Daily Challenge Thursday Jun. 21, 2012

Everyday Well-Being

Take 5 minutes today to unplug from technology and enjoy the scenery instead.

How to do it

Once during your day, take a 5-minute digital break. Stop texting, let the phone go to voicemail, and don't respond to that email message. Instead, pause, take a deep breath, and observe the world around you. If you're inside, look out the window. Notice the sky, the people, and the season. If you can get outside, take an even closer look at your physical environment.

Why it matters

Just as your email inbox gets too full, so can your brain! Smart phones, laptops, and TVs all add to audiovisual clutter that our brains must then sort through. Even though these gadgets provide entertainment, they also add stress and can increase the levels of cortisol in the bloodstream. Over time, higher levels of cortisol can damage the heart, cause high blood pressure, and suppress the immune system. Taking time to unplug and enjoy the scenery allows you time to recharge the most important device: you.

Fun fact

The first text message was sent nearly 20 years ago by a 22-year-old engineer employed by the English telecommunications company Vodafone. The message that would launch a new communication platform simply said, "Merry Christmas."


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