I’m not trying to be preachy here. This is list is really mostly for me. It’s been long enough with my phone now that I think I’ve forgotten how many interesting things my mind can do.
Sure, a lot of these things will make you look like a crazy person but not as crazy as you look obsessing over and displaying emotional responses to a little square. Conformity has no relationship to sanity.
So next time you instinctively reach for your phone out of boredom or social discomfort, try one of these:
1. Close your eyes and try to ‘see’ your surroundings with your other senses.
2. Assess the confidence level of strangers around you and speculate how it affects their daily lives and relationships.
3. Look for the Sun and/or Moon and try to establish a sense of where you are on Earth and in Space.
4. See how far back your line of memory can go by recalling your previous meals consecutively.
5. Properly operate an automobile or any other sort of heavy machinery that you are responsible for controlling.
6. Assess your own posture and try to straighten the central channel moving vertically through your core (not just your spine).
7. Move your awareness around to different places in your body.
8. Discreetly pick out your nose hairs.
9. If you see someone beautiful, try to deduce what produces that beauty. Is it genetics? A frame of mind? A habit? Make up? Money? Loving relationships?
10. Try to wiggle your ears or raise each eyebrow individually.
11. Engage with the people around you.
12. Look for animals such as birds or ants and make inferences about their social structure or individual thought patterns. See how your inferences about them apply to you.
13. Experiment with how far away you can hear.
14. Try to think about absolutely nothing.
15. Make a drum kit out of your hand. Use your thumb as the bass drum, index as the snare, and middle as hi-hat. Experiment with different playing surfaces.
16. Math. Keep that brain muscle in shape.
17. Count the muscles in your face and identify which ones are associated with which emotional signals. Which ones are fatigued?
18. Look for patterns in the wind, flocks of birds, plants, walls, floors, and buildings.
19. Experiment with how your body language influences others around you. What happens when you smile sincerely? Or yawn? Or cross your arms?
20. Focus on your breath.