How Meditation Reduces Screen Addiction, Screen Time
How Meditation Reduces Screen Addiction, Screen Time
"If I had a dollar for every hour that I've spent staring at a screen then I'd be a gazillionaire!" — Avg. Human circa 2023
Life unfolds in the present.
The problem is, whether it's ruminating over the past or worrying about the future, the human mind does everything it can to avoid being present.
Like a monkey swinging from tree branch to tree branch, the human mind's tendency to constantly jump from thought to thought has made us lose touch with the "now."
With millions of copies sold in over 30 languages, the massive popularity of Eckhart Tolle's 1997 book "The Power of Now" illustrates the grand scale of the problem. And that was written 25+ years ago!
Since then, the greatest "attention hogging" device ever conceived has burrowed its way into everyone's pocket — turning our present moment "mole hill" into "Mt. Killiman-JOY-o." You might be reading this article on one right now. The smartphone.
Too Much Screen Time: We Average Nearly 4 Hours / Day On Our Phones!
With the everyday person touching, tapping, and swiping their smartphone 2,617 times per day (along with 3 hours 46 minutes of mobile screen time), walking around with an always connected device means that our mind monkeys now have infinite tree branches from which to grab and swing.
With depression and anxiety statistics up 800% (!) from what they were 50 years ago, many scientists now blame modern man's mental health deficiencies on excessive screen time. On the trend, Dr. Harsh Trivedi told CBSNews,"The difficulty now is you can't really turn things off. We don't necessarily have downtimes to recharge and get our bearings straight again."
If we don't inoculate ourselves to this epidemic, being present to enjoy the natural world (like a sunset!) — without a screen, might one day be but a glimmer in Grandma and Grandpa's eye. Technology is meant to be our servant, not our master.
Mindful Vs Mindless Screen Time
"The internet has spread knowledge like nothing the world has ever seen. How do I know if it's my mind monkeys playing with my phone instead of my insatiable quest for wisdom?"
Here is a little exercise. The next time you are touching, tapping, and swiping your phone, pay attention to your posture, breathing, heart rate, and whether you feel "in control" of your actions.
If your breathing is shallow, if you feel tense, and/or if you feel a little "mindless" or impulsive with your actions, then it's likely the mind monkeys doing their thing. If you don't even have the presence of mind to "check-in" on yourself to complete this exercise, then the mind monkeys own you.
"I think the mind monkeys have me wrapped around their grubby little fingers. Should I throw my phone in the trash, move to the forest, and become a hermit? I saw "Into The Wild," I know how this movie ends!"
You don't need to give up on modern life or any of its wonderful gadgetry. The goal is to feel calm, in-control, and highly mindful when using your smartphone (which naturally leads to less screen addiction!). That's what meditation brings to the table.
How Meditation Tames The Mind Monkeys
To understand how meditation masterfully tames the mind monkeys, we must go to their playground. The human brain.
When the brain has nothing to do, it's "Default Mode Network (DMN)" switches on. This "idle mode" is like giving the mind monkeys a bag full of Halloween candy and letting them out for recess.
If we don't give them some kind of a toy, then they will screech and holler (with epic annoyance), yank us every which way, throw banana peels at our feet, "act a fool" to the 8th degree, and so on.
Most of us will do anything to keep the mind monkeys appeased. These days, the easiest solution is to simply hand them our smartphone.
Whether it's apps, social media, news, or games, our always connected devices offer a never-ending supply of amusement for the whopping 3 hours 46 minutes of screen time per day that we average on them (!).
"I'm Bored": The Default Mode Network (DMN) & The Posterior Cingulate Cortex (PCC)
Rounding up the mind monkey troop starts with their master, an area near our brain's midline called the "Posterior Cingulate Cortex (PCC)." Think Jane Goodall.
As the brain region directly linked to our "I'm bored let's play with my phone" Default Mode Network (DMN), strengthening this chunk of our noggin is the secret to making our mind monkeys docile, gentle, and submissive.
Luckily, that's exactly what meditation does! Among four key brain regions, Harvard University researchers (2011, Hölzel et al) discovered that meditation dramatically increases the Posterior Cingulate Cortex's "gray matter concentration."
What does this mean? In essence, by strengthening the brain's "present moment" discipline center (PCC) into a bona-fide "Full Metal Jacket" drill sergeant, meditation ships the whole monkey troop off to boot camp.
And when they return, the rambunctious, impulsive, and rowdy mind monkeys have miraculously transformed into benevolent, peaceful, and docile little angels. This mindful "leashing" of the monkeys restores order to the courtroom of our mind.
Conquer Screen Addiction: Meditation Trains The Mind To Not Need Constant Amusement
When we train our mind monkeys to not need constant amusement (i.e. smartphone), we nourish our consciousness with the power of "now." As a result, we become much calmer, happier people.
And no, meditation will not have you trashing your phone or living the rest of your days as a forest hermit. Mindfulness simply untethers anxiety, tension, and impulsivity when using your beloved device. In this way, you control your phone instead of it controlling you.
And if you cut down on your daily screen time to enjoy the natural world and its infinite beauty, whether its mindfully taking in an ocean sunset or going on a walk through the forest — then all the better!
Own technology without it owning you. Unleash the present moment. Discover meditation.
Using safe and highly effective sound technology, all EquiSync programs are designed to carefully ease the listener's brainwaves into a state of deep meditation, opening the door to the ancient mind practice's limitless benefits much faster than the traditional route. You can learn more about how it works from the links below:
While we have outlined one basic philosophy / form of meditation in the links below, if you already have a proven meditation technique — then we encourage you to combine & enhance it with our audio technology. EquiSync uses sound to deepen the meditative state no matter your chosen technique.