The Simple Ritual The Happiest People Commit To Doing At Least Once A Year

Photo: jeffbergen | Canva 
Woman unplugging

Most of us are consumed by various electronic devices with fun social media apps. They grab our attention and pull our thoughts and emotions away from us.

Social media is a vacuum that draws you in and can consume your consciousness, which is why doing a social media detox from time to time is vital. Fortunately, many of the happiest people have discovered that a social media detox done yearly (or even more frequently!) can help dramatically. 

RELATED: Why My Obsessive 24/7 Social Media Addiction Nearly Ruined My LIFE

Here are 4 simple reasons to commit to a regular social media detox.

1. It’s good for your health.

Truly escaping the grid requires you to get moving. You can drive to a trailhead, but then your feet or perhaps a mountain bike necessitates you being in good physical condition.

Preparing for your excursion can provide an incentive to get in shape. If exercise like this is not an option, getting away from your routine or environment in whatever way possible can make a significant difference by freshening your perspective.

2. It’s good for your mental well-being.

Unlike everyday social media, being out in nature appeals to all of our senses.

The beautiful landscapes appeal to our sight, and the smell of the forest and wildflowers appeal to our sense of smell. The sounds of birds singing, the wind through the trees, and the sound of running water appeal to our hearing. The taste of fresh mountain spring water appeals to our taste (just be sure to use a quality filter).

As for touch, you can hug a tree or climb a mountain, and you’re sure to feel it.



RELATED: 3 Steps To Breaking Your Toxic Social Media Addiction For Good

3. It allows you to spend quality time alone.

Whether you’re planning a deep wilderness excursion or want to get in a nice walk or run. Set out for a peaceful destination such as a park, a flower garden, a hillside with a view, or perhaps a shoreline if you are near one.

When you reach your destination, take time to pray or meditate. Even trying and empty your mind of any thought can be cleansing.

Be sure to take in the serene view as you quiet your mind. Being in nature lets you focus on something outside of yourself — beyond your worries, stressors, and the influence of social media.



4. It can improve your relationship.

Getting off social media and out in the world gives you an opportunity for quality time together if you are in a relationship. You can spend time with your partner planning your adventure, and in the process, you may learn something new about each other.

Being out together away from technology gives you the chance to talk together without distractions and connect on a deeper level. Plus, gazing at the stars or relaxing by the lake can be very romantic.



RELATED: Just Because You’re Depressed Doesn’t Mean You’ll Feel Sad Forever

Ready to take action?

Have you ever noticed how your social media notifications show up in red? It’s a tool to attract your attention and give your brain a push of dopamine, which makes you crave opening your feed to see what it is.

Over time, this may even lead to a social media addiction.

When you scroll in your feed, you'll probably see nasty news that can bring you down. Or you'll see how great everyone else’s life is because all you see is their accomplishments and vacation pics. If you feel your life is not up to snuff, seeing everyone else’s flawless victories in your feed can make you feel defeated.

But here’s the thing: What we see in our social media feed doesn’t tell us the whole story or portray what is accurate. Take some time away to do a social media detox, get out, and enjoy the outdoors to give your mind the chance to focus on something else.

To make your social media detox off-the-grid experience a reality, you have to plan for it. Make your plans specific and concrete. Don’t just say, “It would be nice to get away,” or, "Someday, I’d like to do something like that.”

Set a date, time, and destination for yourself (or you and your partner) to unplug and spend some time in nature, away from social media. Book travel arrangements if your getaway requires it. Put your planned outing on your calendar.

So much of what we see on social media is filled with judgment. The beauty of nature is it doesn’t judge you and it doesn’t discriminate against anyone. It provides the same breathtaking landscapes and vistas to anyone willing to work to get to them.

It’s an open invitation. And in my experience, it never disappoints.

“The mountains are calling, and I must go.”John Muir



RELATED: 3 Simple Ways To Stop Negative Thoughts From Bringing You Down​

Craig Nielson is a Professional Coach, Speaker, and Educator.