I've written before about aiming to go online for a purpose – for fun, to learn something, or to buy something etc. – and when that purpose has been achieved, to turn it off.
But what about when you find yourself online for no particular reason?
This is where mindfulness comes in. Yep, I'm talking mindful internet use!
Before you roll your eyes and stop reading, here are some reasons you might like to consider it.
Being mindful online:
Will help you get more out of your time online...
Improve your concentration span, increase connection to content....
Clear away some the online habits you don't actually want...
AND help you to read and act on the signals that you've had enough!
With all those bonuses in mind, here are a few ways to be mindful when online:
- Ditch the automatic scroll. Look at every Facebook post, every Instagram photo, whatever. Take. Your. Time. Read the content. At this point you may realise that you don't like some of the pages or people whose content you see every day – unfollow them.
- Consciously notice five new things on the screen. This is my favourite mindfulness trick in general, that you can apply everywhere and to everything. It's easy and it works.
- If you start reading something, read the whole thing and take in every word. Try to remember three interesting or useful things about it that you could share with someone later.
- Respond to articles, photos or posts to contribute to communities and connect with others.
- Check in with your body – is your time online making you feel happy, productive, or reducing anxiety or frustration, are you avoiding boredom? Does your chest feel tense or relaxed?
- Check if you want to be online right now. If not, go to the above point and check in, then turn it off if you can and do something that makes you feel good. Aim for feeling happier at the end, not for the instant, easy solution.
The thing with mindfulness, is that you can realise that you're not feeling that great. Not the most fun thing to notice, but incredibly useful! Then you get to do something about it and there are so many options.
If you'd like an hand getting on top of your time online - grab this free guide!
Hi, I'm Dr Lara Corr, life coach and researcher in work and wellbeing. I coach successful 30 and 40 somethings who want more fulfilling or bigger careers but doubt themselves and their options. I help them get out of their own way, find direction and go for what they really want.