Managing Stress > The Art of Disconnecting

Perhaps the single greatest source of stress we face today is the constant barrage of stimuli impinging on our eyes and ears all hours of the day. With our ever-growing number of devices that help us stay connected, we've lost the ability to disconnect.

The ability of others to contact us anytime anywhere through cell phones, email, instant messaging, and an increasing number of social networks can easily become overwhelming. Many people tell me that rather than feeling excited to connect they often feel obligated and burdened to do so. What can you do?

Practice the art of disconnecting. Make yourself unreachable for an hour each day, unless there's an emergency. During that hour don't check your email. Stay off the Internet. Turn off the television. Consider reading a book. Listen to some music. Or just go outside and stare at the clouds or the stars.

Maybe even try some meditation. It's easy. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths, imagine a beautiful place you've been and just drift away. No doubt you will feel the urge to check your device—I know it's tempting! But after a few days of "disconnect time," you will likely cherish that sacred hour of being alone without all the distractions. Give it a try!