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Shift is Sakara's bi-weekly series on small changes that lead to radical change. It is our belief that by committing to small, realistic, conscious changed in your daily life, you can create a large SHIFT.

The Shift: Do not check your phone for the first 30 minutes of your day.

The Why: Breaking this conditioned attachment first thing in the morning paves the way for a more conscious day.

But really…Why?: Consciousness might be one of the most magnetic traits in our egocentric always-on-the-go world. A conversation with someone who is truly listening, engaging, and participating seems more and more like a treat to be cherished rather than the standard for communication. Even more important: consciousness with ourselves! That quiet confidence that gives us the peace and patience to explore our thoughts, enjoy time alone, and tune into our bodies is quickly disappearing into a series of Instagram swipes.

“For many decades, the idea of consciousness has been tied…to how we self-regulate our short-term and long-term desires,” explains the report Consciousness and Self-Regulation in Mobile Communication.

“Automaticity is classically defined as a process incorporating four dimensions of a specific behavior: lack of attention, lack of awareness, lack of intention and lack of control.”

We often turn to smartphones for a quick fix, a jolt of pleasure or adrenaline that comes from seeing a photo on Facebook or receiving an exciting email. These short-term blasts of energy; however, may come at the expense of greater, long-term goals including increased patience, a more connected relationship or solutions to a business problem.

The always-available stream of information and photos also entertain us, distracting us from sinking into deeper thoughts about our decisions and actions. Disregard of harmful consequences, preoccupation, inability to control carving, productivity loss and feeling anxious and lost are all symptoms of smartphone addiction outlined in a recent study from the Chinese University of Hong Kong titled Linking Loneliness, Shyness, Smartphone Addiction Symptoms and Patterns of Smartphone Use to Social Capital.

While we deeply understand the value of technology, the time we spend on our smartphones can easily spiral out of control with serious effects on our imagination and communication (not to mention vision, attention span, posture, and joint function). It's the time spent indulging in these quiet, empty moments that ignites our creativity and gives it the space to flourish. If you don’t let your mind wander, how will it travel down new paths, experiment, play, and create?

We’ve grown so accustomed to reaching for our devices in those quiet moments after we arise, slipping into or out of sleep and into or out of consciousness, that if we can break the habit right THERE, in the initial reaction, we may be able to create much more profound change in the rest of our days. String a few of those days together and we have a week, a few weeks creates a month, etc.

Shift with us! Indulge in 30 minutes of smartphone-free peace for 30 minutes upon waking and before bed. Turn if off, place it another room, or active airplane mode. Use the time to meditate, read, write, draw, stretch or kiss. It’s time for your mind to create your reality rather than have it be defined by outside influences.

*Image of Robyn Lawley for Cosmo AU via here

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