Life can be overwhelming, can’t it? It seems like there’s always something to worry about, something to do, something to post on social media…it can all be too much for anyone.
But what if I told you that you could find inner peace and perspective by detaching yourself from the world?
It might sound a little scary, but stick with me – I promise it’s worth it.
In this article, I’ll discuss how to disconnect from all the noise and find the peace you’re looking for. I’ll also tell you why this move is necessary, even though it’s all kinds of terrifying.
Let’s dive in!
Why do you need to detach?
First things first: why would you want to detach yourself from the world? In today’s ultra-connected world, it is a drastic move, so it’s important to figure out what exactly your reasons are.
But, for starters, I’ll tell you its biggest benefit – it can reduce stress, improve mental health, and increase productivity.
Plus, detaching from the constant noise and distractions of modern life can give you a clearer sense of what’s truly important to you.
So, how do you do it? Here are some steps you can take to distance yourself from all the clutter and focus on what matters most:
1) Identify your boundaries
Do you want to be free of contact with certain family members and friends, or all of them? Do you want to run off to the mountains and live a completely disconnected life? To what level do you wish to detach from society?
The steps you make next would largely depend on this.
Once you figure out your boundaries for detachment, you can pinpoint which specific areas of your life you’ll need to walk away from.
2) Shut down the noise of social media
We all know how addictive and overwhelming social media can be. It’s super easy to fall down the rabbit hole and scroll mindlessly for hours, going through friends’ posts and watching what everyone’s up to.
However, while it’s great for connecting with people, too much social media can be damaging to mental health. It could lead to depression, loneliness, comparisons, and a fear of missing out.
Before you know it, you’re feeling unhappy and dissatisfied with your life.
So, take a break from social media, or at the very least, limit your use.
The first time I tried this myself, I began by setting specific times of the day to check my accounts. As I got more used to this, I strangely found myself feeling the need to check my social media less and less.
Eventually, I was able to take a break from it altogether, starting with a day or two each week, until I was able to go a full week without checking social media. That’s a miracle, really, considering how addicted I was to it!
In fact, some friends thought something was wrong with me – I was no longer sharing every moment of my life online or checking out theirs as much.
But you know what? It was actually the opposite. Something was right with me.
Once I let go of that need to share every photo I take, I was just so much more present. I could enjoy the real moments instead of seeing them as opportunities for social media content. It felt so…pure and untainted.
3) Say no to consumerist culture
Another reason why life can feel so overwhelming is society’s insane obsession with material possessions.
We’re bombarded with ads and messages telling us we need more stuff to be happy. But the truth is, material possessions can be a source of stress and anxiety.
In fact, a study suggests that materialistic people are less happy than their peers. That’s surprising, huh?
Apparently, saying, “My life would be better if I owned this or that” is not at all true. I hate to break it to you, but when you judge success and happiness by how much you own or have, you’re likely going to be disappointed.
The painful truth: Materialism undermines our pursuit of happiness.
You know why? Because as we become more materialistic, we feel less grateful and satisfied with our life. It’s an endless, fruitless pursuit.
4) Declutter your space
So, given that materialism makes us less happy, what’s the next logical step to detach from it?
Try decluttering your space and living a more minimalist lifestyle. Donate items you don’t need to charity or sell them online. You’ll be surprised how freeing it can feel to let go of things you don’t need.
In a TED Talk about the art of letting go, podcasters and famous minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus discussed the importance of knowing what adds value to your life.
Decluttering isn’t just about cleaning out your space; it’s an act of deliberation. A gesture that says you want to be intentional about your life.
No more holding on to things because they look good or because “I’ve always had it.” It’s about making sure that everything you own serves you, not the other way around.
You might think it’s extreme, and I get it. Letting go of the things you’ve always had in your closet or kitchen or home can be painful.
But the truth is, if they no longer serve you, they’re just visual noise.
5) Free your mind spiritually
Now, letting go doesn’t just apply to physical stuff you own. It also applies, and perhaps more importantly, to negative feelings within you.
Do you often feel anxious? Do you struggle with low self-esteem? Does failure make you feel bad about yourself? Do you engage in toxic positivity?
Thoughts and emotions like this deserve no space in your internal dialogue.
Because here’s the deal: sometimes all that noise we hear…it comes from us.
I can’t count the number of times my monkey mind has gotten the best of me.
It takes a supreme act of will and self-control to shut it down, but it’s absolutely essential if you want to detach from the world.
For me, it was a long and winding road to conquering it. I fell into the trap of toxic spirituality and believed that I could overcome those negative thoughts with positive thinking. All. the. time.
Oh, what a mistake that was. In the end, I just felt completely drained, fake, and out of tune with myself.
Fortunately, I was able to break free from this mindset with this eye-opening video by world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandé.
The powerful yet simple exercises in the video taught me how to take control of my thoughts and reconnect with my spiritual side in a healthy, more empowering way.
If you’re looking to detach yourself from the world (and that includes all the unhealthy coping patterns you’ve developed), these exercises might help. Click here to watch the free video.
6) Commit to a daily meditation practice
You see, sometimes it’s just not possible to completely and physically hide away from the world. The harsh reality is, we’ve got jobs and other responsibilities to attend to.
That’s life. And as much as we’d like to just ignore everything and go off to la-la land, well, we can’t.
So, the next best thing is to learn how to escape to your own safe space – in your mind. That way, you can access your happy place wherever you are, even if you’re right in the middle of a pressing situation.
As a quote in the old Desiderata poem says, “And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.”
That’s where meditation comes in. It allows you to block out all the worldly messages that don’t nourish the spirit. It gives you a sense of peace, calm, and balance, which are all important if you want to feel attuned to yourself.
I find meditation to be one of the most useful tools for detaching. When life gets too overwhelming for me, I lay down my mat in a quiet corner of my bedroom, take a deep breath, and release all of that noise.
Even just taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on my breathing can help me feel more grounded and centered.
Believe me, it has done wonders for my mental health, especially on days when I want to shut out the world but don’t have time for a real getaway.
7) Know your own worth
Perhaps the biggest benefit of meditation for me is that it has blessed me so much in the way of knowing my worth and what I want out of life.
The world has a way of knocking you down and making you feel less than you really are. The constant stream of information and negativity, the pressure to conform…all of that can make you feel like you don’t measure up.
I get it – I’ve felt that way so many times!
But here’s what I realized: we really can’t blame it all on the world. We need to have some accountability for how we feel, too.
You know that Eleanor Roosevelt saying, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent?”
Well, that’s true, isn’t it? The world can only hurt us for as much as we allow it. So, this highlights the importance of knowing your self-worth.
And when you do, a beautiful thing happens – you can disassociate the result of what you do with who you are.
Let me put it simply: Your worth does not depend on the things you do or the things that happen to you.
Once I realized this, I felt a sense of freedom. I no longer feel like a failure each time I fail. I no longer feel small when talking to an accomplished person. I know who I am, no matter what the world tells me.
8) Let go of other people’s expectations
This is the perfect example of what the world tells you: other people’s expectations and unrealistic standards.
Have you ever been told you should be smarter? Prettier? Richer? More behaved?
Imagine different voices telling you to be one way or another over and over. It can be deafening, isn’t it?
I can’t blame you for wanting to be free of it all; it’s extremely exhausting trying to meet all of these expectations.
But if you want to save your sanity and live a meaningful life, you’ve got to be yourself. You need to live a life that’s true to you. Every action you make should be purposeful and aligned with your core values.
Now, expect that you won’t make everyone happy with that. But that’s okay! Detaching from the world can be uncomfortable, not just for you, but for the people who want to have a say in your life as well.
9) Accept the things you can’t control
One of my favorite quotes comes from the Serenity Prayer, particularly this part: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…”
Over the years, I’ve found that the main reason I often get frustrated is that I keep wanting to change things I can’t. I keep wanting to control things I can’t.
It took me a while – and many readings of the Serenity Prayer – for this point to sink in: I have to accept that I can’t control everything.
I can’t make everything go my way, and I should have realized that sooner. I could have saved myself so much heartache and bitterness.
That’s why today I make it a point to step back and weigh a situation – is this something I can change? Or is it something I’ll just have to accept?
This gives me a level of detachment where I can filter external circumstances and pinpoint where I can make a change. It helps me feel less immersed in turmoil and anxiety and more comfortable with not knowing everything.
10) Limit exposure to negative news
I’m sure you’ve experienced this – you turn on the news, and stories of crimes and disasters unfold before your eyes. No matter how stoic or jaded you are, all of that negativity takes a toll on your brain.
It’s no secret that constant exposure to negative news can make you feel stressed, anxious, and helpless. It casts the world in a more negative light, making you feel pessimistic.
And if you’re an empath, the effects are so much more damaging.
That’s no way to live.
I don’t mean that you should be completely unaware of the issues going on. But it does help to have a healthy level of consumption when it comes to the news.
So, cut back on the time you devote to the news. Or go on a news fast – a period of time when you completely avoid watching or reading the news. You can do it just like you would with social media.
11) Engage in unplugged activities
Better yet, unplug!
This might sound extreme in a world where staying connected is the norm. Even when we go on out-of-town trips, it’s unthinkable to completely disconnect. One way or another, we’re still attached to the “grid.”
But studies show that unplugging is crucial to our health. It’s a powerful tool for detachment because it frees up the time and space that noise occupies.
You’ll have more energy to be creative and focus on things you like doing, whether that’s art, sports, cooking, or reading.
Whatever they are, unplugged activities let you shut out the rest of the world. They allow you to get into a state of flow, that delicious zone where you’re fully focused and deeply enjoying what you’re doing.
12) Spend time in nature
You know what’s a great way to spend your off-the-grid time? Out in nature.
I say that with full confidence as someone who constantly looks to the great outdoors for relief and restoration. Every time it all gets to be too much, I go out for a walk or sit in my garden.
And whenever I can manage it, I schedule trips away from the city and just immerse myself in the healing power of the sea or the forest.
I tell you, once you’re out there, it’s so easy to leave all the noise behind and get lost instead in the swish of the leaves moving in the breeze, in birdsong, in the sound of waves crashing on the shore…
Science confirms this, too. A study on ICU patients found that spending time outdoors, surrounded by nature, reduced stress significantly.
Detaching from the world doesn’t have to mean isolating yourself completely. It simply means taking steps to reduce the noise and distractions of modern life, so you can focus on what’s truly important to you.
Start with small steps, and see how it feels. You could try limiting your social media use and exposure to unpleasant news first, and observe its effects on you. If it’s your first time to detach, baby steps might be a good idea.
You’d be surprised at how much happier and more fulfilled you can feel by detaching from the constant chaos of the world. It’s a powerful way to achieve inner peace and a fresh perspective!