WHAT IS DIGITAL DETOX?
The concept of a digital detox is unlike anything currently on offer in Asia. Today it’s almost foreign for people to be detached from technology, and many have never considered the need to engage in a digital detox. Some of us remember a simpler time, but for the younger generation, constant exposure to technology is the norm. There may be people who literally have no significant life experiences being disconnected from technology. How could they even understand the importance, or possess the skills, to effectively ‘switch off’?
How can Digital Detox Asia help the international community?
We run effective education sessions in local schools and social media platforms. However, the retreats focus more on the experience itself: yoga, meditation, creativity, team exercises, reflective thinking and physical tasks, and the learning of skills to successfully implement healthy digital detox practices into everyday life. Consider our retreats a fun and inspiring way to improve your health and wellness, work productivity, state of mind, and to totally uplift your reality.
Don’t feel like reading all the research? We understand, you need to spend less time on the device not more. Let Digital Detox Asia co-founder John explain a few small details about what we do. To learn what a Digital Detox Asia retreat will do for you, have a look at the research below.
An eye-opening 2015 study, led by millennial CEO Kate Unsworth, took 35 CEOs, entrepreneurs and influencers to a five-day digital detox retreat in the Moroccan desert. There were also five undercover neuroscientists on the trip who studied every aspect of the participant’s behavior—with their phones on day one and then for a further four days “unplugged.”
Without the influence of technology, the guests’ postures improved, they relaxed into conversations easily, were more empathetic towards each other, reported more effective sleep, greater memory recall, and fresh perspectives. It seemed that the lack of constant distraction helped free peoples’ minds to contemplate more important issues.
“Many of our guests said that this was a life-changing experience,” Unsworth says. “They said that they wanted to permanently change their digital habits by disconnecting from technology at night and over weekends. They wanted to introduce some of the benefits of the digital detox into their everyday lives.”
A 2015 study revealed 87% of Millennials admitted to missing out on a conversation because they were distracted by their phones, and 54% said they experience a fear of missing out if not checking social networks. Research also found that 76% of females and 54% of males check social media platforms at least 10 times when out with friends.
One study in “Mind” found that 95% of those interviewed said their mood improved after putting down their phones to spend time outside. People commonly reported that they went from depressed, stressed, and anxious to a more calm and balanced state of mind.
Parents are even pacifying their children rather than providing human interaction. According to research done by Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, 36% of infants are being given mobile devices as distractions by parents.
Research published in the journal “Computers in Human Behaviour” has showed that relying on a mobile phone to ease one’s woes just won’t help. In fact, researcher Prabu David believes that using a phone for temporary relief from negative emotions could worsen psychological conditions and lead you into a downward spiral. Hence, it’s not advisable to rely on mobile devices as an escape from reality all the time.
ON IMPROVING RELATIONSHIPS: We believe every moment guests spend at Digital Detox Asia holds the potential power to improve their relationships with themselves and others. When guests are away from digital distractions, they will develop deeper human connections. A 75-year study conducted by Harvard University concluded ‘good relationships keep us happier and healthier.’
YOGA: There are countless pieces of scientific information highlighting the benefits of yoga for body, mind and spirit. One of the key features of the type of yoga taught at Digital Detox Asia is that it will assist proper alignment of the spine in order to enhance virtually every biological function. Practicing yoga is beneficial for everyone and is especially helpful for people who spend a lot of time sitting in chairs throughout the day. Have a look at some of the data of how yoga can benefit school-aged children:
MEDITATION: The Harvard Business School and INSEAD (Europe’s leading business school) concluded from their research that the two most effective business tools for 21st century executives to develop are meditation and intuition. Furthermore, there have been studies revealing that meditation practice can affect measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. If you have time, read this in-depth Harvard lecture on mindfulness and how it can change your life:
PHYSICAL EXERCISE: Almost three decades of neuroscience research has identified a link between aerobic exercise and cognitive clarity, attributable to neurogenesis. According to Karen Postal, president of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology: “If you are exercising so that you can sweat – about 30 to 40 minutes – new brain cells are being born. And it just happens to be in that memory area.” Digital Detox Asia offers a range of light physical exercise activities depending on guests ages, lifestyles and physical abilities.
GRATITUDE PRACTICE: We hold gratitude practice workshops, intended to help guests connect with the world within themselves and become more aware of what is happening right here, right now. According to a study by the University of Kentucky: “Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kindly.”
REFLECTIVE THINKING TASKS: Many psychologists agree that engaging in “Reflective Thinking” is critical to self-improvement. Some experts recommend up to two hours of reflective thinking per week (roughly seventeen minutes a day). During these reflective thinking periods, guests are provided the environment in which to reflect then share insights with each other.
GOAL SETTING, AFFIRMATION, INTENTION PRACTICE: The retreat environment is a perfect place to assess one’s life and ensure it’s evolving in the best possible way. Many studies have revealed the importance of goal setting to assist one in improving one’s life. While on retreat, guests will be encouraged to consider their lives from a distance and be asked powerful questions, allowing them to get deeper inside their own minds to obtain a fresh perspective.
HEALTHY PLANT-BASED MEALS: It is now widely accepted that eating a plant-based diet is a wonderful way of supporting a healthy and positive life. Even the great Albert Einstein said, “Nothing will benefit health or increase chances of survival on earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” Regardless of whether people choose to adopt a full vegetarian diet or not, learning to enjoy eating plant-based foods at least some of the time will have a positive impact on one’s life overall.
TEAMWORK ACTIVITIES: In this techno-centric age, people are spending less time working together on activities in the real world. In Team Performance Management (2001), James Scarnati defined teamwork “as a cooperative process that allows ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results.” At Digital Detox Asia we have carefully selected activities to strengthen participants’ ability to work together and achieve a common goal. This will develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, improve communication abilities, and help to overcome awkwardness and the fear of interpersonal connection.
CREATIVITY & ART: There have been numerous studies showing the mental and physical benefits of creating. Whether it be through the act of drawing, painting, writing, making music, singing or dancing, all acts of creativity have the power to radically transform our mindset and way of being. In our technology-driven, always-connected world, one could easily sleepwalk through life, consuming information and ideas created by others, without ever creating anything ourselves. Art and creativity workshops at our Digital Detox Asia retreats offer an escape from such passive consumption, and open a window to one’s own creative potential.
MUSIC: Music has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, and several recent studies have revealed that the music-making process also relieves depression. At Digital Detox Asia we offer fun, inspiring, creative, team-based musical activities. No musical experience required!