Thursday, September 21, 2023

As Summer Winds Down, Should You Give Monk Mode a Try? Can It Really Boost Your Mental Health?


The TikTok trend ‘monk mode’ encourages users to reduce screen time and a lot more. Can it make a difference in your mental health?

It’s nothing short of a phenomenon: TikTok users are challenging themselves to limit their time spent on the platform, or to abstain from it altogether, for a set period of time. Social media typically encourages us to do the opposite — to dive into the rabbit hole. But, it seems, the pressures of modernity have caught up to social media itself — and users are pushing back and going into ‘monk mode.’

What is monk mode?

In recent years, the rise of technology and social media has drastically changed the way we live, work, and communicate. While technology has many benefits, it has also created a plethora of problems and distractions that can negatively impact our well-being.

Enter: monk mode, also known as “digital detox” or “digital fasting.” By limiting or abstaining from technology, individuals can gain a sense of control over their technology use and reduce the negative impact it has on their lives.

woman meditating
Courtesy Jared Rice | Unsplash

The trend is a response to the growing concerns around the addictive nature of social media and the negative impact it can have on mental and emotional well-being. During a monk mode period, individuals focus on other aspects of their lives, such as spending time with friends and family, reading, exercising, and pursuing hobbies and interests. This allows them to develop a deeper sense of mindfulness and appreciation for the present moment, and to cultivate a more positive relationship with technology.

In addition to personal benefits, the trend can also help raise awareness about the overarching impact of technology on our lives and encourage others to think more intentionally about their own technology use. By sharing their experiences on TikTok, users can inspire others to take a break from the app and consider the ways in which technology is affecting their lives.

The benefits of monk mode

Like Buddhist monks, who are known for their devotion to spirituality, mindfulness, and self-discipline, monk mode involves reducing distractions, letting go of material possessions, and dedicating time to personal growth and reflection.

While monk mode may seem extreme, its principles can be applied to anyone looking to simplify their life and improve their focus, productivity, and well-being and the benefits can be long-lasting.

1. Increased focus and productivity

One of the biggest benefits of monk mode is that it allows you to increase your focus and productivity. By simplifying your life and reducing distractions, you’ll have more mental energy and clarity to focus on personal and professional goals.

2. Improved mental health

Another benefit of monk mode is that it can help improve your mental health. By reducing external distractions and dedicating time to self-reflection and mindfulness, you can reduce stress, increase your sense of peace and well-being, and improve your overall mental health.

a woman in a maze
Courtesy Ashley Batz | Unsplash

3. Increased self-awareness

Monk mode can also help you become more self-aware. By taking time for introspection and reflection, you can gain a better understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This increased self-awareness can help you identify areas of your life that need improvement and develop a clearer sense of purpose.

4. Improved relationships

Monk mode can also help improve your relationships. By reducing distractions and simplifying your life, you can be more present and attentive to the people around you. This can help you deepen your connections with friends and loved ones, and improve your overall satisfaction with your relationships.

How to apply monk mode to your life

There aren’t set rules to monk mode, only to aim to reduce your time spent online, especially social apps.

Reduce distractions

The first step in applying monk mode to your life is to reduce distractions. This can involve limiting your social media usage, reducing the number of notifications you receive, and avoiding time-wasting activities like doomscrolling. You can also limit the number of entertainment options in your life, such as TV shows, movies, and video games.

Sustainable home decor houseplants
Courtesy Laura Lauch | Unsplash

Simplify your living space

Another way to apply monk mode is to simplify your living space. This can involve decluttering your home, getting rid of unnecessary possessions, and creating an environment that’s conducive to focus and productivity. This can help you reduce stress and increase your overall well-being.

Cultivate personal growth

Monk mode is also about dedicating time to personal growth and self-improvement. That can mean spending time in nature, taking a holiday, or even exploring deeper healing.

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