Category: Uncategorized

TinyDevotionsFeb17-0407

MINDFULNESS + SOCIAL MEDIA

Last month, I gave an introduction to living a mindful life in a material world– how we can enjoy everything that out physical world has to offer while maintaining a deep connection to our inner selves.

Today I want to get more specific and look at how we can bring mindfulness into our social media usage. This has been a huge conversation for me personally as I’ve struggled to balance the positives and the negatives of an online life. I’ve learned that I have to be very mindful of how I use social media, or I seriously suffer the consequences.

For me, it all starts with this one question:

Am I picking up my phone to get inspired and connected or to zone and numb out?

This is a really important thing to recognize– why exactly are you scrolling through social media?

When I’m bored, stressed, indecisive, or anxious I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll immediately reach for my phone. When being alone with my thoughts or worries feels like too much, a quick scroll through Instagram seems like the quickest way to distract myself and not deal with what’s really going on.

The thing is, I am not necessarily saying this is a bad thing. Sometimes diversions and distractions are good coping mechanisms, but being mindful of what’s going on behind your scrolling is key. It takes you out of autopilot and puts you back in control of your actions.

Another question to consider is why do you post what you post? Is it for “likes” or validation, or is it to share a piece of yourself with others and connect with a community?

Again, I don’t actually think there’s a right or wrong reason- personally, I am happy to grow my online platforms- it opens up a lot of doors! What’s really important is that you’re aware of your intention.

The hashtags you use, the filters, the editing, the comments you leave- they can all be applied mindfully or not. This might make the whole thing seem way too complicated, but it’s as simple as bringing awareness to how you’re feeling when you do these things.

Recently, I’ve really begun evaluating my social media use and looking at what works for me and what doesn’t. I’ve finally accepted that too much scrolling makes me feel overwhelmed, cloudy, and less satisfied with my life. And this is coming from someone whose feed is comprised of really inspirational, wellness focused content.

It’s not the posts itself that throws me off; it’s the sheer volume of information. Having constant access to so many differing opinions, quotes, beliefs, and experiences, just leaves me confused and disconnected from myself.

I am able to get so much clearer when I’m not overloaded with social media content. I feel so much more content and present when I’m offline more of the time.

It’s not always easy to put down my phone though. There’s this feeling when you’ve checked all of your accounts and you’re just kind of sitting there with your phone not sure what to check next. We look for connection through our phones when we’re not finding it within ourselves or in the physical world around us.

I also recognize that there is SO much good that can come from social media. I’ve met new friends, clients, and collaborators through my Instagram and Facebook accounts, and I’ve learned so much from the inspiring people I follow and connect with! I’ve discovered new places, new recipes, new books, new ways of thinking, all through the community I am able to connect with online. And that is extremely powerful.

I also love the creative aspect of social media. Taking photos of my travels, my kitten, and my smoothies is so much fun. Filtering, editing, and writing captions is a creative experience for me.

When I use social media now, in addition to limiting my time spent scrolling or posting, I’m mindful of how I’m feeling. When I’m feeling inspired and connected to others, I stay online. Once I start feeling overwhelmed, less-than, or judgmental, I know it’s time to switch off.

Learning how to navigate this online world takes practice. The majority of us didn’t grow up with smartphones, so we’re still learning how to adapt to this new way of life- to find balance and not lose ourselves online. Using social media gives us an amazing opportunity to set boundaries and become mindful of what works for us and what doesn’t.

Taking selfies, seeking followers, scrolling through your feeds, perfecting your filters and edits- these are all neutral actions. The power is in bringing mindfulness to these actions and becoming aware of why you’re doing them.

How do you find balance online? What are your tips for staying mindful and present in this age of information overload? We would love to hear from you!

p.s. Social media and the effect that it has on our lives is such a huge conversation, one that I can’t even begin to properly cover in one short article. If this is something you’re interested in, there are two TedTalks that I highly recommend.

Quit Social Media, by Dr. Cal Newport

Social Media Makes us Unsocial, Allison Graham

I don’t necessarily agree with everything they say, but they offer a really powerful perspective on the importance of understanding the effect that social media can have on us. I think educating ourselves in this way can help us to stay more mindful and make informed online choices.

kate-horodyski-bio-pic

 

 

 

 

Kate is a lifestyle and travel writer based in Halifax.  You can find her online at her site, and on Instagram

One thought on “MINDFULNESS + SOCIAL MEDIA

Comments are closed.

How to use your Mala in a Yoga Practice

How-To-use-Mala-Japa-Meditation-Yoga

1) Grounding:
Inhale, exhale… Grab your mat, blankets, bolster and blocks. Find a comfortable seated position with a straight spine rooting yourself into the mat. Gently close your eyes or soften your gaze allowing yourself to dive inwards.

2) Choose Your Mantra:
Take a moment to choose your mantra to guide you through your meditative practice. What brought you to your mat today? What intention did you set this morning when you awoke? What emotion does your mala evoke within you? Your intention is personal to you- it can be a thought, a word, a sentence or song. Once you have chosen your mantra chant it aloud or silently.

3) Japa Meditation:
Hold your Mala Beads in your right hand allowing it to drape between the thumb and middle finger. Starting at the Guru Bead or the sacred stone- gently roll each bead while repeating your mantra. Repeat this 108 times, or until you are back at the sacred stone.

4) Yoga Practice:
Place your Mala beads at the top of your yoga mat. Allow your mantra and intention to flow through you guiding you through your asanas. If you feel yourself getting lost in the physical practice, use the intention you set with your Mala Beads to bring yourself back to the present.

5) Savasana:
Finish your yoga practice on your mat with a juicy savasana. You may choose to end with another round of Japa Meditation bringing your practice full circle.

Virgo Full Moon

Virgo’s Full Moon is taking place today, February 22nd at 1:19pm EST. The Full Moon is believed to shine a light on relationships, challenges and other areas of your life that need improvement. It brings about a perfect time to complete any projects that have been lingering, have conversations you may have been avoiding or dealing with love and relationship problems that you’ve tried to ignore.

VirgoFullMoon

The energy created by the Full Moon in Virgo will drive passion in your desire for change. The spell of this full moon is said to be a time of curiosity, inspiration and drive. You might feel inspired to make positive changes in your life, from healthy eating + working out to decluttering and minimalizing your home. The zodiac signs most affected by this Full Moon will be Virgo, Capricorn, Taurus, Pisces, and Sagittarius. The Full Moon can make you feel frustrated and restless, but it also will push you to make significant changes in love and life. It’s a time of high emotions and that might create some tension to force you to let go of past anger to allow relationships to heal. Get ready to embrace change throughout the rest of February and into March!

Happy Lunar New Year!

Lunar New Year is February 8th, making now the perfect time to reflect upon where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and what your desires are for the journey ahead of you.

LunarNewYear

Grab your journal. Take some time to clarify your thoughts and feelings.
Reflect upon the year past. Connect with where you want to go:

Which successes + accomplishments are you most proud of from the past year?
What are your most important learnings?
What’s truly meaningful + important to you in your life?
What are the most valuable + impactful things you’ll be doing this coming year?
What do you want more of in this coming year?
What do you want less of this coming year?
How do you want to feel?

Answering questions like this will help you to heal, grow, and thrive. Writing helps us to learn from the past, reflect upon our thoughts and improve our perspective on life while clearing the busy mind. If you don’t get answers right away, look for signs during your day.