Staying Zen in a Technological World

The art of mindfulness does not just happen while you’re sitting still, sending love and light to the world. It’s a continuous practice of staying present and keeping things simple, one activity at a time. Our supersized, deep-fried, technologically connected culture might challenge our oh-so-Zen intents, but our technological tools– from mobile apps to ancient astrological charts– if properly embraced can be more of a help than a hindrance.

You don’t need to get away into the quit-my-job-and-join-a-yoga-ashram dream to be more mindful. We can choose to embrace the gifts of our techno-world as entrances to a more peaceful environment. If you choose to live your life with technology, here are 5 extremely efficient ways to incorporate the Art of Zen in an age of technology.

Zen Rule # 1: Stick to one thing at a time

Multi-tasking is one thing we are all guilty of, but is also something that can do a lot of damage to your mental state. When I practice meditation, I typically try to picture my brain as a computer, closing one tab at a time (task, family, errands, etc.) till there is just one blank screen. It’s a highly relatable and reliable imagery– and a reality we require to reinforce in our 40-hour-a-week work life.

Paradoxically, certain mobile apps can actually help curb our appetite to multi-task. Certain mobile apps can be incredibly helpful for concentrating on one task at a time. Work-assessment apps can turn off social networks, your preferred shoe-shopping site, set timers for focusing on one single activity, and monitor our online usage.

If one of the biggest things holding you back is a cellphone addiction, start small and keep your phone usage to one task at a time. This small change can be applied to your entire life as well. Do one thing at a time, and do it right. This will leave you feeling more satisfied and less stressed.

Zen Rule # 2: Let technology help you live a simple life

It is easy to get overwhelmed with life. There’s always something that needs to be done, and it often time feels like if you don’t do it, it won’t happen. With today’s smart tech, you can live a more simplistic life by letting technology do the hard work.

Even things as simple as keeping your house clean can be accomplished with the help of things like a robot vacuum. Or, if you’re stressed about money, investing in a smart thermostat can help you optimize your energy useage, so you spend less time worrying about your energy bill, and more time focusing on living a better life.

Zen Rule # 3: Devote time to clearing your mind

Meditating all the time is for monks and those with great vacation-benefits packages. However, if you’re like me, your meditation time and place can move with your daily schedule. Whether I’m waiting at the dentist’s office or riding a loud train, I can quickly get into the right mindset to meditate with apps that take you through guided breathing exercises to help you find a moment of peace. It’s also so much more gratifying than indulging guilty sneaks at social media.

Devote time out of your day to find peace, even if you live a hectic life. With the right tools, anyone can discover zen anywhere.

Zen Rule # 4: Develop rituals

Strengthened, routine practices such as yoga are sought after mindfulness-boosting rituals that anyone can make a habit of. However, what if your only access was an in-person yoga class? Nowadays, if you can’t find the time to go to a class, or you’re traveling, and it gets in the way of your routine, try watching videos on youtube, or listening to guided lessons on Spotify — you can access guided yoga all available at any time.

Zen Rule # 5: Start gradually

All of us have our favorite escapes for numbing out from the day. Often we sporadically scan our social feed. Other times you find yourself staring at your phone, playing the latest game. However, there are also online apps that strengthen preferred mindful practices that you can access anywhere. Rake sand through a virtual Zen garden or create a colorful kaleidoscope throughout a long aircraft flight.Finding your zen can be as simple as setting a schedule and committing to change. Often, in a world that is dominated by technology, it can be hard to find an escape. Rather than fighting it, embrace it. You can use technology to help you stick to a routine and practice mindfulness every day