6 Ways to Use Mobile Technology to Power Up Your Spiritual Life

As a positive psychology enthusiast and author, I often challenge my readers and audiences to tame their tech habits.  Our ability to get what we want in an instant can be overwhelming. The instant gratification of a text message or the ping of an email arriving in your inbox can actually light up the reward centers in your brain.  We feel productive, even when we aren’t actually accomplishing our priorities, simply because we are scrolling through social media or answering non-urgent messages.  But there is one type of tech habit that does not need taming: the habit of using mobile technology to strengthen your faith and relationships.

Whether texting a prayer to that friend who is headed into a job interview, watching an inspirational message online or pulling up your Bible in the middle of a worship service, mobile technology means incorporating your faith into the way you communicate. Maybe you haven’t thought hard about it, but I invite you to be intentional about using technology to boost your faith.  Here are a few ways I use it:

  1. Devotional apps

Download a devotion onto your mobile device and read it daily. You can even set it up to push notifications at the same time every day.

  1. Download your favorite inspirational books

Keep your favorite inspiration with you. Whether your Bible or a book by your favorite author, it is powerful to have inspiration at your fingertips when you’re waiting in line, sitting on a plane or even lying on the beach. And it is a whole lot lighter than carrying paper books!

  1. Set an evening reminder to count your blessings.

Research shows that those who meditate have lower stress levels and more positive emotion.  Writing down three blessings before you go to bed and reflecting on why they matter to you has been shown to make you less likely to catch colds and more likely to sleep deeply and longer.  Set a reminder on your phone.

  1. Tune in to worship when you can’t be there.

When you can’t make it to church, watch or listen online. You may not get the experience of worshipping with others, but sometimes the focus of solitary worship can be its own powerful experience.

  1. Make an inspirational playlist

Take time to make a playlist that boosts your mood, your confidence and your faith. It is a great way to get your day started right or shift your mood from a negative one to a positive one.

  1. Be inspiration online

We see so much discouragement online. Why not use mobile technology to be a bright light in the midst of negativity?  Make positive posts. See the good. And share it.

Your turn! Be intentional. What are your favorite ways to use technology to boost your faith and keep you inspired throughout your day? If you don’t have any, what could you start doing this week to use technology to enhance your spiritual life?

Let Go of That Grudge- Here’s Your 3-Step Plan

Few things drain your energy like refusing to forgive someone. Whether it is a backstabbing co-worker, an irresponsible family member or the rude driver who cut you off in traffic, to be emotionally healthy and happy, you’ve got to let go of that grudge. Problem is, it can be easy to buy into three prominent myths that prevent you from letting go:

  • Myth 1: If I forgive, it means I’m ok with what they did.

Forgiveness does not mean that what the person did was acceptable. Not at all. Forgiveness is not about excusing behavior. Forgiveness is about releasing all of the negative energy that keeps you from moving past their behavior – the bitterness, the rehashing of the story, the desire for revenge.  In other words, forgiveness frees you from being held hostage to the aftermath of someone else’s behavior. It puts you back in control. It empowers you to move forward, no longer controlled by the bitterness, anger or hurt of their past actions.

  • Myth 2: If I forgive, then I become a doormat.

Forgiveness doesn’t always mean staying in relationship with the person being forgiven. If the other person is truly remorseful and has a change of behavior, you may continue to engage in a relationship with them. If not, you may set boundaries or even move on from the relationship. You can forgive and simultaneously move on. In other words, “I forgive you. I may even love you, but I love ME, too. Therefore, I protect myself from being subjected to such behavior in the future”.

  • Myth 3: By holding a grudge, I’m making them pay.

Maybe your grudge causes them to feel guilt. Maybe not. But one thing is for certain: You conjure up negative emotional energy, and as a result, you pay an emotional and physical price.  To punish them with a grudge requires that you punish yourself, too. And why would you do that? Research shows that negative emotion has a host of negative consequences. It weakens your immune system, narrows your thinking, impacts your sleep and attracts more negative people into your life.

So just how do you let go of a grudge? Some grudges are easier to let go of than others, but you can do it.  Here’s how:

  1. Make a decision to forgive.

Be willing to forgive. It is a choice. Let go of the idea that it means the other person was right or justified. Do it so you can get unstuck from your tangle of negative emotions.  Grudges are like gum on the bottom of your shoe. The more grudges you hold, the more it weighs you down.

  1. Focus on the vision, not the obstacle.

Focusing on the obstacle only makes it bigger.  Rather than spend any more time thinking about the offense, stop.  Take a deep breath. Ask yourself, what do I want to feel? Create a vision for what you want. Rather than thinking about the ex who did you wrong and how you don’t trust anyone, imagine for a moment if you were free to move towards a healthy, happy life – maybe even a great relationship with someone healthy and trustworthy. To attract someone healthy, it helps to let go of your baggage – grudges are heavy baggage. Step back and imagine the big picture of what you want rather than over-focusing on the source of your grudge.

  1. Write it down, get it out, let it go.

Research confirms that writing through life’s difficulties actually has health benefits. On a piece of paper, write down the offense. Then write down why it is so hurtful to you. This simple exercise can help you work through your feelings. Then, write your vision from Step 2.  Who do you want to be? How could you rise above this?  A month from now or a year from now, what does it look like for you to be totally grudge-free? Ceremoniously throw out your hurt – whether you rip it up, toss it into the trash or shred it. But place your vision somewhere you’ll see it often – on the bathroom mirror, in your wallet or your closet.  Keep your vision in front of you and your behavior will soon begin to reflect the picture of  where you want to go.

Be sure to check your local listings and tune in on September 30th, 2015 for my powerful segment with Dr. Oz!