Turning Off

Unplugging or ignoring all electronics for at least a few minutes a day will do wonders for your psyche and productivity.

When is the last time you turned your phone off? Completely off?

Taking a minute for yourself can prove difficult in today’s digital world of non-stop work and multitasking, especially when the internet has provided a multitude of distractions.

However, finding focus and concentrating on your breath is important for your overall health and is something you should find time to do every day.

Engage & Disconnect

If your typical day involves phone calls, voicemails, text messages, emails, online chats, Facebook, Twitter and any other vehicle of digital noise you can think of, then maybe it is time to turn off.

Biz Stone, one of the co-founders of the social networking site Twitter has said that spending up to 12 hours a day on the platform is unhealthy. “I like the kind of engagement where you go to the website and you leave because you’ve found what you are looking for, or you found something very interesting and you learned something.”

Put Away Your Phone

Leslie Perlow, author of “Sleeping with Your Smartphone,” says that smartphones “invade our lives and psyches. More and more frequently these days, people have two modes—on-the-job and on-call.”

This is scary—there is no time set aside to engage our creative selves, let alone to relax, which is very necessary for our bodies to move into a state that is more conducive for better sleep and a normal breath pattern.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Time to check-in: How are you breathing right now? Is your breath shallow, quick and fast? Or is it even, full, and slow, at a relaxed rate, in time with your heartbeat?

Develop a Routine

Merlin Mann, who developed the concept of “Inbox Zero”—the tagline of which is “Your Email, Your Attention, and Your Life”—says that the most precious resources are “time and attention, [which are both] finite and irreplaceable.”

Inbox Zero isn’t as much about cleaning out your inbox as it is about finding a system and developing a routine surrounding daily life occurrences.

Last year the movement Action for Happiness was founded, and one of its earliest supporters was the Dalai Lama. Advice from the organization suggests that if you want to be happy, you should “elect your boss, take a break from your cell phone and give to charity.”

Even Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, knows when to take a break. She has recently started speaking out about how she leaves the office every day at 5:30 p.m., so that she can have dinner with her children and be involved in her family life. (She returns to her email at 8 p.m.)

Rest and Relax

Practice actively resting—turning off your phone and closing out your email—freeing your life from distractions and digital noise for at least a few minutes each day. Tune into your breath. Relax your jaw and let your tongue fall away from the roof of your mouth. Let your breath rejuvenate your body.

About author

Haley Greenwald-Gonella

Haley Greenwald-Gonella is a certified registered yoga teacher (200 RYT) with Yoga Alliance. She began dancing at the age of 3 and played flute and bassoon while growing up. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with degrees in dance and English. She has her master’s degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from the University of Southern California. In addition, Haley is a director focusing on technology and innovation in the beauty sector.