How to deepen your mindfulness practice using your cell phone | Elle Benson | Skillshare

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How to deepen your mindfulness practice using your cell phone

teacher avatar Elle Benson, Curator of Happiness Activities

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What is Mindfulness?

    • 3. Social Media Loving Kindness Meditation

    • 4. Developing Gratitude

    • 5. Photo Search

    • 6. Art of the Text

    • 7. Musical Memories

    • 8. Photograher

    • 9. I Just Called to Say

    • 10. Unfollow

    • 11. Conclusion

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About This Class

I've curated challenges and activities to help adapt your phone addiction into ways to deepen your mindfulness practice, connect with those you love, and rethink how you engage with your phone. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Elle Benson

Curator of Happiness Activities


Hello, I'm Elle. 

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm L. Benson, author of the pregnancy mindfulness book, cultivate your happiness mama 2B and I translate proven strategies for mindfulness into easy to incorporate challenges, prompts, and activities for the modern, everyday individual. While I completely agree that we use our phones way too much, I found ways to adapt my phone addiction into ways that deepened my meditation practice, connect with those I love into helped me remain calm and present. So join me for this unique skills course. 2. What is Mindfulness?: What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is a mental state and can be achieved by focusing on awareness on the present moment, by calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings and thoughts, bodily sensations, and can be used as a therapeutic technique. We mistakenly sometimes assume that mindfulness meditation and they are different. Mindfulness is, my simple definition, is being intentionally present. And we can do this with our cell phones. Okay, you've got some tools and resources to help. So check out the resource section for your workbook to follow along. 3. Social Media Loving Kindness Meditation: Social media, loving kindness meditation. I can honestly say that this activity has changed how I engage with social media and how I use my phone. So a traditional loving kindness meditation without using your phone and social media is you would meditate whether you close your eyes or whether you just think internally about specific individuals and you wish them by internally meditating or just saying a common phrase of giving them health and happiness or something specific. So without using social media, I may think about those I'm engaging throughout your day and we'll think of them individually and think, OK for my mother, I wish her health and happiness for my sister. I wish her a successful day at school and positive health results. And so I just think of intentional people and wish them things that will enhance their life and their day. And so to do this with social media is rather than taking your phone and scrolling and scrolling, where I sometimes had the habit of judging or jealousy or just going so fast, you can't even consume the social media. So what I do now is each host, I will stop and think, what can I provide for this individual or this family? And how can I engage with loving kindness intentions? And so whether I look at a post and I internally think I wish them health and happiness. I'm so happy for them that they are able to spend time together as a family or I am excited for her and her job promotion, whatever it is, I can either do that internally, but I pause and I make sure to do it, or I engage with them because it's social media. We're supposed to be social and engage. So whether I like it, I share it, I comment, but I think about what this person needs. So often social media can be fake and so we post something to appear a certain way. But no matter why someone is posting, I went to engage with them with love and kindness. So this has transformed my social media consumption and makes me energized and enthusiastic after I engaged with social media, rather than feeling bad about myself and feeling depleted. Or sometimes I've just consumed too much and I don't even know what I've consumed. So now I know that I'm able to have a healthy habit and I enjoy it. So try and let me know what you think. 4. Developing Gratitude : When you start studying happiness, it always connects back to a true gratitude practice and gratitude and a routine process has been proven time and time again to help in several areas of your life. Better relationships improve physical health, enhances physiological health, reduced oppression, and enhances empathy, improve sleep and increases mental strike. Since starting my gratitude practice, I have a new framework for how I view my days. It used to be. I have to do this and definitely skewed negative two. What's on my to-do list? What am I required to do? What are the things I don't enjoy? And we focus on that because biologically we're looking for the things that are threats to us and that we don't enjoy doing well, no longer are in this error. Do we need to do that? We can allow our minds to become skew positively by appreciating the things we have in life. And so how can we create a gratitude practice can be used on our smart device. There's a couple different ways you can do it and you are so creative. So I also want to hear how you do it. The easiest way is to use R Note feature or open an email and narrate what you're grateful for each day. Think of five to ten things that make you happy that you're grateful and thankful for. So it can be like a digital journal. You can send yourself daily emails, maybe create an email account that you can open up a year from now and read all the things you're grateful for. I also love I've done photo challenges where each day I am challenged with taking five to ten photos of things I'm grateful for. So when I'm in a slump or filling down, I can open up that photo album and scroll and visually see the things that I'm grateful for. I also like having a gratitude, but every day we will text each other that five to ten things we're grateful for. It's fascinating to see how others days are going and what's making them happy and thankful and sharing that as another social connection. There's a lot of great ways in which you can use your phone for gratitude, their specific apps for that. You can use the audio and voice recorder feature, could call full, that's what phones were initially for. So I found that to be effective and I want to hear how it changes your life. So start being grateful. Use your phone and let me know. 5. Photo Search : Okay, we're going to be playful and we're gonna do a photo search. So think of this as a challenge, as a scavenger hunt. And let's have fun with it. So we're gonna get our smart device and look through our photo albums, intentionally reminiscing about positive moments that we want to relive. And so there's a lot of research around long-term memory and recalling positive emotions better stores it in long-term memory the more time you recall it. So get out those vacation photos. We had a great time. Get out those baby pictures and high-school photos and relive those memories. So I'm going to pop up a list of things you may defined in your phone. So get it out. We're going to scroll to find the following. A beautiful background, a funny moment. In unexpected photo bomb. A thorough worth printing and framing. A memory. You need to see someone so they can relive it as well. A fun throwback moment, and a moment where you truly experienced joy. Now, these are some prompts that I've thrown out there. You can also write your own. Make this a group activity by getting people together virtually or in person and having everyone trying and find a unexpected photo bomb and everyone's scrolls on their phone and shares with each other that funny photo. You can also share your photos on social media, acknowledging why this photo is special to you. And lastly, you can also print your photos so you can decorate your home with love. So have fun and look back at those fun photos. Share with me. 6. Art of the Text: Okay, the art of the text. I love text messaging. It works with my schedule because when someone calls, it's usually not the right time for me, but text messages. You can respond in the sand when it works for you. So this texts challenge will encourage you to spread the love of encouragement via text. Pick one or all of the following challenges. First, send the five people unique and specific complements. The and specific the better. Research shows there is a science behind compliments. And so see how many you can send. Next. Texts, photos, audio clips, or videos, wishing five people, a wonderful day. I know when I hear my text alert, I'm really happy if someone had sent me a video that says, hey, I hope you're having a wonderful day thinking of you. That's the best. I could get. Said this to several people and see how they respond might be shocking UP first. See what happens. Next is to message 15 people, something that will make them smile. So my group of friends, a little humor. So it might be a screenshot of something we've found that's funny or, you know, some funny dancing character or something. But how can you make 15 people smile? I love using text messaging and I think others do as well. Tried to eliminate your sarcasm as it sometimes can be lost via texts. So sick to clear, kind messages so they can't be misinterpreted. And I promise you it'll benefit you as much as others. Making contagious, see if they will spread the texts, look to their context too. 7. Musical Memories : It's time to play musical memories. I came up with this game one on a long road trip and you just run out of things to talk about. So what we've done is you open up your smartphone either by yourself or with someone else and find your favorite music streaming device, whether that's Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, whatever you use and find an era playlist. So whether that seventies, eighties, nineties, early two thousands throwback playlist and put it on shuffled. So you press play and see what song starts playing. Listen for a few seconds and then pause it. What does that song recall for you? What memory does it bring to you, whether it's that specific song or that genre? It will spark a memory in your head. I have very vivid memories of her brush karaoke to When Doves Cry or Spice Girls remind me of a lot of girl car rides in highschool. Dates me a little bit. But pause this song and journal and share allowed of where your brain goes to what memory you need to recall that has sparked that. It's a great group, great activity to do in groups. On FaceTime and virtual events are those around you. Share stories and share memories based on musical memories. Let me know what you think. 8. Photograher : Okay, we're gonna do some photography, which was probably my favorite feature that my phone has. There was some research out there that use to say when you're behind the lens, you miss being present in the moment. Recently some cool data has showed that more importantly, it's what's the intention of the photo? If your intention is taking the photo is to get the most beautiful and slimming effect or what photo will have the most likes on social media? Yes, you will miss being present in that moment. But you can use the photo if you're trying to recall the moment and find beauty and the camera, so change your mindset when taking photos and host your own photo shoot to find beauty. What common things around you are beautiful, so you don't even need to leave your home or your backyard, your front yard or your neighborhood, or go somewhere really exotic, but use your phone with the intention of finding new things that you haven't seen before and things that you find to be cool. So I didn't start in quarantine and found that it brought me a lot of joy and allowed me to view my home in my environment and different perspective. I noticed plants that I hadn't noticed before and found more colors in my yard. And because I slowed down, I took a photo and then we'd look at it and reflect upon what I saw and what I found appealing. Now I make, take another photo and then again, that one photo, reflect on it, admire it and see what I'm seeing out here. Verse what's on my phone was the difference. Slow down and taking your photos. Does this way of photographing fill different than your normal picture taking? I know for me it does. Sometimes I just snap a 100 photos at once. But now I'm being intentional and taking each and every photo. If it if it feels weird to you, ask yourself, why, why does this feel weird? Try it and let me know what you think. 9. I Just Called to Say: And I just called to say, unless you, most singing is optional and calling someone to tell them that you love them is also optional. But I am challenging you to call people, to Jim know your phone calls people. I know that it's probably the feature that I least use on my phone. But it is so encouraging to get a call or someone's not asking for something or doesn't have bad news. So try it. Call people. I challenge you to call to people every day. You might get some voicemails as a lot of people don't answer their phones anymore. Leave them a sweetness stage and encouraged them to call you back. They're going to be confused with take careful note to what their tone and emotions are during the call. I know it on enhance their day and probably enhance your day to get to it and let me know what works. 10. Unfollow : It's time to unfollow. Sometimes some unhealthy social media consumption can be defeating. I believe that self-acceptance and radical self-love can be tied to our social media consumption. So I want you to take your power back by curating your account is something that is positive and aligns with your values. Any social media account, brand or add that makes you cringe, that takes away from your happiness or makes you feel sad on follow. Social media should be a way to connect with others. I'm a fitness junkie and so I love to follow accounts and brands that are health-related. But sometimes I get negative ads around diet pills or detox T. Those don't align with my values. So I am very intentional about reporting those and ignoring those sort of add so the algorithm better understands my values. These marketers are intent upon wanting us to buy for weakness. And I want my power back. It feels good to follow someone, a brand and an add. Try it, sign-on with the intention of deleting ten people and brands. Scroll and see if now you've curated your social media to what you've better wanna see and engage with. Let me know when you get your power back. 11. Conclusion: Thank you for joining me in this class. My intention is for you to use your phone to bring you happiness. Let's be intentional and thoughtful about each time we pick up our phone. Let's get to the root of why we picked up our fall. What need are we trying to fill? What are we trying to do? So let's eliminate all notifications that caused you to pick up your phone aimlessly and any unused apps. Lets say yes to using tools and apps that are available on your phone to enhance your happiness and cultivate resilience. Let's have some time limits on our phone usage. And that's been helpful for me. But know that we can use podcast, audio books, fitness apps, guided walks, audio meditations, remote volunteering, Music, and more to deepen our mindfulness practice. Thank you for joining me as we develop intentional practices. Check out my published books at Cultivate Your Happiness dot dot-com, more to come. Also on social media, I'm on Instagram at Facebook, at cultivate your happiness. Can't wait to see your screenshots and hear your experiences. Have a great day.