Keep Your Brain Engaged While You Unplug

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Few people believe that they should spend more time on their phones or in front of their computers; however, unplugging can be more difficult than it seems because our brains have been programmed to expect new and exciting content every few seconds. How do you unplug without going crazy? Try a few of the following ideas.

Read a Thriller

Reading fiction books is a great way to unplug. If you have a hard time getting into a novel, choose a fast-paced who-done-it that will compel you to turn page after page. Losing yourself in a nail-biter keeps your brain engaged.  As you try to stay one step ahead of the villain, you leave your phone farther and farther behind.

Cook a Meal

With busy hands, you simply can’t check your phone every 10 seconds.  Cooking the old-fashioned way — from a cookbook as opposed to video instructions on your iPad — takes concentration.  You simply must give the process your full attention or risk losing your place or burning a key ingredient. The payoff, of course, is a nice meal to enjoy with a glass of wine at the end of a long, screen-heavy day.

Solve a Puzzle

Committing to spending 15 minutes each day attempting the crossword or Sudoku in the daily paper can be more engrossing than you may realize. Before you know it, 30 minutes or more will have flown by. Shrug off the pressure to finish the puzzle. Just work until your brain has had a blue-light break.  If you must know the answers, work from yesterday’s paper.

If being bored is your main excuse for not putting down your electronics, consider a more active form of unplugging.  Your brain still stays busy — just in different ways. The benefits just might include getting a better night’s sleep and having something interesting to talk about with your coworkers the next day at work.