January 4, 2016 With the New Year often comes the decision and determination to detox the body with the primary goal of feeling fantastic. This is achieved through limiting certain foods and liquids or steering away from them completely for a certain amount of time. Another kind of detox is a digital detox. This means to refrain from using smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices which connect to the online world. The aim is to regain a physical connection to the real world and the benefits include lowered levels of anxiety, improved social interaction and more appreciation of the beauty of the surrounding environment. Information overload A digital detox is the answer to the onslaught of the daily information we see and hear through the internet. News, views and interaction through social media are all placed in front of us at ever-increasing speed whenever we connect to the net through our phone, tablet or PC. Before we know it, hours have been lost reading shared information which may not be relevant or even true, statuses have been checked and rechecked and email inboxes have been refreshed – again. The result of the daily avalanche of data we all need to sift through is that we can begin to lose touch with the important elements of real life; important events such as the first steps of a baby or the opening of a letter by a member of the family which contains good news can be missed if we are looking at texts or playing online games. How to make the first step to a digital detox Making the decision to have a digital detox can be difficult; many people now feel a sense of loss if they don’t have constant access to the virtual world but the reality is that having a break from certain sites or the amount of internet use generally can really show us that the world around us is fantastic and that being in the ‘now’ can be much more satisfying than being online. To begin with, start with a 12 hour ban on using the internet in any shape or form and evaluate how this feels and then the following week, try a 24 hour timeframe. Carry this out on a regular basis to really reconnect with the surrounding planet. The benefits of a digital detox A digital detox is great; it means real life relationships can be re-established and nurtured, the world around us can be explored and we can really see how important the little things in life are. Teamed with perhaps a little meditation or taking up a new hobby which doesn’t include the internet such as a sport or a craft, then a regular digital detox will quickly be seen as a relaxing and calming part of life.