inherent value and beauty of the present moment. It’s difficult to be attentive every second of every day, but what might you miss if your focus is always drawn to your phone?

These quotes remind us to be awake and grateful for every moment we have.

    • “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts.” -Pema Chödrön
    • “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
    • “Now is the future that you promised yourself last year, last month, last week. Now is the only moment you’ll ever really have. Mindfulness is about waking up to this.” – Mark Williams
    • “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” – Henry Miller
    • “In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.” – Eckhart Tolle
    • “In this moment, there is infinite possibility.” – Victoria Moran
    • “We have only now, only this single eternal moment opening and unfolding before us, day and night.” – Jack Kornfield
    • “Without giving up hope—that there’s somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be—we will never relax with where we are or who we are.” – Pema Chödrön
    • “The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Embracing our Feelings

When we reach for technology, we’re often avoiding uncomfortable feelings. Practicing mindfulness allows for a space to develop between the feeling that arises and the act of avoidance.

These quotes talk about how mindfulness clarifies what we really need. They also remind us that all feelings will pass.

    • “By learning to allow different types of discomfort to simply stay in the room with you, without your scrambling for a button to push (real or metaphorical), you make discomfort matter less. The pool of things you’re afraid of shrinks. It becomes a lot less important to control circumstances because you know you can handle moments of uncertainty or awkwardness or disappointment without an escape plan.” – David Cain
    • “We use mindfulness to observe the way we cling to pleasant experiences and push away unpleasant ones.” – Sharon Salzberg
    • “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz
    • “Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” – Sylvia Boorstein
    • “Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” – Jack Kornfield
    • “We might begin by scanning our body . . . and then asking, “What is happening?” We might also ask, “What wants my attention right now?” or, “What is asking for acceptance?” – Tara Brach
    • “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
    • “We spend a lot of time judging ourselves for feelings that we had no role in summoning. The only thing you can control is how you handle it.” – Dan Harris

The Gifts of Mindfulness

With concerted effort, mindfulness can help you reduce stress, improve memory, increase focus, and minimize emotional reactivity. In essence, it can improve your quality of life.

These quotes are about the amazing gifts of peace and clarity that mindfulness offers us.

    • “Today, you can decide to walk in freedom. You can choose to walk differently. You can walk as a free person, enjoying every step.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
    • “Stepping out of the busyness, stopping our endless pursuit of getting somewhere else, is perhaps the most beautiful offering we can make to our spirit.” – Tara Brach
    • “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung
    • “When we stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, we’re open to rich sources of information that we’ve been missing out on – information that can keep us out of the downward spiral and poised for a richer life.” – Mark Williams
    • “The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
    • “Above all, we cannot afford not to live in the present. He is blessed over all mortals who loses no moment of the passing life in remembering the past.” – Henry David Thoreau
    • “A crowded mind leaves no space for a peaceful heart.” – Christine Evangelou
We hope these mindfulness quotes have given you some inspiration! Which of these quotes resonated with you? Did a favorite quote not make the list? Let us know in the comments.

How to Manage Your Technology Notifications for a Mindful Workday

You might think mindfulness at work is impossible these days. With constant connectivity comes constant interruptions, right?

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Many of us never stop to consider that we can control our notifications, settings, and reminders.

Sure, you might change a few things when you get a new phone or download an app. But when was the last time you thought critically about whether they’re really working for you?

In this post, we’ll talk about how you can create a work environment that’s conducive to mindfulness. That includes easy tips, smart tools, and helpful resources to move you from frazzled to calm.

Your coworkers will be asking for your secret, so be sure to share!
Continue reading How to Manage Your Technology Notifications for a Mindful Workday

5 Mindfulness Practices for Stressed-Out Teachers

As a teacher, there’s a lot that’s out of your control.

Testing requirements. New standards. Budget cuts. Bigger class sizes. Demanding parents.

It’s no wonder teacher stress levels are among the highest of any occupation.

According to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nearly half of the educators surveyed have high daily stress which compromises their health, sleep, quality of life, and teaching performance:

Mindfulness tips for teachers 
A recent report by Gallup mirrors these results.

In an extensive survey, State of America’s Schools: The Path to Winning Again in Education, nearly 70 percent of teachers report not feeling engaged in their work. Almost half experience job-related stress daily.

But you already knew teaching was a stressful job, didn’t you? The thing is, sometimes it feels like there’s nothing you can do about it. Though, that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

5 Mindfulness practices for teachers for stress-management

There’s a lot you can’t control, major changes to the education system being one of them. 

But there’s a lot you can control– like your response to daily stress in the classroom.

Here are five great mindfulness practices for teachers, all which you can do within a few short minutes a day.

1. Guided mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness Practices for Teachers Patricia Jennings, author of Mindfulness for Teachers suggests that: 

“A daily mindfulness practice can strengthen your awareness muscles so you can be more composed and fully present in your classroom.”
However, if you’re intimidated by traditional seated meditation, guided meditations are an excellent alternative. After all, the best meditation is the one you actually do.

The Mindful Teacher offers morning, mid-day, and evening guided meditations specifically designed for teachers. They’re each ten minutes long, so they can be easily incorporated into your daily schedule.

You might also want to check out a mindfulness app like Headspace. They offer a free beginner’s course and thousands of themed meditations. Plus, for those moments when that one student is driving you crazy, they have an SOS feature for a quick mindful break! Best of all, Headspace offers a special rate just for educators – $12.00 per year.

If Headspace isn’t a good fit, check out our list of the top ten mindfulness meditation apps.

2. Mindful walking

One of the best mindfulness practices for teachers is walking.

But we’re not talking about the kind of walk where your mind whirls with thoughts of parent-teacher conferences and next week’s curriculum.

Instead, mindful walking helps you focus your awareness on the present. It’s also useful because directing attention to walking, and even standing, is something you can do throughout the day.

That includes walking to and from the faculty room, between classrooms, and your car to and from the school. 

Mindful Schools offers a helpful set of instructions to get you started as well as a mindful walking guided audio. Here’s an excerpt to give you a sense of how it works.

8-Step mindful walking exercise:

  1. Choose a flat, open path of 10-20 paces.
  2. Stand still, taking a few moments to feel your body.
  3. Walk at a comfortable pace, perhaps slightly slower than normal. You want to feel the direct sensations of your feet and legs moving.
  4. Feel the changing sensations in your feet as you walk: heaviness, pressure, movement, temperature. With each step, feel the steady contact with the ground.
  5. When you notice your mind engaged in thoughts or stories, allow it to return to the sensations of walking.
  6. When you reach the end of your walking path, stop and stand still again. Take a few moments to feel the body standing in a neutral state of rest.
  7. When you’re ready to turn around, include the movements of turning in your awareness. Take another break to stand before beginning to walk in the other direction.
  8. Try this for a period of 10-15 minutes, increasing the time as you like.
An alternative method, offered by Mindful Teachers, is called the Rainbow Walk. You simply take a walk and look for something red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

Keep going through the colors, in order, until the end of your walk. This helps your mind focus on the present, taking a break from the usual internal chatter.

3. Breathing exercises

Next, let’s talk about conscious breathing.

If you already pause for a few deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed, you’re on the right track.

Deep abdominal breathing can slow your heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure. This natural physical response will give you a clearer head.

It also gives your brain the time it needs to make a better decision.

As education center Edutopia points out:

“When a student disrupts a class by expressing anger or frustration, our instinct is to act immediately before the situation gets worse. Instead, take one or two breaths, using the time to survey the situation and the environment. Those precious seconds could provide critical information.”
But practicing mindful breathing doesn’t have to be in the moment of stress. You’ll find that by practicing regularly, it becomes a more natural response in a difficult situation.

The best way to start is with belly breathing. It’s easy to do and very relaxing. You might want to do it at the beginning and end of your day to see how it feels.

6-Step breathing exercise:

  1. Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
  2. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
  4. Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
  5. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.

4. Body scan

Try pairing the belly breathing exercise with a body scan.

It’s common to carry stress in your body. It might be in the form of tense shoulders, clenched jaw, or upset stomach. However, most of us aren’t aware of it.

The body scan is a simple practice that helps you experience how each part of your body feels, without trying to change anything. You slowly move your attention from head to toe, noticing any sensations.

According to the Greater Good Science Center:

“The body scan practice may increase our general attunement to our physical needs and sensations, which can, in turn, help us take better care of our bodies and make healthier decisions about eating, sleep, and exercise.”
There are plenty of body scan guided meditations online.

Some are designed for a quick “check-in” like the three-minute meditation provided by UCLA’s Mindfulness Research Center. Others are much longer and focus on each body part for an extended time. These are excellent for listening at bedtime. You may find that you fall asleep before the end of the recording – and that’s okay!

Mindfulness practices for teachers - Insight Timer

Check out Insight Timer for hundreds of body scan meditations. You’re sure to find a voice and teacher that helps you unwind your body’s tension from a difficult school day.

5. Journaling

Journaling is another one of the best mindfulness practices for teachers because it can help you process emotions and learn from experiences.

You could write about your emotional responses to events that happened throughout the day. Or you might journal about a particular issue that’s been causing a lot of stress.

For example, Patricia Jennings, author of Mindfulness for Teachers, shared this journaling exercise:

6-Step journaling exercise:


  1. Think about a student you find challenging.
  2. Recall the last time she or he did something that made teaching difficult.
  3. What emotions does the memory elicit? Do you feel annoyed? Frustrated?
  4. How does your body feel? For example, are your shoulders tense? Is your stomach tight?
  5. Don’t try to stop the feelings or change them. Just sit with them.
  6. Listen to the thoughts that come from these feelings.
As you can see, journaling can uncover unconscious reactions, helping you notice patterns in your thinking that may or may not be serving you well.

If you find yourself staring at an empty page, try these 25 journal prompts for stress and anxiety.

And remember, if journaling is causing you stress, don’t do it! If it feels like more work, try one of the other four tips instead.

Mindfulness is a tool

These five are some of the best mindfulness practices for teachers. Use them to empower you to better manage stress and tackle the demands of the classroom.

It’s not a stretch to say that your personal wellbeing affects the future of our world.

Take care of yourself, so you can be a mindful role model to your students.

How One Toronto School Teacher is Teaching Mindfulness Through Music

For the past decade, mindfulness has arisen as a valuable tool for educators.

But mindfulness’ value in the classroom has only just begun to become clear.

Now, it’s inspiring others to find new and creative ways to teach mindfulness and other related qualities.

One such example is a Toronto instructor who is using music to help students learn about mindfulness, kindness, and teamwork in a fresh new way.

Musical improvisation teaches students about mindfulness and kindness

It might not be the first thing you think about when you imagine mindfulness in the classroom. But one Toronto instructor is using music to teach mindfulness– and to great results.

Clinton Ackerman, a graduate student working on his music and social work master’s degree, started a musical improvisation class at Saskatchewan’s Glen Elm school for his thesis one year ago, as first reported by Toronto publication The Province.

“We’re turn-taking, without conflict,” says Frei, a Glen Elm teacher who collaborated with Ackerman to offer the class to his students. “We’re patient; we’re mindful listeners, right? We can build off each other, which means you have to be mindful of what the person next to you is playing. It’s all intertwined into everything Clinton planned for us here.”

Ackerman’s project teaches students about soundscapes while also instilling skills and qualities such as mindfulness, teamwork, and decision-making.

How One Toronto School Teacher is Teaching Mindfulness Through Music
A student participates in a mindfulness exercise. BRANDON HARDER, THE PROVINCE

A class in sound and mindfulness

Ackerman’s twice-weekly class starts and ends with each student taking part in a short meditation session.

He says mindfulness, “has really been a great tool for us to just stop what we’re doing, get in the zone, prepare ourselves for what’s about to come.”

Next, they work on practicing to identify rhythm, pitch, and learning how to play together.

“But then because it’s co-operative and it’s creative, there’s a whole other wealth of skills that they’re working on as well,” says Ackerman. Those skills include conflict-resolution, decision-making, and patience.

“As teachers and instructors, we try to teach to our students’ interest,” said Frei on how the duo approaches what material students work on.

How One Toronto School Teacher is Teaching Mindfulness Through Music
Teacher Taylor Frei assists student during a music exercise. BRANDON HARDER, THE PROVINCE

Ackerman and Frei have students work to create soundscapes that match situations they can relate to, such as scenes from a video game and their favorite films.

“If we can create a connection, help them get in touch with that, and use that to help them regulate, to help them make positive decisions… it’s going to benefit them.”

Mindfulness through music

The class began small, but it continues to grow well past its original 5-week timeline.

One year later, the class is going strong thanks to a Saskatchewan Arts Board grant.

“What’s really cool is to kind of see their growth even from last year to this year. It’s night and day,” said Frei on seeing students develop through the project.

“It’s been a huge difference,” remarked Ackerman.

But this is only the beginning of what music and mindfulness may be able to contribute to another.

A meta-analysis of all known studies on mindfulness and music found several promising leads.

For one, music may be able to enhance our ability to enter a mindful state. That makes it a useful tool for practicing and developing mindfulness. And that’s something Ackerman’s project supports.

But that’s just the beginning. Music and mindfulness together have shown to be a promising pair in therapeutic practices for several conditions.

10 Mindfulness-Based Tools to Reduce Distractions and Improve Your Focus

It’s a daily struggle.

You sit down at your computer, ready to tackle your day. And then it happens.

A notification pops up – you’ve got three new emails. Before you can open them, there’s an instant message on the bottom of your screen.

Then you hear your phone ping and think, “Is that the sound of a calendar reminder or just a reply on my social media post? I’d better check before I start working…” And so it goes.

Sound familiar?

In today’s notification-obsessed world, it’s harder than ever to focus. Distractions like these can really add up.

Not only do you lose time reacting, but it also takes time to refocus. In fact, according to a study from the University of California Irvine, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a task after being interrupted.

Fortunately, technology doesn’t always have to be a distraction– it can also be a tool to help you focus.

10 Mindfulness-based tools to reduce distractions and improve your focus

We’ve gathered 10 of the best mindfulness-based tools that put the power back in your hands. Tools to reduce distractions and help you get your best work done.

These technologies will help you focus by blocking interruptions, removing distractions, getting you in the zone, and reminding you to take short breaks for better productivity. Ready to have a more mindful work day?

Let’s take a look!

Tools to reduce distractions

Our culture often feels the need to respond to everything the moment it arrives, but it’s really not necessary.

Tools like these allow you to pause the continuous stream of information for a period of time, so you can concentrate without interruption. You decide when to check emails, texts, and instant messages– not the person sending them to you.

Inbox Pause by Boomerang

Inbox Pause stops new email from coming into your Inbox until you’re ready. You can receive emails automatically on a schedule of your choice.


If you feel anxious about not checking emails immediately, you can set up an auto-responder to let people know when you check messages and how they can reach you in case of an emergency.

Inbox Pause is part of an email productivity tool called Boomerang, which is available through Google, Outlook, and iPhone. They have a free plan that includes the inbox pause feature.

Windows 10 Focus Assist or Do Not Disturb for Mac

Regardless of whether you use Windows or a Mac, you can pause notifications on your computer. Microsoft calls it Focus Assist in Windows 10 (known as Quiet Hours in earlier versions).

On your mac, it’s called Do Not Disturb. These tools work for desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. Take time to get familiar with the options, rather than letting the default setting disrupt your day.

Do Not Disturb for Android and iPhone

Just like the tools above, you can pause notifications on your phone, both Android and iPhone. Many of us are juggling multiple devices – you may have a laptop open, the phone next to you, and tablet across the room.

Make sure you check out all the do not disturb settings available. Otherwise, you might find yourself reacting to whatever technology is making a noise!

10 Mindfulness-Based Tools to Reduce Distractions and Improve Your Focus
Inbox Pause by Boomerang gives you amazing control over your email. You decide when emails arrive. Any exceptions are easy to set up.

 

Tools to avoid procrastination

We’ve all fallen into that black hole of social media. Whether you love reading about the latest Game of Thrones episode, watching cat videos, or commenting on politics, we’ve all been there.

Two of these tools let you limit access to certain websites or apps for periods of time. The third tool is geared toward writers who want a distraction-free interface to avoid any temptation to stray from their work.

Freedom

Freedom is a website and app blocker. This tool has some great customization features to make it work for you. You can block only certain sites, the entire internet, or everything except the sites you need.

Freedom also allows you to schedule your blocks in advance – you can even save frequently used blocks so you don’t have to set it up every time. Think you can be sneaky and check your phone to access a blocked site? Freedom can sync blocks across all of your devices.

They offer a seven-day free trial. After that, you can pay $6.99 per month, $29 per year or $129 for lifetime access.

FocusMe

FocusMe offers a similar service to Freedom. Like Freedom, you can block specified websites and apps using a scheduler or as needed.

However, it doesn’t sync across devices (yet). It works with Mac, Windows, and Android – iOS is coming soon.

FocusMe has some additional features like break reminders and a built-in Pomodoro timer.

This is a popular productivity technique that uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. FocusMe is a nice all-in-one tool if you’re trying to be more mindful and productive.

At the moment, their Android version is free. For Mac and Windows, it’s $6.99 per month, $30 per year, or $119.99 for lifetime access.

FocusWriter

FocusWriter is a simple, distraction-free writing environment. No icons, no toolbars, no notifications – nothing to take away from your writing.

To access additional features of FocusWriter, you can move your mouse to the edges of the screen. Then you can use spell check, choose a theme, set up timers or alarms, and even assign writing goals.

This program is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X for a voluntary donation.

10 Mindfulness-Based Tools to Reduce Distractions and Improve Your Focus
Tools like Freedom allow you to police yourself when it comes to internet usage. Customize the blocks based on your personal weaknesses.

Tools to help you get in the zone

Although the jury is still out on the connection between music and focus, many people report that music (and certain sounds in general) enhance their focus.

These tools offer two ways to use music for greater concentration.

Focus@Will

Focus@Will is a unique music streaming service. They offer specially curated and produced music tracks designed to improve your focus.

They claim, “Scientists have discovered that depending on your personality type, there is a specific type of music that when engineered just right, puts your brain into a flow state making you hyperfocused and exponentially more productive.”

Based on their research, they assign types of music based on a questionnaire you answer when signing up. However, you can listen to any of the music in their collections. Focus@Will offers a two-week trial, then it’s $89.95 per year.

Noisli

For some people, music can be distracting in and of itself. You might prefer a little background noise instead.

Noisli is a site that allows you to create your own set of background sounds by combining clips from rain, water, wind, and more.

As one user says, “Perfect for working to — enough background noise to help me concentrate but not distracting enough to prevent me from being able to read or write. I love being able to layer the sounds and change the volume simultaneously as well!”

Noisli is available for $1.99 on Google Play and the App Store. It’s also free on the Chrome Web Store.

10 Mindfulness-Based Tools to Reduce Distractions and Improve Your Focus
Focus@Will offers over 25 channels of specially curated and mixed music based on neuroscience research. By taking a questionnaire, they’ll recommend the best channels for you.

Tools that remind you to take a break

We’ve talked a lot about staying focused on your work, but taking short breaks is also important to maintain overall productivity.

Instead of mindlessly taking a social media break, try these two tools to pause, take a deep breath, and recenter yourself.

Do Nothing for 2 Minutes

Do Nothing for 2 Minutes is brilliantly simple. It displays a countdown timer for two minutes on top of a peaceful nature scene. If you move your mouse or touch the keyboard, it will start again. Available for free on any browser.

Time Out

Time Out promotes a similar idea – that you need to pause throughout the day. However, it has more features.

The default settings offer a “Normal” break (typically for 10 minutes every hour) and a “Micro” break (a brief pause of typically 15 seconds every 15 minutes). This helps you remember not to tense up too much for long periods. You can change or remove either kind of break, or add new ones.

Available on the App Store for free or you can make a donation.

10 Mindfulness-Based Tools to Reduce Distractions and Improve Your Focus
Do Nothing for 2 Minutes is exactly what it sounds like. A simple way to take a mindful break in your day.

Use these tools to reduce distractions and get your best work done

You don’t have to be a victim of constant interruptions.

 

Use these tools to reduce distractions as well as maximize your focus, so you can get your best work done.

Are there any others you’ve found that help you reduce distractions and improve your focus? Let us know in the comments!

10 Best Mindfulness Meditation Apps to Manage the Craziness of Daily Life

If you’re feeling frazzled by the demands of modern life, you’re not alone.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 79% of Americans feel stressed every day. But we have good news. You don’t have to jet off to a month-long meditation retreat to reap the benefits of mindfulness.

It may sound counterintuitive, but your smartphone (you know, that thing in your pocket that you love-hate?) might just be your best tool for managing stress and helping you focus.

Mindfulness meditation apps are an inexpensive way to test the waters with a new mindfulness practice.

But they’re also great for trying out meditation if you’re new to it as well. 

So, ready to give it a try? We’ve gathered the ten best mindfulness meditation apps ideal for beginners, but with room to grow.

Here are the 10 best mindfulness meditation apps to manage the craziness of daily life.
Continue reading 10 Best Mindfulness Meditation Apps to Manage the Craziness of Daily Life

How One School Transformed Student Behavior by Replacing Detention with Mindfulness

“Meditation calms me down and stuff.”

– 4th-grade girl, Holistic Me program

Should we replace detention with mindfulness?

That’s the question now posed to schools all across the U.S. as a result of the work by the Holistic Life Foundation.

In 2001, brothers Ali and Atman Smith, along with friend Andres Gonzalez, returned home from college to start the foundation. It started as an after-school program with the purpose of bringing the benefits of yoga and mindfulness to their Baltimore, Maryland neighborhood.

But what started as a small after-school program with 20 boys from local Baltimore grade schools (mistaken in the beginning by much of the neighborhood as a gang startup) has now blossomed into a national movement.

As a result, it’s made parents and educators everywhere question the value of traditional disciplinary measures. And, along with it, the power of mindfulness as a potential replacement.

Holistic Me brings mindfulness to Baltimore’s youth to surprising results

Founded as the HLF’s flagship program in 2002, Holistic Me is an after-school program designed to teach yoga, mindfulness, and other well-being practices to Baltimore’s youth.

Since beginning at Baltimore’s Windsor Hill Elementary seventeen years ago, the program has expanded far beyond Baltimore. It now serves the surrounding Maryland communities in:

  • Boston
  • Charlottesville
  • Minneapolis
  • Louisville
  • Somerset County
  • Asheville, and
  • Madison
The foundation now helps an astounding 10,000 children in the Baltimore area alone, with the Holistic Me program serving 160 pre-K to 5th-grade students every school day:

HOLISTIC LIFE FOUNDATION MINDFULNESS PROGRAM
Source: Holistic Life Foundation

Mindfulness as a replacement for detention?

Arguably the most remarkable result of the Holistic Me program has been the transformation in student behavior.

How remarkable? Since implementing the program, Robert W Coleman Elementary School has reported 0 suspensions, an incredible improvement in such a short period of time. 

It’s been so effective that the school decided to take things further and create a ‘Mindful Moment Room’. Students would be instructed to practice mindful breathing during the duration of their stay in the room, as opposed to traditional detention.

Since implementing the room, the school says it’s played a big part in reducing suspensions in addition to the program.  

SHOULD MEDITATION REPLACE DETENTION SCHOOL IMAGE
Source: Holistic Life Foundation

Mindfulness in the classroom (for teachers and students)

The remarkable story of student transformation through the Holistic Life Foundation at Robert W Coleman Elementary School is incredible enough.

But the benefit of mindfulness in the classroom is well-documented.

Studies on mindfulness in the classroom have shown that regular practice helps improve student focus, improve emotion regulation, and reduce stress levels among other benefits.

However, that’s just the beginning. Studies have also shown that teachers receive similar benefits when they adopt the practice themselves. Those benefits include reduced stress, reduced chance of burnout, and greater efficacy.

Should mindfulness replace detention?

So, should mindfulness replace detention? Should schools everywhere have their own Mindful Moment Room?

That’s a question that educators need to answer for themselves.

The topic of mindfulness at school, from questions of how it’s implemented to the way it’s taught, are still being debated.

But there’s no mistake that mindfulness and similar meditative practices are of huge benefit to both students and educators. And the sky is the limit for programs like Holistic Me.

“When I first started I was kinda bad… now the breathing has calmed me down.”

– 7th-grade boy, Holistic Me program

Robert Plotkin of Mindfulness for Technology Featured on the AATH Laughbox Podcast

Our very own Robert Plotkin, Mindfulness for Technology founder, was recently featured on the Association for Applied Therapeutic Humor’s (AATH) Laughbox podcast.

Listen as Robert talks with host Chip Lutz about how technology affects our brain and how to integrate that technology into your mindfulness practice.

You’ll learn:

  • A simple mindfulness practice for learning how to use your smartphone more mindfully
  • How the “reptilian” brain affects our behavior
  • And a powerful tip for managing your technology use

Listen to Robert on the Laughbox podcast (iTunes) or via Laughbox.AATH.org.

Social Media: Taking a Break

For many of us, the holidays are a time when we spend precious connected moments with our loved ones. We may also engage in sacred rituals associated with these holidays. Regardless of how you celebrate the holidays — or even if you don’t celebrate them specifically — this may well be one of the few times during the year when you can enjoy the presence of your family and friends in person and celebrate your relationships together. Continue reading Social Media: Taking a Break

Smartphone Distraction? Take back Control In 2019



Finding yourself consistently distracted by your Smartphone? In this 1 hour workshop, join Robert Plotkin, founder of Technology For Mindfulness and get the tools you need to gain back control in 2019. Click here  for tickets

How Technology Can Help You Exercise More Mindfully


People can engage with technology in a wide variety of ways while exercising. Some people put their devices away entirely so that they are not distracted by them, so that they can be fully in touch with their body, or both. Others find that they can only stay focused on exercise while listening to music or watching a video, television, etc. Some people like to talk on the phone with a friend while working out. Continue reading How Technology Can Help You Exercise More Mindfully

Positive Affirmations Around Social Media Reactions


Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are designed not only to enable but encourage people to provide feedback about content posted by others. This might take the form of a like, a simple thumbs up or down, text, or something more sophisticated like a text or video response.

If you’ve ever posted content online, then you know just how enticing it can be to check how many people have liked what you’ve posted.

Continue reading Positive Affirmations Around Social Media Reactions

Scheduling Downtime into Your Calendar

Although electronic calendars, software, and the internet were supposed to make it easier than ever to schedule meetings, the actual result of these technologies has been that people arrive late, reschedule meetings, or miss them altogether more frequently these days.

Here are just a few of the reasons why I think we are more disorganized, late, and stressed out about our calendar than ever before:

    • We are now able to contact people at the last minute if we need to cancel or reschedule.
    • We often schedule meetings without having our calendars in front of us.
    • The sheer number of appointments, devices, and calendars that we have to stay on top of can be overwhelming.

Today, I’m going to focus on just one of the many ways that you can address this problem in your life: Consciously and explicitly insert downtime into your calendar between your scheduled appointments.

Account for Travel Time

The first reason to schedule downtime may seem obvious, but I’m always surprised by how many people don’t take it into consideration. People rarely put any travel time between appointments, and if you do that, you are setting yourself up for failure.

This is worth it even if you have back-to-back appointments in the same building, as it still takes time to travel from one meeting to the other. You need to gather up your things, get to the next room, and then settle in there before you are truly ready to begin your next meeting.

The simplest way to put downtime into your calendar is to leave empty space in between your meetings. If you’re new to this habit, I would suggest specifically putting the travel time into your calendar as an appointment. Most operating systems now have a travel time feature you could use to that end.

Less Stress, More Productivity

Taking downtime into consideration can prove beneficial in a number of ways:

    • Having to create that appointment will encourage you to think consciously and realistically about how much time you really need to travel instead of mindlessly assuming it. When you create that travel time appointment, you’re going to need to decide how long to make it, which gives you time to pause and think about it.
    • You can set yourself a reminder that you need to start traveling by a certain time, which will ensure that you get moving when you need to.
    • Putting the downtime into your calendar will increase the likelihood that you will give serious thought about whether your previous or next meeting is going to be long enough to fulfill its purpose.

If you’ve really put some thought into budgeting your time and considering unexpected delays, you’ll be more punctual and less likely to worry about the state of your appointments. Your anxiety will be reduced and you may have actual downtime in between meetings.

These are all mindfulness and stress reduction side effects. Scheduling downtime will also help you get better over time at estimating how much you can get done in a day. Many of us tend to schedule too many meetings to the point where there’s not enough time to be in them. This can create assumptions that lead to rescheduling and cutting meetings short, which then induces stress.

It’s important to be realistic about what we can accomplish with the time we have in a day and to schedule accordingly. Ultimately, downtime will help increase your productivity and reduce your stress.

De-Cluttering Your Desktop


 

The so-called “desktop metaphor” has been around on personal computers for about 40 years and is still the dominant way of visually organizing information. It was originally designed to emulate a physical desktop on which you put folders, files, and other types of documents and devices.

Regardless of how you feel about computer desktops, they can become cluttered just like a physical desktop, which can be distracting, stress-inducing, and hinder your productivity.

If your desktop is filled from top to bottom with icons, are you aware of whether just glancing at that desktop hundreds of times throughout the day causes any feelings of stress? Perhaps you catch an icon for a document you’re working on out of the corner of your eye. It may cause a thought or worry about how you’re going to complete that document. The thought may be fleeting and you may only be semi-aware of it. However, consider the cumulative impact of having so many experiences like this throughout your day just because of how many times you are looking at that desktop.

Here are a few tips you can follow to remove the clutter from your desktop.

Relocate the Clutter

If you like having all of those icons on your desktop because you feel that they are easy to find, I have one simple suggestion that will let you access everything just as easily without cluttering your visual space and creating any anxiety. Just create a single folder on your desktop called “Desktop” and move all of the icons from your desktop into that folder. Now your desktop is clear, but you can still access everything that was in it by opening that folder.

You lose virtually no productivity by taking this step while potentially making a very significant gain in how relaxed, calm, and de-stressed you feel when looking at your desktop.

To make sure you keep enjoying the benefits of this practice over time, you must close the folder after opening it so that its contents are no longer visible. Otherwise, you will be seeing the clutter just as regularly as you would if it were scattered around the desktop.

As an additional step, you can create a small number of subfolders within your new desktop folder. Keep it very simple — you might just have a folder for apps and separate folders for different types of documents (word processing, spreadsheets, photos, etc.). If you make too many folders, you will start making it hard to find documents and reduce the benefits that this simple method provides.

Maintain the Habit

Now, you merely need to keep your desktop from becoming cluttered again over time. The most common ways in which this happens occur when installing new apps or creating new folders on your computer. Move those icons and documents into your desktop folder.

Even if you’re someone who loves having a full desktop, try out this approach and see how different you feel when booting up your computer in the morning and seeing a completely tidy space. You could even use a desktop background image that you love in order to stay motivated to keep it from being blocked by countless icons.

Once you make the small investment of time and energy required to start using this method, it takes very little effort to maintain it over time. You can get a huge payback in feeling calm while maintaining very high productivity.

Scheduling Time to Respond to Emails

Staying on top of your email inbox can feel like a daunting and never-ending task. Although I don’t have any magic solution to this issue, the tip I’ll share today has helped me cut through the clutter much more efficiently, allowing me to stay focused on real work and thus have much more time during my work day.

Here is my suggestion: Put emails that you receive onto your calendar so that you respond to them at scheduled times.

If that sounds completely crazy to you, let me clarify. First, I have a few recurring appointments on my calendar for responding to emails in certain categories. These include:
  • Accounting- and bookkeeping-related emails such as invoices I receive from vendors.
  • Messages from potential new customers.
  • Emails related to marketing tasks.
  • Small miscellaneous questions that I receive from my clients.
The common thread between these categories is that the emails don’t require an immediate reply. Also, they aren’t typically part of a longer conversation — a single response will do the trick. This combination of qualities makes these types of emails work really well with my calendaring system.

Granted, this may not suit urgent emails quite as well. So if you think that calendaring your emails won’t work for you, perhaps it’s because you’re thinking about certain types of emails that aren’t fit for your calendar. Step back for a minute and consider whether you frequently receive the types of emails I’m talking about. Your categories may be different than mine, but if they’re similar in nature, then read on.

1. Pick Your Categories and Put Recurring Appointments on Your Calendar
Choose times that would make sense for you to respond to emails in those categories. Think carefully about the timing. Some categories might require you to have appointments every day of the week or even multiple times a day. Other categories might only require a weekly appointment.

Consider how frequently you really need to respond to emails in each category and put in the minimum number of appointments per day/week that you will need. Set up the appointments to repeat according to a schedule that you think will work for you.

2. Be Disciplined
Whenever you check your inbox, you must be very diligent about not responding to any emails within your calendared categories. Instead, add them to the next appointment for that category.

Personally, I use Microsoft Outlook, which makes it very easy to just drag and drop emails directly onto calendar appointments. Just open the appointment, drag an email onto it, and it will attach there. It’s that simple. You could also type notes next to each email in the appointment to give yourself some guidance or context about how to respond to it.

I’m sure you will find it hard to resist the temptation to respond immediately, so expect this to happen and remember that it will take practice to create the habit.

3. Stay Focused
When the time arrives for each of your scheduled email appointments, you must be disciplined about opening that appointment and staying focused on responding to all of the emails without switching to other tasks. Try doing it a few times and see how it feels.

In my experience, I typically feel very satisfied by how efficiently I can get through a large number of emails in each category. There are many reasons for this, and one is that I find it easier to keep my mindset focused on a particular topic (ex. accounting or marketing) and to respond to emails solely in that category rather than switching back and forth between different categories.

Another reason is that many of the emails in the same category often relate to the same topic or project, and as a result, I can easily keep all of the information about that topic or project in mind while responding to all of the emails.

Moreover, I’ve often found that by waiting to respond to emails, some of them become unnecessary to address by the time I get around to them. Maybe someone else responded to them. Waiting to respond can sometimes eliminate work that I would have had to perform if I responded immediately.

4. After You Respond to Your Emails
When you’re done responding to all of the emails in one of your appointments, it’s important to return to not responding to emails in that category until your next appointment. Begin the process again.

Give this a try and see how it works for you. Some aspects may not work for you immediately, but instead of giving up on the process entirely, tweak it to see if you can make it work better for your particular situation. For example, you may need more or fewer appointments. You may need to change your email categories. You may need to change your stance on which types of emails you will respond to. All of this will depend on your own situation, demands, and preferences.

I hope you find this helpful and your email productivity increases!

Finding the Joy in Anticipation Beyond All the Communication

A while back, I heard someone say that technology has brought about the end of anticipation. Before the internet, when we went to visit a family member or friend who lived far away from us, we had a lot to talk about and catch up on since the last time saw each other.
Continue reading Finding the Joy in Anticipation Beyond All the Communication

3 Easy Ways to Form a New Tech Habit


On this blog, we often provide tips for how to make more mindful, productive, and efficient use of technology. It’s easier to describe what to do than to actually create and engage in the habit of doing it. Suggesting that you don’t use your smartphone immediately upon waking up in the morning or within an hour of going to bed doesn’t make creating and following that habit easy to do. 

Today, I’ll offer three pointers that will improve your chances of forming a new and enduring technology habit.

Ease into It

Many of us try to create a new habit by just engaging in it directly. For example, if you want to practice not using your smartphone for an hour after you wake up, you might try going cold turkey right away. I’ve found that this approach often results in failure, as it doesn’t help change my behavior or reinforce the intended behavior.

Try easing into a habit like this: On the first night, start out by not using your phone for the last five minutes before you go to bed. That should be much easier than an hour. Practice that for a few days, a week, or until you feel like that habit is ingrained and does not need additional practice. Then increase the amount of time and keep expanding the habit in that way until you reach your original goal.

By easing into it, you may find that you’re more likely to create the habit than if you try to bite off the entire task from the beginning. Start with a smaller, more manageable version of it and increase it over time.

Make It Easy on Yourself

When I try to create a new habit for myself, I often do it in a very austere kind of way. This can work if I pose some structure around it, but it can be quite boring. Other than the reward of feeling like I’ve accomplished my goal, it doesn’t really create any other positive associations in my mind. As a result, I’ve found that trying to create a new habit in this way sometimes either fails or leads to habits that don’t stick.

With that said, there’s a wide variety of ways to make it easier to create the habit. For example, these are all things I’ve done and you can try:

  1. Enlist the help of your friends, family, and coworkers to support you. For example, they can provide reminders for you or even just give moral support.
  2. Use technology to set a reminder to do or not do something.
  3. Associate a positive feeling with this new habit. Focus and draw your attention to that positive feeling.
You may worry that these tricks are crutches. If you ask friends to remind you of something, you may feel like you’ll rely on them and may stop engaging in the habit altogether if they stop reminding you. On the flip side, sometimes we can do things to help us create a habit and supports for the habit, and once the habit is ingrained in our minds and bodies, we no longer need those initial supports to keep the habit going.

Be creative when thinking about what you might be able to do to help you form a new habit. In addition, make the trigger for engaging in it fun if that helps you.

Pay Attention to How You Feel Each Time After Engaging in the Habit

Say you’re practicing not using your phone before bed. Maybe you set an alarm 15 minutes before bed to remind yourself not to use your phone. When that 15 minutes is over, pay attention to how you feel now that you have not used your phone. Bringing my attention to how I feel after I’ve practiced something I want to form as a habit actually helps that habit to form better. It’s a way to bring mindfulness to the formation of a new habit to help enforce the behavior you’re trying to habituate in yourself.

Bear in mind that you can apply these tips to any kind of habits. I hope you find them helpful for any change that you are seeking.

Turning Off Your Work Mind

Do you find that it’s hard to turn your work mind off even after you stop working? Is the “end of the work day” concept foreign to you because you keep your nose so close the grindstone? Many of us find ourselves in this situation — particularly with smartphones, laptops, and mobile internet enabling us to stay connected at all times.

Those of us who work from home can find it especially difficult to create boundaries between work and personal life. Here are some suggestions for doing just that.

1. Try to develop a regular work schedule.
This allows you to get into the habit of starting and stopping work at certain times of the day. It doesn’t have to be a traditional schedule. Just find what works for you. It can even include several different periods of work on different days. The key is doing your best to schedule certain regular times for starting and stopping work, creating a habit in your mind through repetition.

2. Develop starting and ending work habits/rituals.
These are certain actions that you perform and thoughts that you have to transition your mind into and out of work mode. They could be as simple as stopping and pausing for 5 or 10 seconds and thinking about what you’re going to transition into. You might say it out loud or in your mind to engage your focus. It could be something as simple as arranging things on your desk or simply starting work. No matter the tasks, these should help you make the mental transition to and from work.

Rituals are found in several other traditions. For instance, when you walk into a Japanese martial arts school, you pause and bow at the threshold before entering. At the beginning of each class, there is also a bowing ceremony. I was always taught that one of this ritual’s purposes is to help us reach a more focused mental state.

These tips have something in common: They help to create and enforce mental boundaries between work time and non-work time. I think these boundaries have always existed, but it’s particularly important these days to intentionally create them because they’re missing in the way that many of us work. Technology makes information and communication available to us at all times and in all places. Many of us can work without going into an office, with different people, and on different projects. Obviously, this situation suffers from a lack of boundaries.

If we want to have them in our lives, we have to create them ourselves through force of habit.

Here’s another resource that could help: Shutdown Rituals: Leave the Work Stress at Work.

How Older Technologies Can Keep Us More Mindful



Our culture strongly promotes the idea that the newest technology is always the best. That belief is spread by its makers with their own incentives for encouraging us to always buy the latest version of every product. However, sometimes using older technology can be better in terms of reaching our mindfulness goals.

Today’s tip is to not automatically reach for the shiny new toy. Instead, be aware of your options so you can make wise and mindful choices about which technology to use in any particular situation. 

I’ve given a few specific examples, but I encourage you to apply the same principle to all aspects of your life. Focus your attention on becoming aware of any opportunities to use older technology or no technology at all when you want to get something done.

Writing the Old-Fashioned Way

Most of us do nearly all of our writing on devices. When was the last time you wrote an actual letter to someone? Using pen and paper is just one of the writing options you should explore:

    • I often write first drafts of longer things such as essays or work memos by hand. I find it easier for me to dump out my ideas without distraction or editing that way.
    • You may also want to try some of the distraction-free word processors that we’ve mentioned before if you want to stay more focused while writing. They show you little more than a blank screen so that you can stay focused on the words you are writing and not the toolbar, menu, or any other visual elements.
    • Some authors have even switched back to using old-fashioned typewriters for their novels and other books — or at least their first drafts.
Try out different options and see what works best for you.

Although I use an app on my phone to keep track of my tasks, sometimes I find it more effective to quickly jot them down on a small piece of paper so that they’re easier and faster for me to find and look at as I move from task to task.

Efficiency and focus are not the only reasons you might want to try using older forms of technology for writing. If you want to convey a personal and heartfelt message to someone (such as a thank-you or condolences for a loss), many people find it more meaningful to receive that kind of message in hand-written form than by email or even a pre-printed card. 

You may find that writing out the message longhand helps you focus not only on the content of what you’re writing but the feeling behind it. You might experience that feeling more deeply than you would on a device.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Now I’ll use the flip side of writing: reading. While I do an incredible amount of reading on devices, scientific research confirms that attempting to read anything longer than a paragraph on a modern device’s screen can be extremely frustrating and counterproductive. This is in large part due to the number of distractions that our devices present to us while we are reading.

The good news is that many other options are available to us, and they don’t all involve giving up on technology completely.

For reading books, I have an older black-and-white Kindle that only shows me the text of the book. This is a much more pleasant and calming way to read, and it helps me absorb more of what I’m reading than on a smartphone or computer. 

Think about the size of the screen that you use to read different types of messages too. I don’t know anyone who’d want to read a long piece on an Apple Watch. On the other hand, a smartphone can be a great way to read text messages. As a general rule, most people find it easier to read longer works on bigger screens, but try out different options to determine what works best for you.

I don’t want to suggest wasting paper at the expense of the environment, but in some cases, I print out documents to read them on paper — particularly if I need to provide the author with feedback on what has been written because I find it both easier to stay focused on what I’m reading and to jot down notes on paper than on a word processor. Despite all of the advances with screens and document software, I still find it easier to quickly glance back at previous parts of a document on paper than on a screen. 

When I’m done, I either scan the document with my hand-written edits or type the edits into the document on a word processor.

Consider Your Options

Writing and reading are just two examples of how many different technological options are available to help you avoid the common trap of automatically turning to the latest technology or whatever technology you happen to be using at the moment.

We all tend to engage in that kind of technological inertia or let it dictate which technologies we use and how we use them. But if we apply some mindfulness to pause, step back, and reflect on what our intention is for the task at hand while considering our options, we can then make a conscious choice based on our intention and understanding of our current situation.

As a result, we will be less likely to rush ahead automatically and more likely to engage in that task in a way that is not only more productive but also more satisfying.

How to Prioritize Responding to Important Messages


Have you ever planned to respond to a particular message and then found yourself replying to new ones as they arrive? Of course you have. We’ve all done it. Continue reading How to Prioritize Responding to Important Messages

How to Mindfully Use Your GPS


I have no natural sense of direction. As a result, I think the GPS is one of the greatest inventions in human history. I rely on the GPS on my phone to get me almost everywhere and appreciate it not only because of its obvious purpose but also because it reduces the stress of driving, walking, and traveling to new places. It gives me the confidence to go places on my own that I normally wouldn’t try to travel to without a GPS. 

At the same time, I’ve become aware of how overly reliant I’ve become on my GPS and how I tend to use it in a way that does not necessarily help me become engaged with, aware of, and attuned to my surroundings.

I’ve recently tried to start applying mindfulness to my use of the GPS, and here’s what I’ve noticed and learned so far.
Continue reading How to Mindfully Use Your GPS

Apple and Google’s Digital Health Initiatives


Both Google and Apple recently announced major initiatives to address the problems of digital distraction, stress, and anxiety. These will affect all of their products.

Each of the companies has a different name for the department responsible for the initiatives. Apple calls it “Digital Health” whereas Google calls it “Digital Well Being.” Right at the top of Google’s Digital Well Being webpage, it says, “Great Technology should improve life, not distract from it.”

A Great Message

The initiatives are going to include a variety of features for their products, like an enhanced version of Do Not Disturb and other ways of giving users more control over how and when they’re interrupted or distracted by their devices. Some features will provide you with in-depth, quantitative information about how frequently you’re using your phone and what you use it for.

I think the details of these initiatives aren’t as important as the magnitude of the message Apple and Google are sending. 

Like most companies on the internet, they have based a significant part of their business model on distracting people and encouraging them to maximize how much time they spend on their products and devices.

The launch of these company-wide initiatives is a pretty groundbreaking and historic event for two of the big five tech companies. The fact that they’ve decided to create and make major announcements about these initiatives shows that they are taking the problems seriously enough to invest in shifting their direction to enable people to live more balanced technological lives.

A Shift in Direction

It’s clear that some of the features of these initiatives will help people to spend less time using the devices and apps that Google and Apple make and sell. They must have decided that this would be more helpful to them overall from a business perspective.

I’m sure part of it was in response to increasing demand from individuals and businesses to address the problems of constant distraction and overuse of technology. Some of it may have been the result of a desire for people to use their devices in limited ways rather than not at all to avoid distraction. I don’t know what all of the reasons were behind these decisions. To a certain extent, they don’t matter to me.

In the end, it’s certainly a positive that these two huge tech companies have taken the initiative to display that they care about the well being of their users. I applaud Google and Apple for taking these steps and moving their future technology development plans in a direction that will give people more transparent information about how they’re using their products and more power over how they use them.

With all that said, both companies have previously taken other steps to address digital addiction and all of the issues we discuss on this blog. Let’s stay mindful of how they implement these major initiatives in response to our needs.

Let’s Start Planning for Meetings as if There’s No Internet


For those of you who are old enough to remember what it was like to attend a meeting before the internet, the only opportunity to speak to that person was at the scheduled appointment.

I remember when I started working as a lawyer and I was going to meet with a client. What would I do? I would prepare!

Continue reading Let’s Start Planning for Meetings as if There’s No Internet

How Social Media Has Poisoned Us



This blog post was inspired by an article published by The Guardian on April 9.

While the write-up isn’t strictly focused on technology, that topic is still explored and the content is worth addressing.

Continue reading How Social Media Has Poisoned Us

Positive, Negative and Neutral Posting on Social Media


We all know that the image people portray of themselves on social media is highly selective and curated. People often post only the information that paints them in a positive light and makes them seem as interesting as possible. As a result, their social media lives don’t always reflect their full reality.

Continue reading Positive, Negative and Neutral Posting on Social Media

Turn Off Autoplay for Videos


Do you ever find yourself binge-watching on YouTube, Netflix, or any other site/app on which you view videos? It’s so easy to get lost in the content and then wonder where the time went.

To minimize this issue, turn off autoplay so that when you’re done watching one video, the next one doesn’t start automatically.

Continue reading Turn Off Autoplay for Videos

Group Text Messaging: Productive or Annoying?


Trying to make plans with a group of people can be challenging. Obviously, everyone has their own schedule and it can be hard to coordinate a mutually convenient time for all of you to meet up.

Many of us turn to group text messaging as a quicker alternative to group email. However, receiving text messages in a particular thread or conversation with one or a group of people can quite simply be annoying — especially if you keep getting notifications within that thread!

Continue reading Group Text Messaging: Productive or Annoying?

The Mind Can Also Follow the Body

As mindfulness in the West is picking up and taking off as a popular movement, I’m getting the feeling that many people are being introduced to it as a purely intellectual and mental practice. After all, the word “mind” is in mindfulness. 

However, there are ways to achieve a state of mindfulness that don’t start with or focus primarily on your mind. Other approaches focus more on the body or integrating mental and physical training. Continue reading The Mind Can Also Follow the Body

Responding, Not Reacting to Your Smartphone

Have you ever watched a tennis sequence in which a player serves and the receiver runs in reaction to the serve and then hits the ball back off balance? Throughout the exchange, the server stands firm and is seemingly dictating where and when the receiver moves. 

Do you ever feel like that with your smartphone? Are you the receiver and is your smartphone the server? Continue reading Responding, Not Reacting to Your Smartphone

You Use Technology More Mindfully Than I Do


Since I write and teach about using technology mindfully, many people assume that I’m somehow naturally gifted at that practice.  They believe I’m always focused at work and never struggle with distractions when I should be doing something more productive.

In fact, when I tell people about my work in this field, they get embarrassed and think I will look down on them because of how poorly or distractedly they use technology. Continue reading You Use Technology More Mindfully Than I Do

Practice “Not Even One”


On this blog, we’ve shared many tips on the following topics:

  • How to use technology more mindfully.
  • How to exercise more control over how and when you use technology in order to be more productive, focused, and creative.
  • How to enable your use of technology to be more aligned with your intentions and goals.

This article is about what to do when none of the suggestions seem to work.

Continue reading Practice “Not Even One”

Beyond Noticing: Putting Mindfulness into Action

A critical part of mindfulness is paying attention to our experience in the present moment.

Continue reading Beyond Noticing: Putting Mindfulness into Action

Make Plans as If the Internet Didn’t Exist

In recent years, many of us have taken to canceling plans at the last minute via text or by using our smartphones in other ways. It usually happens minutes from the meeting time. I try not to do this, but I am definitely guilty of it.
Continue reading Make Plans as If the Internet Didn’t Exist

How to Manage the Pull of Your Smartphone

Do you ever feel like your smartphone is calling to you even when it’s just sitting in your pocket not doing anything? When your phone beeps, vibrates, or buzzes, do you ask yourself, “Why is my phone doing this to me?!?”

Continue reading How to Manage the Pull of Your Smartphone

The Pros and Cons of Mindfulness Reminders

There are many apps that can remind you to meditate or be mindful. You can set them to remind you at a certain time and configure them in all kinds of ways:

  • Some of them ring a bell to remind you to be present, and then it’s up to you to do what you want at that time (ex. pause and breathe, stretch, or meditate).
  • Some of them will ring a bell and then actually play a sound to help you in your meditation.
  • Some of them will offer you an inspiring quote or guided meditation.
I’m a big fan of these apps and suggest that you experiment with them to find which ones work best for you.

Continue reading The Pros and Cons of Mindfulness Reminders

Technology May Be the Reason You’ve Lost That Creative Spark

Whether you’re a writer, an artist, or simply trying to figure out a creative Technology May be the Reason You’ve Lost That Creative Sparksolution to a difficult problem, there’s one thing standing in your way. One thing that would have never been a problem 15 years ago! Just one little thing that’s blocking your way to thinking more creatively. What is it? Technology, of course.

Like we’ve discussed before, boredom has its benefits. But with technology around, we’re never truly bored or alone!

Continue reading Technology May Be the Reason You’ve Lost That Creative Spark

Learn to Unwind Your Anxiety With 10 Minutes Per Day

We all struggle with anxiety once in awhile, but for some it can feel worse andLearn to Unwind Your Anxiety With 10 Minutes Per Day more difficult to control. At times, it can feel nearly debilitating. Some turn to meditation, others visit psychiatrists despite their fears of the stigma it holds. But there’s another way to help you control your anxiety… no medication, no stigma, and you can do it from your phone! What is it?

Continue reading Learn to Unwind Your Anxiety With 10 Minutes Per Day

Winter Feast: A Time to Reconnect

A Feast For Your Soul & Spirit.

Winter Feast is a 40 day Worldwide Spiritual Practice Period everyone is invited to join.

It’s for people of all faiths who take part in committing 40 minutes of spiritual practice each day for forty days. The intention behind Winter feast is to create peace in each individual’s life and to extend to others as well. Participants are also invited to practice daily acts of kindness. Although it may seem like only a small group of people setting out to do this, the impact of such an act can be much greater.

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

Winter Feast is from the morning of January 15th until February 23rd. As most of the Northern Hemisphere is deep in winter during this time, it’s a perfect way to begin the New Year to reconnect with spirit and bring our awareness to a new level.

What nine months does for the embryo, forty early mornings will do for your growing awareness.” — Rumi

I’ll be taking part in Winter Feast and I encourage you to do so as well! Here are ways you can participate: http://feastforthesoul.org/feast-2018/

Winter Feast — Jan 15 to Feb 23

www.feastforthesoul.org

We can do it when we work together!


December Mindfulness, Meditation, and Technology Roundup

Interesting Reads & Studies

Continue reading December Mindfulness, Meditation, and Technology Roundup

Using Technology to Bring Mindfulness into Your Day

Typically, when we think about mindfulness, we think about avoiding technologyUsing Technology to Bring Mindfulness into Your Day—putting away our smartphones, taking a break from TV or computers. But really, technology and mindfulness aren’t so different. How? They’re both tools to help us solve problems and achieve certain objectives… one is just focused on external problems while the other focuses on the internal.

Continue reading Using Technology to Bring Mindfulness into Your Day

How to Take Care of Yourself, Even During The Busiest Days

In our busy lives, we’re always going, we’re always doing, and we’re always How to Take Care of Yourself, Even During The Busiest Dayshelping others. So where does this leave time for taking care of ourselves? For most of us, self-care falls on the back burner. We’re burning ourselves out by always helping others, which actually isn’t helping anyone—especially yourself.

Continue reading How to Take Care of Yourself, Even During The Busiest Days

3 Components of Mindfulness & How They Impact Our Mood

Mindfulness is a very broad term; there are so many aspects of mindfulness and Components of Mindfulnessso many different ways in which it can be practiced. With the rise in popularity of mindfulness, there have been more studies popping up about mindfulness and its benefits. One recent study set out to differentiate how different components of mindfulness impact us.

Continue reading 3 Components of Mindfulness & How They Impact Our Mood

The Best Apps to Help You Live in the Moment

Today, people use their phones for a variety of different tasks and we’re using the-best-apps-to-help-you-live-in-the-momentthem all throughout the day! In fact, many people spend 5+ hours per day using their smartphones. And while technology can help us in countless ways, it’s not always the best thing for us. I mean, take a look at Generation Z, the generation that has grown up with technology, and you’ll see the changes it brings about in us as individuals!

As even more studies on how technology impacts us come out, researchers are urging us to start limiting our screen time.
Continue reading The Best Apps to Help You Live in the Moment

November Mindfulness, Meditation, and Technology Roundup

Interesting Reads & StudiesNovember Mindfulness, Meditation, and Technology Roundup

Continue reading November Mindfulness, Meditation, and Technology Roundup

Put Down Your Smartphone and Allow Yourself to “Space Out”

We’ve seen hilarious videos and stories of the problems smartphone distraction Put Down Your Smartphone and Allow Yourself to “Space Out”can cause—I mean, hilarious for us, rather embarrassing for them. Things like running into (and falling into) a water fountain in the middle of a city, or walking straight into a construction zone, both while staring at the phone screen. How are we so enthralled by our phones? How do we allow them to distract us so much? And what else are we missing out on if we’re missing these blatantly obvious obstacles in front of us?

Continue reading Put Down Your Smartphone and Allow Yourself to “Space Out”

Teen Depression is on the Rise: Are Smartphones to Blame?

As technology keeps evolving, each generation of parents has had to deal with Teen Depression is on the Rise: Are Smartphones to Blameproblems that their parents or grandparents could have never dreamt! First, it was TV, then it was video games “rotting the brain,” and now smartphones. What will come next? Who knows?! And it seems like with each new technology the effect is different… and often worse.

Take Generation Z for example, the generation after Millennials. The generation that grew up with iPads and smartphones—they’ve never known life without being constantly connected! And that’s created a HUGE leap in characteristic changes from their parents and grandparents. They’ve become the generation that’s not interested in independence; they already have so much independence online, and that’s become good enough for them. But there’s one other change today’s teens are suffering from: depression.

Continue reading Teen Depression is on the Rise: Are Smartphones to Blame?

Why and How to Introduce Gratitude in the Workplace

We all feel gratitude sometimes, even if we’re not mindful enough to be aware of Why and How to Introduce Gratitude in the Workplacethe feeling. And if we are aware of it, often times we forget or feel awkward expressing it. Feelings can be hard to talk about, even positive ones. But sometimes, that’s exactly what businesses need to improve! A great company isn’t all about the number, it’s about the employees as well.

We’ve touched on how gratitude can change you as an individual, but what can it do for a company? What happens when employees start expressing gratitude in the workplace?

Continue reading Why and How to Introduce Gratitude in the Workplace

Study: Meditation vs. Yoga for a Brain & Energy Boost

If there were something that you could do for free, something that took less than study-meditation-vs-yoga-for-a-brain-energy-boosta half hour per day, that was scientifically proven to boost energy and brainpower, would you do it? For most of us, that answer is a resounding YES! Unless it’s hard or takes a lot of effort…

Well, I have news—it exists. Honestly, it could take as little effort as sitting silently and focusing on your breath for 25 minutes.

Continue reading Study: Meditation vs. Yoga for a Brain & Energy Boost

What’s A Mindful Company & What Does It Take To Be One?

We’ve talked before about using mindfulness at a personal level in the workplacewhats-a-mindful-company-what-does-it-take-to-be-one to reduce stress. But you may have also heard the term “mindful company.” So what does it really mean to be a “mindful company”? This term has only started to gain popularity in recent years. In fact, many still question whether this is really possible or just a term brands like to toss around to sound more appealing to customers and employees.

Continue reading What’s A Mindful Company & What Does It Take To Be One?

The Case For Adding “Call Me” Back To Your Vocabulary

When you pick up your phone, how often are you using it to actually do what itthe-case-for-adding-call-me-back-to-your-vocabulary was first intended for? How often are you actually talking on the phone? And I don’t mean talking via text, or email, or some other form of digital communication. I mean actually talking. Picking up the phone and calling someone.

If you’re like most people today, your answer is probably something like “very rarely.”
Continue reading The Case For Adding “Call Me” Back To Your Vocabulary

Reduce Your Digital Clutter, Reduce Your Anxiety

Most people regularly (or at least semi-regularly) go through their stuff and Reduce Your Digital Clutter, Reduce Your Anxietydeclutter. We donate old clothes, we throw away broken items around the house, we host yard sales to sell off those things that we no longer want or need. It can feel cleansed and refreshing! So why should our digital clutter be any different?

Plus, eliminating digital clutter can have another benefit: reduced anxiety.

With everyone online account you have, with every device you own, your cyber security decreases. It’s great that you’re watching out for phishing and got strong, unique passwords on all your accounts, but what’s even more helpful to your cyber security—and your peace of mind—is cleaning things up!

Continue reading Reduce Your Digital Clutter, Reduce Your Anxiety

Technology Changes Us, And Generation Z Is Proof

We all know that each generation has different experiences, they grow up in a Technology Changes Us, And Generation Z Is Proofdifferent time, so it’s impossible not to! But is the latest generation, generation Z, missing out? Has their generation been destroyed by technology? We’ve all see the articles online saying things like “Millennials are killing fabric softener” or “Millennials are running the wine industry,” but what about the generation after them? The generation that is now beginning to reach early adulthood?

Generally, from generation-to-generation characteristics will change gradually. But Jean Twenge, a Psychology professor at San Diego State University, who has been studying the changes among generations for years, noticed a huge shift in the Z generation.

Continue reading Technology Changes Us, And Generation Z Is Proof

Mindfulness Event This Friday!

Robert Plotkin, co-founder of the “Hack Your Mind” series is pleased to invite you to the next event this Friday, October 6th at 12 pm on the campus of MIT.

Join us for the first program of the semester of our Hack Your Mind series with Dr. Susan Gabrieli. Dr. Gabrieli is a neuroscientist and Senior Research Scientist for the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.  
Continue reading Mindfulness Event This Friday!

The average cellphone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day.

The average cellphone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day.

Sign up to receive a free, 5 minute guided meditation that helps you gain control over your smartphone, instead of being controlled by it. 

You will receive our free 5 minute meditation soon!