Be More Present

A recent study showed that mobile phone users spend 4 hours a day on their phones. If you’re like me, I bet you’ve caught yourself cycling through the same 4-5 apps throughout the day, anticipating the discovery of something new.

Some have suggested we’re training our brains to actually need constant stimulation, reducing our ability to listen well and be present in the moment with people. (By people I mean the real, live, physical, present kind of people.)

I’m not anti-mobile phones, but I am anti-anything that keeps me from being sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is doing in the moment and how he might want to include me. He’s in charge of my life—and that includes my screen time. I don’t want to miss out on kingdom treasure because I was checking Instagram.

Here are some ideas to help you be more present…

  • Simply be aware. Ask yourself often throughout the day, “Am I focused on the present moment?”
  • When the answer is “no,” explore your distractions. What thoughts or other distractions are stealing your focus?
  • Eliminate distractions. Redirect your thoughts, put your phone away, turn off your monitor, or go to a quiet place. If others are with you, re-engage in the conversation or by listen attentively. The quality of your relationships will improve. Set boundaries for when you will and won’t engage your mobile phone and stick to it. Develop a way for loved ones to alert in times of emergencies that reduce the need for you to answer every call or scroll through texts which often lead to a trail of distractions.
  • Find an accountability partner. Ask your loved ones or coworkers to remind you if you’re checking your phone, in a daze, or thinking about something else when you should be engaging. And then, when they offer reminders, thank them and refocus.

Forward this on to someone you love, but before you do, apply it to yourself. Let’s be more present.

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