Recently I felt overwhelmed. I was stressed and struggling to focus. I was constantly flooding my mind with new information. I was on a desperate mission to learn and to better myself through reading, listening to podcasts and watching educational videos. But nothing was sinking in, and I felt like I was drowning in a mountain of work.

I soon came to realise that perhaps I was the cause of my own stress. Perhaps I was overwhelming myself by trying to constantly be switched on. Trying to be constantly learning and growing. When in fact, what I really needed to do was to switch off and give myself the headspace to think.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love learning. I will always strive to expand my intellect, I value it highly. However, I don’t think there is much use in flooding your brain with knowledge unless you give yourself the time and space to reflect and absorb this information. I have learnt that sometimes less is more.

So, I took a moment to reflect and decided to consciously disconnect from the multiple streams of information I was always plugged into, and try to switch off at various points throughout the day.

  •  I didn’t watch TED talks as I got ready in the morning. I got ready in silence.
  •  I didn’t plug in a podcast as I walked to town. I walked in silence.
  •  I didn’t type out emails while sat on the bus. I sat in silence.
  •  I didn’t scroll through social media on the tube. I stood in silence.

And you know what. The silence was my saviour. It was the headspace I so desperately needed. In these moments of peace, I was able to let my thoughts wander. To have time to reflect. My mind stopped buzzing, and it finally calmed.

I have kept up this practice and try to still incorporate moments of silence and disconnection in my everyday life. As a result I not only feel less stressed and overwhelmed; but I feel like I have more capacity in my mind. More focus. More drive. I use my moments of silence to consider my actions, to set goals and to consciously work through how I can achieve them. These moments are allowing me to not only disconnect and destress, but to self-reflect, grow and develop.

Some might say I have taken a step back. I am not constantly replying to emails every 2 minutes. I am not constantly listening to educational podcasts. I am not constantly learning, working and grinding. I disagree. I feel like I have taken a huge step forward. I may not be as connected to the outside world, but I am more connected to myself, and that is the most important connection of all.