054 – How to Switch Off – Angela Lockwood
Author - Switch Off
We live in 2017 and there is lots to celebrate. We’re richer than at any other time in history, information is at our finger tips, medicine and the essentials of life literally pour out of a tap.
Yet amongst all this apparent wealth we find ourselves slipping further and further into depression – our mental is plummeting.
My guest in this episode is here to tell us why – and more importantly, what we can do about it.
Angela Lockwood is the author of Switch Off and she has a bunch of ideas that will help us all live a calmer, more fulfilling life.
Here’s what I took from the episode:
Today we are inundated with too much information – it makes it hard to find what we are really looking for. It’s difficult to decipher meaning. We are overwhelmed with information and choice.
Switch off is not just about turning off our devices, it’s also about learning how to switch off our brain.
The Three Os
Over-Connected: Social media is the real culprit here – obviously. We are connected to so many people through our social media accounts. Largely they are made up of people that we would not spend time with in real life – yet, we get anxious and stressed about our ability to respond to them online, rather than focussing on what is happening to us in our real life.
The key to overcoming the feeling of being over-connected is developing the ability to set clear boundaries.
‘We can’t be constantly switched on and in work mode’
Over-Whelmed: When we have a very busy live, with lots of competing commitments, there are two general responses. We might plough on, determined to get it all done and fulfil all of our commitments – this can lead to sickness of mind and / or body. The second response might be to throw our hands in the air and simply give up – to crash and burn.
The key to overcoming the feeling of being over-whelmed is developing the ability to prioritise the things that are important to us (and decide what stuff we can get rid of).
Angela suggests that finding the things in your life that are truly important to you comes from remembering to slow down: take a big deep breath, step back and give yourself some perspective about what is happening in your world.
Over-Stimulated: Too many things to look at, too many people, too much music – too much going on. Some environments are so busy that our minds have trouble processing – they overload our sensory thresholds. Of course some of us have high thresholds, others have low. But at some point each of us are over-stimulated by everything that is going on around us.
The problem here is that we as adults often have trouble admitting to ourselves, let alone the people around us, that we are struggling to process all the ‘noise’ that is going on around us. Therefore, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to manage the problem.
The key to overcoming the feeling of over-whelmed is to learn to understand our sensory tolerances and adjust our lives accordingly.
Make Some Changes
Slow down long enough to notice what is going on in your life. Ask yourself, which of these things are having negative consequences and then make a plan to change them.
There are lots of fantastic things we are all doing well in our life – for our health, family and work. But if you give yourself the chance, you will realise there some things you could change about your life for the better.