When I was visiting India, I was fascinated by the daily life of the locals.
Especially in the Northern India, locals aren’t engrossed in technology as much as we are. Mostly, I lived in Ladakh, a region in the state of Jammu and Kashmir that is surrounded by the Himalayan ranges. What I experienced there is unknown in our mundane lives. This is because it is inhabited by Tibetans, whose culture is quite different from ours.
The Ladakhi society is a mixture of spiritual festivals, family gatherings, cooking, gardening and working. Existing at an altitude of 3,500 meters, communicating through handheld devices is pretty hard. Electricity is off most of the time and the network doesn’t work consistently. Whether I liked it or not, I had to experience the daily life of the locals.
I observed and mimicid their habits. These people are rich. Rich in mindfulness, peace and kindness. Unlike them, we grew up dependent on technology to entertain us. They made me realize that the more dependent we become on technology, the more miserable we are becoming. Having lived closely with these Indians, they rarely hold a cellphone in their hands.
They believe in being entertained by the universe where we live.
People watching, in public places, has become one of my favorite habits. I like to spot how many people not using a handheld device. I usually only count one out of 10.
It’s about time to make an expansive balance. Technology is needed, but only to a certain extent. We can enjoy plenty of things, that are within our reach, if only we are willing to put down our phone.
Below are seven things that can turn our life upside down if we give them a try.
1. Reading a book.
Let’s grab a book and start reading. It’s meditative, mentally stimulating and easy. Reading books is a form of entertaining ourselves in an educational way. Additionally, reading is a healthy habit that will never fail us.
Personally, I can never spend a day without reading at least a couple of pages. It reduces my stress level and brings me to the present moment.
2. Watching a sunset or a sunrise.
Enjoying a sunrise or sunset provides many personal benefits, if we give it a shot. Watching sunsets or sunrises gives us a glimpse about the world’s majesty. I think sunsets are magical. Whenever I watch one, I am reminded of how small I am before the immensity and beauty of this Earth.
Moreover, sunsets/sunrises bring us comfort and peace. The act of watching them is meditative enough to push away any destructive thoughts.
3. Looking at the sun.
Three years ago I cultivated a habit that I utterly enjoy. One hour before the sunset, I look at the sun for about five or 10 minutes. When the sun is near the horizon, it is safe for us to look at directly. Looking at it gives me a feeling of positivity. I literally feel that I have been recharged from its light.
Sun gazing is one activity that can bring about plenty of good energy. Be careful though not to look at it during unsafe times as it can be quite damaging to the eyes.
4. A hot cup of tea.
Come on. We all have tea bags at our place. Have tea with biscuits, try different flavors. Maybe read a book while drinking it. I enjoy drinking tea during the winter, when there are thunderstorms forming outside and rain is tapping on my bedroom window.
Cultivate a pleasurable tea habit. It is both relaxing and beneficial to our health.
If we can find a place surrounded by nature, we should walk there. However, if we can’t, walking is still beneficial anywhere. Walking is an activity that is enjoyable, especially in the morning and evening. I love to walk during the sunset. It spins the energy in my body and helps my thoughts calm down.
Walking is a movement that never gets old. I think the more we do it, the calmer we become.
6. Having a conversation.
And I don’t mean over chat applications. Let’s have conversations face to face. Let’s practice talking to each other, like our ancestors did. It is quite pleasurable to hear a person’s voice, to see his facial expressions and to share each other’s words. Sadly, we’ve become accustomed to expressing our deepest thoughts only through a keyboard.
In my estimation, a face to face conversation is a enjoyable activity that can bring humans closer together.
Silence is attainable any day, at any time. Most people fear being left alone or in a silent place as they may be faced with the voice running in their head. But I guarantee, nothing is more pleasurable than silence. It is pure emptiness that contains all the words in the universe.
Listening to silence is a beautiful activity that can help us grow and better understand the facets of life.
I think the problem in our world today is that we are doing what everybody else is. There are a lot of things we do in our daily life that we don’t really like. How many times have we left the house for coffee when we don’t really feel like it? What about all the movies we watched but didn’t like and were too lazy to get up?
Just because other people are doing something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re happy doing it. Also, it doesn’t mean that activity will make us happy.
If my suggestions don’t suit you or your lifestyle, then write your own list with little technology-free things to enjoy. Enjoy time away from any handheld devices.
Let’s be authentic in our activities and spread that joy around.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Caitlin Oriel