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Naomi Simson technology

Here is a challenge for one day only, try not to experience life through a lens – could you?. How wonderful all the tools are that we use to capture glimpses of our lives, but they are just tools – they are not life.

Recently, we surveyed close to 2,000 Australians to find out what makes them happy. (See detailed info graphic below.) What we found was that an impressive 95% of respondents who stated that they live in the moment, are happy with life overall.This is a stark difference to those who don’t live in the moment, with just under half (47%) of those respondents stating that they’re happy.

Happy people are present.

These results show that you can double your chance of happiness by simply slowing down and appreciating what’s around you.

But don’t just take our word for it – the research screams the results! To be happy is to connect to other human beings. In person.

A recent study identified that taking photos can actually interfere with your memory of a moment. In my recent travels to Europe I was fascinated to watch tourists literally take photos of everything – to being on a walking tour and take hundreds of photo’s. I am sure they did not hear a thing our historical architectural architect said.

The study, conducted by Dr Linda Henkel, from Fairfield University in Connecticut found that when we rely on technology – a camera, phone or recording device – to capture a moment for us, we are in fact not living that moment to the full, nor committing it to memory. It washes over us

“When people rely on technology to remember for them – counting on the camera to record the event and thus not needing to attend to it fully themselves – it can have a negative impact on how well they remember their experiences,” Dr Henkel said.

“Research has suggested that the sheer volume and lack of organisation of digital photos for personal memories discourages many people from accessing and reminiscing about them. In order to remember, we have to access and interact with the photos, rather than just amass them.”

I am a strong advocate for living in the moment, and have written countless articles and blogs about “switching off” from technology for this very reason – and that our fear of missing out is a serious addiction. Technology, while wonderful at connecting us, can also disconnect us from the wonderful moments of the everyday.

I urge you, in 2014, to live in the moment just a little more. Put your phone down when you are in the presence of others. Take a moment to breathe in your surroundings and listen intently to those you are with. Simply be present.

Your experience of life and happiness will be transformed.

Here is a simple and visual exercise. Find a jar, and at the end of the day write a small note about one moment during the day that made you happy. It doesn’t have to be a significant moment – it may be something as simple as watching your dog roll around on his back on the lawn. Fold up the paper and put it in the jar. If you’re ever feeling down, go to the jar and relive a moment that made you smile. The tactile nature of it will put a smile on your dial – and it separates – good feelings from the smart phone – which may well also be your work device.

Other posts on the subject : Electronic Baby Sitters and The 21 Day Challenge

This first appeared as part of my LinkedIn collection


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