Feng Shui for the Mind — Part 3 of 3: Digital Safety
Feng Shui for the Mind is a series that exposes how tech companies exploit dopamine and variable rewards systems to influence our screen time and distort our sense of safety, plus specific steps towards autonomy, balance, and digital wellness.
In Part 2 of Feng Shui for the Mind, we discussed dopamine and variable rewards and how these create an internal struggle against the natural brain and body systems that leave us feeling unsafe, especially for children who have no reference to a slower-paced tech-free world.
How to feel safe is where feng shui comes in.
While technology trains our dopamine receptors to believe that scrolling through Facebook, or mastering another level of a video game is the best actions for survival, Nested Feng Shui teaches zooming out, asking how we feel, and then shifting our spaces to support our wants. Once we know that we feel overwhelmed and that we instead want balance, we can set our external and digital environments up to support us.
Remember that chocolate and carrot? Simplifying can be as easy as removing the chocolate.
Simplifying is the decluttering stage of feng shui; get rid of everything which is not serving us.
After that, we employ remedies and enhancements to make space support our goals. With eating carrots, we can buy baby carrots, or pre-peel and chop the carrots, so they are an easy snack to grab. It is a lot easier for our brains to see the carrots as the best choice for survival — and not even think about the chocolate — when we have taken steps to support the “healthy” option and make it desirable.
Steps for moving forward (in light of the Part 2 brief overview of dopamine and variable reward systems)
Step 1: Acknowledge that we live in a consumer society.
Everyone is trying to build a business and make money, which is the undisputed current status quo for survival. Recognize the shift in the past few decades to technologies like television and social media, which allow an escape from our physical realities into digital for what they are: new inventions that our bodies and nature have not evolved to match. Tech was not the reality for our grandparents less than a century ago. Remember, people were able to fill their days and get things done before digital.
Step 2: See that we plan a role
Technology makes money. As a global culture, we have agreed and continue to accept by buying things that tech is good and that the digital realms’ positives outweigh the negatives. What we choose to buy, play, watch, and use are all a vote for technology (and precisely for that kind of technology and product).
Step 3: Educate ourselves
It is our job to educate ourselves. Educate ourselves about how the rapid influx of technology is affecting us, educate ourselves about who is benefiting the most of this system, and educate ourselves about how to best balance tech and life.
Step 4: Step-Away
It is our job step away. To have autonomy over ourselves, we must have a self. Something I remind digital wellness clients is that it is essential to have a day on records in their memory where they were utterly tech-free: no phone, no computer, no television. If we can not remember what it is like to just “be,” then we have lost our autonomy. Stepping away can be hard, reach out for help if need be
Step 5: Invest in long term gratification systems
There is no better time to invest in our wants and needs and shift the spaces we are in to fit them.
The Nested Feng Shui route to digital wellness is Feng Shui for the Mind.
Clearing and making space in both our physical and digital lives so we are in control of what we consume and can regain our autonomy and feel safe.
Educating ourselves about how technology evolves and the mechanism it uses to prosper, like “hooking” us on variable rewards systems, are the start of stepping away from cycles of endless scrolling and a new beginning of being able to settle into ourselves.
We want to feel safe online and offline, so we can honestly ask ourselves what we want and then take action to alter our digital and physical environments to get us there.
Originally published on www.nestedfengshui.com