We live in a fast paced world where worry and fear collide with every breath we take. At moments it becomes so hard for us to turn off the worry and fear bottoms from our mind. That’s where the phenomenon of “disconnecting” comes handy.
What does this multifaceted word mean (to me at least)?
Disconnecting (as I see it) is the act of shutting down your brain from its normal day to day thoughts and allowing it to think new thoughts. This is a hard exercise yet might work out with time and practice or by coincidence.
I say by coincidence since sometimes you plan a vacation to disconnect yet end up staying connected while on the contrary you might get away for a weekend and feel connected!
I had the opportunity to disconnect for four days over this long weekend when I visited my parents in Jordan. I didn’t notice that I was disconnected until my vacation was over and I was waiting for my plane to board and remembered that I had work the next day. Then it hit me that for several long vacations or trips I wasn’t really disconnecting.
With these thoughts in mind, here are 7 reasons why I believe disconnecting is very important:
- You focus on new things: when you disconnect, you are focused on the new thing that you are doing, it might be the new country you are seeing or the new task at hand. The act of just focusing your attention on something new is a great benefit for disconnecting. During my trip, I was focused on two things. 1) I wanted to spend quality time with my family and give them my undivided attention. 2) I wanted to do my Christmas shopping. These two thoughts are not my usual day to day thoughts since I am always too busy to see/talk to my family and usually don’t buy Christmas gifts (well I buy gifts, but it’s not an event by itself!)
- You forget the external world: when you are so focused on something (new), you forget that there are other things going on around you, thus when you are disconnected, it’s great to forget the outer world. Since I knew that I had four days to spend with my family, I did not think of anything beyond my family circle. I spend all these four days with them and did not allow for anything external to come in between us. So it felt good.
- You limit your communication and interaction: when you disconnect you have very little interactions and communications with the day to day people that you deal with. This by itself is a good thing since we tend to interact and communicate with a very big number of people day in day out. During my trip I was connecting to the internet once a day and thus I was only talking to my family. No friends, no colleagues, no relatives, no one! Just my family!
- You train your brain on different thoughts: when you disconnect you are thinking new thoughts, nothing like the usual day to day thoughts and this is a great exercise for your brain. Plus it will feel as if you are sharpening the nerves of your brain. During my trip, my thoughts were limited to family discussions, meal choices, and gift ideas. And this was it! I didn’t think of any daily house chores, any work related tasks, any traffic, nor any other thoughts. That was a good break for my mind.
- You do not feel stress or worry: when you are out of your daily routine and day to day environment, you will not face the stress and worry that you feel on a daily basis and thus you will be giving yourself an amazing gift. During my vacation, I forgot what it felt like to stress out and worry.
- You recharge: when you disconnect, stop thinking regular thoughts, … then you recharge some energy and could move mountains with it. During my trip, i felt so much energy, that I ended up walking around 10 KM a day without even noticing it. I sure enjoyed it, I think that my family are still recovering from all this walking 🙂
- You open up for random things: when you are disconnected, energized, not stressed and worried, random things start happening with you. The whole word will be conspiring to help you and to open up new opportunities. While on my trip, out of the blue, my brother and i decided to rent a car and drive from Amman to Petra. It was very random, we did not have anything set, we just wanted to spend some quality time together. So we ended up seeing Petra by day, then Petra by night, we met amazing people and had so much fun.
Those were my seven reasons why its important to disconnect. What are your thoughts?