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Written by Sarah Kirton | Updated On April 01, 2023

Bindiya Murgai on Digital Detox

Bindiya Murgai on Digital Detox

Bindiya Murgai from Healing Hideaway, is a Mental Fitness, Digital Wellness & Mindfulness Coach. MysticMag has the privilege of chatting briefly with Bindiya on her work, her values and beliefs.

Bindiya, what aspects of your life journey best define who you are today?

We are all the sum total of the experiences we have and the choices we make throughout our life’s journey. The alchemy of existence turns certain influences, events and pivotal points into our own unique story, that keeps unfolding till we die…
In that sense, we are all a work in progress. But many aspects that best define who I am today, sprouted from a decision I made 10 years ago. It was when my husband and I moved from the bustle of New Delhi to a small farming village in the Nilgiris (South India) – a place we knew nothing about, where we knew nobody, but decided to drop anchor.
I’ve since been living and working full time from here, gently cocooned in nature, living in harmony with the wildlife around me, whilst also learning to farm, grow my own food and harvest honey. This way of life has made me far more mindful, compassionate, sensitive, and connected to myself and everything around me.
It has helped declutter my life by making better choices not just about material things, but also about the people who I choose to keep in my inner orbit. It has helped me become more authentic, more passionate in my personal expression, clearer about my boundaries, more accepting of the nature of things and people, less black & white in my beliefs, more “present” in every situation, and brimming with gratitude for every small wonder that’s embedded in daily life.

How do you navigate with a new client and how do you determine which path to pursue in terms of healing?

Every client is a person with their own unique personality and set of challenges and circumstances. Therefore, there is no fixed template that applies to all. The very first thing I encourage them to do, even before they become clients, is to have a brief introductory chat where they can just know more about my process, ask any questions they have and then decide if they wish to work with me.
Once they decide to book a session, I encourage them to book just one for starters and see how comfortable they feel, as rapport and comfort with one’s therapist is critical when one is working through various emotional, mental or professional issues.
Post that, we start with the Intake Sessions which are to unpack and understand their life journey up until this point. This gives context and helps identify red flags, patterns and beliefs that may in some way be connected to their current issues. We then discuss the immediate change, outcomes or goals that they have and I then decide which modalities we will work with. It can be a combination of counselling, life coaching, CBT, NLP, EMDR, mindfulness training, therapeutic regression, hypnosis and digital hygiene.

How would you describe ‘digital hygiene’ and do you believe that there is a real and urgent need to address this ever-increasing phenomenon?

There are two ways in which the term ‘digital hygiene’ is used. One is about the health of your devices, things like regularly updating and cleaning electronic devices, organizing files, following security protocols, optimizing settings etc…
The digital hygiene that I fervently advocate, is about drawing boundaries with technology (particularly how you use it) in order to maintain good mental, psychosocial and physical wellbeing in a hyper connected, always-on tech world. And the truth is that tech is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives, permeating every part of our existence…and a staggering number of people struggle to find a balance with tech. Most don’t even don’t know how it impacts their brains, emotions, relationships, productivity, safety and life on the whole, so when you don’t know the dangers, how do you even think you need boundaries? So there is no doubt that the phenomenon of digital over-engagement, over-dependence and addiction needs urgent and widespread addressal. I believe it must in fact be made part of the school curriculum – it is that vital.

What can you tell us about the retreats you offer, and what one might expect to walk away with?

I do different types of Digital Detox retreats, depending on the clients and their requirements. These are mostly held at the gentle and beautiful rolling hills of the Nilgiris. There is the Digital Detox Deep Cleanse which is a 7 to 21-day program for people with a very high digital dependence or addiction.
Each programme is fully customised to address an individual or group’s needs and is a combination of Digital Dependency Mapping​, psychological and physical symptom identification, counselling, Digital Hygiene practices, techniques to rebuild real-life bonds and connections, nature-based exercises, art therapy, journaling, productivity and focus enhancement guidance, mindfulness training, guided meditations​ and Life Coaching for continued Digital Balance in daily life.

Then there are the JOMO Breaks which are about enjoying the ‘Joy Of Missing Out’ and finding balance in a constantly connected world, that can leave you anxious, exhausted, distracted, lonely, lacking focus and low on productivity. These are 3- 7 days programs that help you detox from your devices to create space for real connections, happiness, productivity, mindfulness and balance. They help you replace your FOMO with JOMO and redefine your relationship with tech. You can come with friends, family or colleagues.

There is also a Digital Detox For Teens as they are the most vulnerable to tech addiction and abuse as screens are like oxygen to them. They are practically born holding these handheld devices that have become an indispensable part of their being, often causing numerous mental health issues. These workshops and retreats create awareness about digital use and repercussions, while also teaching IRL (In Real Life) strategies that help unplug and give a teenage nervous system a chance to rebalance.

Apart from the above, I also do Digital Detox & Wellness workshops and webinars that empower device users of all ages with the necessary knowledge to manage their digital health. These interactive talks, webinars and workshops are designed to introduce people to the concept of Digital Wellness and enable them with tools that can help them cultivate digital hygiene and create a healthy balance between their real and virtual lives.
Digital Wellness is the new pillar of wellness and it’s essential to empower device users of all ages with the necessary knowledge to manage their digital health. These interactive talks, webinars and workshops are designed to introduce people to the concept of Digital Wellness and enable them with tools that can help them cultivate digital hygiene and create a healthy balance between their real and virtual lives.

How do you see the future of mental and physical well-being in years to come?

That is a really big question and needs a deep dive that would be hard to summarize here. Having said that, I do feel that mental health will largely be on a downswing, at least for the next couple of decades, and this has to do with a gamut of reasons ranging from lifestyle, the collapse of strong non-virtual family and social bonds, largely available misinformation on the internet, or even using Google as the answer to all maladies, the dangerous trend of hasty overmedication, quick fixes, the impact of social media, too many labels for everything, including just normal highs and lows like adolescence, very low resilience in the younger generations, higher levels of isolation from real life, lesser human engagement, volatile economic, social, political and climate conditions, and there are many other factors too. The big upside though, is that mental health will be less stigmatized, there will be more open and mainstream conversations around it, and that will enable more people to seek help without fear or shame attached to it.

As for our physical well being, there will be some amazing strides in early detection, a wider range of treatments, artificial organs, more precise robotic surgeries and perhaps longer life expectancy. But the question is if it will be a better quality of life. There will probably be newer diseases, more pandemics, and many more lifestyle related ailments, but there will also be more awareness about health and fitness, and I certainly hope that will go more viral than fake news!

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About the author
Sarah is a keen and passionate advocate of the spiritual and healing components within the mystical realm of the world we live in. She resides in Cape Town, South Africa, where she enjoys spending time in the outdoors, kite surfing, and playing guitar.