Information is omnipresent. Everywhere we go, everything we do is dominated by information and media. In this fast-paced, modern-day lifestyle, we are constantly filling our brain with information for it to process whether we’re conscious of it or not. The radio that we always have on in the car while we drive, the texting and social media that we consume, the conversations that we have at work and home—all of these are information for the brain to process in our minds as sensory experiences that can lead to an overload. In fact, a sensory overload lifestyle is so common these days that we’ve become numb to the inundation of information that we expose ourselves to.
A healthy way to get back in touch with yourself and take a break from all the noise is information fasting. Information fasting is unplugging entirely from experiences that put excess sensory information in your head, including all media, technology, music, and chatting mindlessly with others. It’s about committing yourself for a set period of time, whether it’s one day a week or otherwise, to practice rewiring your focus to be internal rather than external. This acts as a reset for your body and mind, and will benefit your overall development and health significantly.
While technology and the information it serves can fulfill a positive purpose and aid greatly in our daily lives, it’s good to take a step back and unplug on a regular basis. If you’re not sure whether this can be good for you or not, here are some benefits, as well as tips for how to best achieve effective information fasting:
1. Eliminate stress and anxiety.
By always plugging into technology, you may experience a hovering anticipation at all times—”Did I just get a text? Should I check my email? I wonder what’s going on in the news?” When you separate from this and set aside dedicated time to be focusing that attention on yourself, the feelings of attachment that come with a dependency to technology can be lifted from your shoulders. Suddenly, there’s less noise and traffic in your brain and more room to eliminate stress and anxiety.
2. Have time to nurture your self-development.
So much time is spent scrolling through newsfeeds or remaining glued to the screen, switching between apps. Set it aside for a while and go for a walk, meditate, or have a conversation with inner yourself. Where is your life headed to now? What is it that you really want? Also try getting in touch with your body more via movement with yoga, hiking, or exercise. Once you’ve taken a step back and spend more mindful time with yourself, you’ll quickly realize how much time you may have previously been consuming on your devices.
3. Give your brain time to refresh and clear itself.
Ever have the feeling of waking up tired even though you slept for a long time? That’s the result of carrying old information and energy from the previous day into your new day. Giving your brain a break from information allows it time to refresh and clear itself naturally. You’ll feel more balanced, harmonious, and less overwhelmed.
4. Get better sleep.
With information fasting, you’re cutting out the constant chatter that may be affecting your sleep whether it’s texting, talking to someone, listening to podcasts, being absorbed in music etc. On top of that, staring at a screen reduces the production of melatonin, a chemical released by the brain that puts our body to sleep at night. Take all the media and information out of the equation to result in far better sleep, and in turn, more energy and better moods the next day.
These are just a few of our tips and benefits of information fasting. The potential of it improving your life can be unlimited, all it takes is mindfulness and action on your part. Keep in mind how important it is to remain connected to yourself first and foremost, rather than disconnecting internally and plugging constantly into the outside world through technology. We recommend you to try information fasting and would love to hear what your thoughts are on the topic and your experience. What do you do to unplug from media? How has it affected your day-to-day? Let us know in the comments!