In today’s fast-paced digital world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. One of the biggest culprits of this stress is our constant use of smartphones and other digital devices.
From checking our emails and social media to scrolling through the news, it’s hard to put our phones down and relax. Trust me, I’ve been there before. After a stressful day, a fight with my spouse, or a hard time with kids, I have found myself plopped down on the couch stressed scrolling mindlessly.
And after scorlling mindlessly, I find myself in a worse state! I feel more depressed, more stressed. Yuck.
Why is using our phones to destress such a bad idea?
The Problem with Being on your phone
Why is using the phone a bad destressor? Here are two reasons:
1. Being on your phone can be incredibly detrimental to your mental and emotional well-being.
Jesus said to guard the temple of our eyes (Matthew 6). And if we don’t guard the temple of our eyes, our souls become corrupted. When we’re mindlessly scrolling away, what we’re actually doing is exposing our spirits to the forces out there.
One of the biggest problems with being constantly connected to your device is that your spirit gets exposed to all sorts of negativity and toxicity. Whether it’s scrolling through social media and seeing “influencers” living seemingly perfect lives, or reading the news and feeling overwhelmed by the constant stream of negativity, it’s easy to feel down and depressed after spending time on your phone. This is because our spirits are not impervious to the various spiritual forces at play in the digital world.
This is why we feel junky inside.
2. Being on your phone can lead to addiction.
It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of constantly checking notifications, scrolling through social media, and refreshing news feeds. This constant need for stimulation and connection can become addictive, making it hard to put your phone down and disconnect.
Social media apps, for example, use a variety of techniques such as notifications, push messages, and infinite scrolling to keep users engaged and coming back for more. The constant stream of new information and updates also makes it difficult to pull away from your phone, as there is always something new to see or read.
And in turn we don’t actually destress.
Three Faith Practices That are Better Destressors
If you’re in a stressful jam, here are some better alternatives to being on your phone.
Practice 1: Take a prayer walk
In the rhythms of resilience I talk about the practice of taking a prayer walk. If your’e stressed, just stop what your’e doing and take a prayer walk outside. Enjoy nature, get some exercise, and let it get your mind off of things.
One effective way to destress and relax is by taking a prayer walk. A prayer walk is a form of contemplative prayer where one walks outside and focuses on connecting with God through nature and reflection. It is a way to combine exercise, fresh air and mindfulness with spiritual practice.
When you are feeling stressed, take a break from your usual routine and go for a walk outside. As you walk, use the opportunity to focus your thoughts on God. You can use this time to pray, read scripture, or simply reflect on your relationship with God. While walking, take in the beauty of nature and use your senses to ground yourself in the present moment. Take a deep breath and let the fresh air fill your lungs, listen to the birds singing and the leaves rustling in the wind, feel the sun on your skin, and notice the colors and textures of the natural world around you.
This practice has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase feelings of peace and well-being. It can also be a great opportunity to disconnect from screens and technology and focus on the present moment.
I talk more about this practice in the book Rhythms of Resilience
Practice 2: Close your eyes, and do breath prayers
Breath prayer is a powerful meditation practice that can help you destress and relax when you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s a simple, yet effective way to connect with God and focus your thoughts on him. To begin, find a quiet place where you can sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath in. As you exhale, release any tension or stress you’re holding in your body. Repeat this process several times, taking a deep breath in and exhaling slowly.
As you focus on your breath, begin to incorporate prayer into the practice. You can use simple phrases, such as “Thank you, Jesus” or “Lord, you are my light.” These phrases can serve as reminders of God’s presence and help you focus your thoughts on him.
Another powerful phrase you can use is “strengthen me father” this can help you to feel a sense of support and security in God’s presence. You can also use your breath as an opportunity to silently repeat a verse from scripture that resonates with you.
Practice 3: Meditate on God’s word
Josh 1:8 writes:
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8
They are instructed to meditate. The act of meditation, for most new age religions is the process of emptying your mind. But the Bible doesn’t see it like this. It actually sees it as filling your mind with something.
In this case, it is filling your mind with the truth of God’s word. When we see God’s word, his hope, his promises, our hearts turn from stress into hope. In this case, it’s about filling your mind with the truth of God’s word. When we focus on God’s word, we are reminded of his hope, his promises, and his love for us. This can have a profound impact on our emotional and mental well-being, turning our hearts from stress to hope.
In conclusion, there are many ways to find peace and destress in a world full of digital distraction. We can take prayer walks, use breath prayers to focus on God, and meditate on God’s word. These practices help us fill our minds with truth, hope, and peace so that we can break free from the hold of devices and find true relaxation.
Which of these seem the most helpful to you? Let me know in the comments 👇