• Athena Center Leuenberg

How to Really Rest: Escaping the Habit of Mindless Scrolling

So, you’ve had a long day at work. You are feeling way too stressed and are looking to turn off your brain for a couple of minutes before getting back up—kind of like restarting your overheated laptop, except it’s your brain; along with the emotional turmoil that comes with procrastinating for a bit.

We all need a break sometimes. We’re human. We tend to get overwhelmed, irritated, and utterly done; all we want to do is rest our brains by mindlessly scrolling on social media and escape in a binge of funny videos and sardonic humor. We just want to silence the constant ticking in our brains caused by deadlines and an endless pile of tasks—we just want a dose of tranquility. And we try to achieve that the only way we know how; the only way we’ve been programmed to do. We have been wired in such a way that we assume the only way to recharge and gain some sense of sanity is by participating in a wheel of consumerism—working to consume and consuming to work. In this case, we are programmed to consume content mindlessly, to let an algorithm set the pace for us and fight for our attention.

This mindless scrolling, as addicting as it may be, burns us out even more. However, we do not notice this because the constant shot of dopamine for every funny or interesting quip we see online keeps us on our toes until we are hooked. Our minds never really rest when we consume content and only set our minds into overdrive from all the information we come across.

Have you ever noticed the rollercoaster of emotions you go through at every scroll? One minute you’re crying over a touching story about an animal rescue, the next second you are pulling your hair out of frustration because of an ill-intended post. Before you know it, you are laughing again because of a witty commentary your friend posted on her page.

All those emotions in under an hour, sometimes even right after you wake up!

We have falsely equated resting with ‘scrolling on our phone’. In our defense, we say this is a coping mechanism; a way to rest and escape the toils of real life. But as you consume more information than your brain can handle, go through a barrage of mindless entertainment, and experience highs and lows in under five minutes, it just begs the question—are you really resting?

The underlying desire in this unhealthy habit is obvious: We want peace of mind. A sense of tranquility. Some sense of happiness in a chaotic world. But you cannot achieve that through senseless entertainment.

Being able to practice mindfulness is critical to achieve real, soul-deep rest. It allows us to committedly detach from the stressors of our modern lifestyle; allows us to step back from stimulants and addicting habits which gives us the space to relish in the present, connect with our thoughts and emotions without judgement, and give our minds that distraction-free break we are profoundly craving for.

When we are used to resorting to information overload to numb ourselves, silence feels daunting. The result, though, is the pure and unadulterated restoration of our overworked minds and bodies. Drumming, Zen Meditation, Vipassana, and Sound Meditation are some of the ways we can authentically recharge. Through meditation, you will end up feeling more relaxed and fulfilled as opposed to being guilt-ridden when you spend your time mindlessly scrolling which leaves you feeling more tired than rested.

The tiredness we feel everyday deserve to be treated on a spiritual level. Cheap alternatives that give only a sliver of what we truly need are not worth it—and can even be detrimental to our mental health.

Athena Wisdom Institute provides relaxing and soul-refreshing meditation courses that will allow you to escape the unhealthy habit of mindless scrolling. Slow down, sit, pause, and create a life filled with meaning and purpose. Sign up now to our courses at athenawisdom-courses.com to start your journey.