Are you standing in line today? Take a mini-break. In the shower? Take a mini-break.
Why? Mini-breaks are rapidly joining the endangered species list of activities. When we can always pull out our phones, the opportunity to rest our minds and recenter our spirits diminishes.
Our brains are not designed to constantly take in data, wrote Jade Beecroft in an article in Breathe magazine, issue 44. We need pauses to reflect and, frankly, to think. Yet the transitional times for this are fading away. It’s a lot easier to scan email or Instagram during those odd moments.
Beecroft cites a University of Texas study that found even the presence of a face-down smartphone on a person’s desk reduced that person’s cognitive ability. Why? Because part of their brains were engaged in the effort of not picking up the phone. Yikes!
Beecroft’s article even includes some scary information: Constant use of the smartphone can create a condition called digital dementia. We underuse the frontal lobes of our brain, causing short-term memory issues, lack of concentration, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
In Christian mindfulness, we need mini-breaks regularly not only to think, but to reconnect with the presence of God. Saying the Jesus prayer is a good option while waiting for the microwave to reheat coffee, for example.
The way to take a mini-break is simple: Put your phone away in a consistent spot where you can’t see it. (So you don’t end up worrying about finding it.) Say the Jesus prayer. Be present in the moment.
The result can be a great idea. (There’s a reason that good ideas happen in the shower.) Or you can enjoy a deep moment of inner peace. Either way, it’s a better space than doom scrolling ever will be.