Ask my son – unplugging isn’t something that comes to me naturally. For years, you’d find my phone in my hand or right next to me. Turns out that unplugging is so difficult because our brains give us a rush of dopamine (the reward chemical) every time our phone buzzes – and our bodies chase the rush. So, for years, the phone stayed close by.
Then, 10 years ago, I heard an academic talk about happiness – and decided to try something new. Put the phone up – and pursue one thing a week that I loved doing as a kid. For me – that’s being outside exploring in the woods, reading a book, riding a horse, swimming, or even writing a poem. I picked one, spent an afternoon gardening in my “woods” outside my house…and it worked. I was checked out, off the treadmill, and rested! It’s a habit now – gardening, reading, taking a horseback ride, writing a “novel” that may go nowhere. Try it. Pick something you loved to do when you were 8- or 9-years-old , and go do it! It’s a path to new energy for the exciting challenges that college – and life – sends your way.