How to go from mind-full to mindful

For the most part, I’ve learnt how to preserve my emotional health online.

Honestly, it’s a balancing act. You can be having a fine morning where all is going well, and then a cheeky browse on social media hits you with a flurry of negative news.

Bam! A beautiful baby girl died at the hands of her pathetic excuse for a father.


Bam! Another baby almost died after its mother listened to a negligent naturopath, who advised that fevers were good because they meant “increased vitality”, and vomiting was just the baby boy’s way of “eliminating toxins that caused eczema”.

Bam! I’m now completely depressed about the capabilities of human beings to be so endlessly awful.

I was beginning to think there was only one solution to this – and that was to get offline completely.

But Rohan Gunatillake, author of This Is Happening, has a different theory. He believes that switching off for a temporary or permanent digital detox is the last thing we should do, if we want to lead calm, mindful and happy lives.

“We’re all so obsessed with the now. Twenty-four hour new cycles, real-time messaging, social media streams in the palms of our hands endlessly spewing the latest thing we have to know about. This is the stuff of the wrong now,” he explains.

“The right now is this one. It is how your back feels right now. It is the tiredness you can feel around your eyes. It is the thoughts coming up as you read. It is what some people call the present moment. It is a magical thing.”

Meditating is the primary way we can get connected to the present moment, Rohan advises, and his book outlines a number of ways you can use meditation to go from having a mind-full to being mindful.

In this respect he says we can make technology part of the solution, and use it to our advantage to avoid getting “pulled down in to the depths of the online world, with all its negativity and venom”.

I for one am going to give it a whirl. Embracing meditative practices can’t hurt, right?

And let’s be honest: it’s a much more realistic solution than quitting the internet or giving up my iPhone.