Dear Dream Tending and Deep Imagination Community,
As we continue to journey through May, National Mental Health month, we will shift our attention to the ever-present cyber influence that is a deeply woven part of modern existence. Google Maps, Instagram, security, smart watches, payment systems, checking the weather, E-mail – we live within, between and a part of the ever complex and intelligent World Wide Web.
While the digital world is one of modern society’s greatest assets, it also comes with a glow of attention grabbing, behaviorally addictive lures. Technology can have a profound impact on our dreams and psyche. The cyber-obsessed, doom scrolling loop that we can so easily find ourselves in can consume us which can then lead to our psyche expressing that through dream. Limiting screen time can be beneficial for better mental health.
Here are some strategies you can try:
-Set clear goals: Define specific limits for your screen time, such as the number of hours or activities you want to engage in each day. Having a clear goal helps you stay accountable.
-Use screen time tracking apps: There are various apps available that can monitor your screen time across different devices. They provide insights into your usage patterns and can help you identify areas where you need to cut back.
-Create a schedule: Establish a daily or weekly schedule that includes dedicated time for activities that don’t involve screens, such as exercise, hobbies, reading, or spending time with loved ones. Stick to this schedule as much as possible.
-Implement screen-free zones: Designate specific areas or times in your home where screens are not allowed, such as during meals or in the bedroom before sleep. This helps create boundaries and encourages healthier habits.
-Practice mindful screen usage: Before engaging with screens, ask yourself why you’re using them and whether it aligns with your goals. Be intentional about your screen time and avoid mindless dooms scrolling or excessive use.
-Find alternative activities: Discover activities that you enjoy and that don’t involve screens. This could include outdoor pursuits, creative hobbies, socializing with friends, or practicing mindfulness and meditation. While I write this, I am about to board a boat to go to the Channel Islands to snorkel and hike for the weekend! A screen-free fabulous time in nature.
-Use technology to your advantage: Some apps and devices offer features to help you limit screen time. For example, you can set app timers or enable “do not disturb” modes to minimize distractions.
-Establish screen-free routines: Create routines before bedtime and in the morning that don’t involve screens. This helps improve sleep quality and sets a positive tone for the day.
-Seek social support: Share your goal of reducing screen time with friends, family, or coworkers. Encourage each other to engage in activities that don’t involve screens and hold each other accountable.
-Be patient and flexible: Changing habits takes time, and you may experience setbacks. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be flexible and adapt your approach as needed to find what works best for you.
The goal is to find a healthy balance with technology that supports well-being. Find a relationship with screen time where you feel that you are using technology as a tool, not an obsession. Used as a tool, technology offers a new frontier for creativity, imagination, and innovation.
Alia Aizenstat, Licensed Marriage Family Therapist
*This message was written as a combination of Alia Aizenstat, LMFT and Chat GPT – an artificial intelligence that Open AI used to recently passed the bar exam.
Inside The Curious Mind
A quote that resonated with me this week…
“Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.”
– Mitch Kapor
Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the founder of Dream Tending, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and the Academy of Imaginal Arts and Sciences. He is a world-renowned professor of depth psychology, an imagination specialist, and an innovator. He has served as an organizational consultant to major companies and institutions, and as a depth psychological content advisor to Hollywood film makers. He has lectured extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. He is affiliated with the Earth Charter International project through the United Nations, where he has spoken. Professor Aizenstat is the Chancellor Emeritus and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has collaborated with many notable masters in the field including Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, and Robert Johnson.