“Let yourself feel awake, peaceful, and ready for your day before you reach for your phone.”

I had the pleasure of interviewing Morgan Sheets, a certified wellness coach and woman on a mission to live well, be well, and do good in the world and support others to do the same. Morgan specializes in coaching clients who have created external success but lack inner fulfillment, feel frustrated, deeply disconnected from themselves and stuck in patterns that keep them mentally and emotionally unwell to feeling good again from the inside out.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your backstory?

Life shaped me to do the job that I do today and I chose to answer the calling and create a living and lifestyle around helping others heal and step out of dis-ease and into well-being.

Beginning from a very young age, I experienced situations in life that were stressful for me. These experiences seemed to continue non-stop until my mid 20’s or so. I didn’t know how to manage the stress, stressors, or emotions and it made my body and mind become dis-eased. For about a decade I struggled with anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic fatigue, nerve sensitivity, migraine headaches and a sense of overwhelming despair that there was something wrong with me and there was something wrong with the world. Despite trying many methods and avenues to attempt to heal my body and mind, it took me until I was 30 to finally understand what was happening in my body and mind and to discover what I call my well-being blueprint. After healing my own body and mind, I decided I wanted to help others do the same and put all I experienced in life — both the dis-ease and trauma and the subsequent journey to well-being to use so I could be of service to help others do the same. I didn’t want other people to be lost and stuck and having to do the endless research that I did to get where I am today. I also wanted all I’ve learned, experienced, transformed and overcome to be of value to the world. I spent a decade reading books trying to crack the code and understand the reason why I felt so dis-eased in body, mind and soul. I’d like to spare others the same lengthy journey. And show that it’s possible to be highly sensitive, empathic, intuitive and also live out in the world, create external success and be a high achiever.

Career wise I took a path from model/actress to marketing director for my family’s business to my own massage therapy business to then becoming a wellness and life coach. When you look at my journey from what I studied in college to my work experience and personal experience, it’s clear I was being shaped for a calling. Of course, I didn’t know that as I was going through all those steps. It only became clear in hindsight. Everything I’ve done and been and experienced prepared me for the role I’m in today and the harmony of it all is so inspiring to me. My college degree was in electronic media production and both in college and my career as a marketing director showed me that I’m very electronically sensitive and that for my own well-being I have to limit and manage how I use technology.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I think the most interesting story is how I got into this career. Life really called and led me to it. I had a neighbor that lived two houses over from me where I used to live. He was in very poor health and had been let go from his job as a truck driver because of how bad his health was. They wouldn’t let him drive anymore. One day, I sat on his front porch with him and started talking to him about his health and helped him to see that things could change and told him exactly how. He was so grateful he said he had to pay me because I was more helpful than the doctors he was seeing. I said pay whatever that information is worth to you and he gave me $40. That was my first coaching client before I even knew being a coach was a profession. Before I moved, he was able to walk again and had lost about 100 lbs.

The second nudge to set me on my path was louder. I was at a workshop and talking to another attendee and he asked me if I was a life coach and I said no. He said, I think you are one and you don’t know it. I’m a coach and you just coached me. This conversation led me to look up holistic wellness coaching and I found out there are indeed people in the world who coach others on whole life well-being — mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. And so I began my journey to certification and creating a career out of coaching others and finally found a container to hold my innate gifts and talents, life experiences and passions and to help others and create a living from it.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?

I’ve begun taking the first steps to write a book and would like to dedicate more time and focus to writing it this winter. I’m teaching a course now for other service based entrepreneurs on how to get their message in the media. I’m really excited about that and am looking to grow the course and offer it to a wider audience. There’s so many people with such great wisdom, wonderful experiences they’ve created and unique businesses that just don’t know how to get their story out in a big way. And I’ve found, in my experience, media is hungry for people like that and I’m excited to connect them. Aside from that, Q4 for me is about becoming more accessible to people who can’t afford 1:1 coaching with me through offering group programs, workshops and mini classes and webinars. I’d also like to cultivate some brand partnerships and use my platform more to highlight products, services, hotels and resort experiences that foster well-being.

Between work and personal life, the average adult spends nearly 11 hours looking at a screen per day. How does our increasing screen time affect our mental, physical, and emotional health?

In my experience, with myself and clients, I’ve found that too much screen time correlates with an increase in fatigue, irritability, and a decrease in ability to focus and concentrate. Too much screen time can create a physical stress in our bodies and the exposure to the blue light can even start disrupting our hormones. In addition, when you add in the mental toll that too much time on social media can bring, then too much tech can also trigger anxiety, self-loathing, depression and feeling bad about life and society in general.

It also creates a disturbance in our energy field. I know when I spend too much time on my phone or at my computer, my energy becomes very scattered and dissipated and my field feels weak.

Can you share your top five ways people can improve mental wellness and create a healthy relationship with technology?

  1. First, I’d invite people to install a tracker like Moment that will tell them how much time they are on the phone every day. It’s often quite enlightening to people. All those quick glances at your email and social feeds add up.
  2. Second, it’s important to come up with replacement habits and also rules for how you use technology. What we’re ultimately looking to do is create a healthy relationship with technology, not abstain from it completely. If you always pick up your phone when you first wake up, you may want to set out a glass of water to reach for instead. Or place your journal or a favorite inspirational book to reach for and look at instead. A sample rule is to not have phones at the dinner table. If you’re talking to a person face to face, put your phone face down, turn off the ringer, or stow it in your purse. Focus on being present in the moment in which you are living, instead of being present to the screen of a computer, phone or television.
  3. Third, set aside certain times per day to check your email and social media. Most of us really don’t need to reply instantaneously and know about every single email and comment in the moment. It’s amazing how much more free time you’ll find in the day and how little time it actually takes to manage email and social media. I’m often amazed how a 30 minute time block for email and social can take care of everything, instead of sitting in front of my computer for 2 hours and bouncing between a bunch of tasks.
  4. Fourth, eliminate unnecessary and “extra” exposure to electronics. For example, a habit a lot of people have is leaving their TV on as background noise while they do things like clean, or cook, or get ready in the morning. Or they even use a TV to fall asleep to at night. This habit may seem like it’s harmless, but it’s not. Your mind and nervous system don’t get the opportunity to rest, when you’re exposing it to light, sound, noise, and EMF like that. I really invite people to practice being intentional about their technology usage. Use it when you’re going to pay attention to it, and turn it off when you’re doing something else that requires your attention.
  5. And lastly, remember, connecting via technology and social media is not a substitute for real life. Focus on reminding your mind and brain that scrolling through news feeds, commenting and liking posts is not a replacement or substitute for in person connection. I see so many people that are living their lives through screens. Even when they are around people they have their screen in front of them and are doing things like taking pics, or snapchatting, or livestreaming what they are doing for an audience. There’s a time and place for that, and also, I see it becoming a habit of not being present in physical reality and experiencing reality through a screen and that’s not healthy for our mind or spirit. I’m concerned when people begin living life as a performer for an audience, rather than simply living and sharing a moment. I understand that some of us use video and the internet for business and for connecting with an audience, I’m not trying to say there isn’t a time and place for it. I am trying to say, there’s a time and place and we need to be intentional about when we’re “performing” and when we’re living in the moment with the environment around us.

51% of Americans say they primarily use their smartphone for calls. With the number of robocalls increasing, what are ways people can limit interruptions from spam calls?

Personally, I keep my phone on silent the majority of the time to avoid being disturbed by my phone. I used to ignore all robocalls and now I answer the phone sometimes, ask to be removed from the list if I can and then I block the number. This helps, some. Robocalls aren’t in my area of expertise, so I can’t offer much more advice than that.

Between social media distractions, messaging apps, and the fact that Americans receive 45.9 push notifications each day, Americans check their phones 80 times per day. How can people, especially younger generations, create a healthier relationship with social media?

I think it’s important to decide how much of your life per day you feel is worthy of spending on social media, then focus on setting timers and being conscious of limiting your time to that. I’d also recommend only checking into social media during certain times, instead of checking it any time you have a free moment. Also, turn off all the notifications on your phone. There’s very little we need to be aware of immediately as it happens. So much peace can be created simply by eliminating those pesky notifications that capture our awareness. Also, it’s important to consider the impact it has when we spend more time cultivating digital relationships versus in person relationships. Social media is great for keeping up with interesting articles and information, seeing what your friends and family are up to and also for following people you admire and getting ideas and inspiration. It should never be a replacement though for cultivating “real life” relationships. Even screen time with those you know in real life can’t compare to in person time.

It’s also important to remember that social media isn’t meant for a person to share every detail of their lives. People are only showing what they desire to share, both good and bad. It’s simply a small reflection of who someone is as a person. It’s okay to not share everything on social media, there’s a lot of value to intimacy in personal relationships and having the privacy of keeping experiences to those who you experience them with.

80% of smartphone users check their phones before they brush their teeth in the morning. What effect does starting the day this way have on people? Is there a better morning routine you suggest?

I invite people to ask themselves what they are needing in their morning, and create a morning routine around that. Clients often come to me feeling so much pressure to do what they hear a morning routine “should” be like and they think they need to have a gratitude list, journal, read, and exercise in the morning and it’s not true. What a person needs to do is ask what they need to start their day off well, what do they need to feel well mentally and emotionally, then do that.

I would say, let yourself feel awake, peaceful, and ready for your day before you reach for your phone. You want to feel grounded within yourself, before connecting with the outside world.

Can you please give us your favorite life lesson quote?

This is my favorite quote and it goes along with this topic in an energetic sense. It may seem a strange life lesson quote, but this quote has had a profound effect on how I live my life.

Nikola Tesla — ‘If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.’

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I hope that I’m starting my movement now. I’d love to reach the whole world and share with them how to know their own individual well-being blueprint and how to listen to their own mind, body and spirit for guidance on how to live well and be well. I think people are inundated with wellness advice and programs that aren’t in alignment with who they are. The reality is that there is a lot of individuality and complexity in the human body and there simply is not a one size fits all program. That’s why I like to help people discover the characteristics of their own mind, body and spirit and to give them concrete evidence and guidance on how to live life in alignment with that.

I dream of going on a nationwide tour and speaking to schools and community centers and churches. Wherever large people can congregate and empower them with the information on how to discover their well-being blueprint.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

They can follow me on Instagram at livebedogood. Or send me a friend request or follow me on Facebook via my profile, Morgan Sheets.

Thank you for this interview. It was very insightful!

This interview is part of an interview series by Dan Pannasch, Product Manager of RoboKiller, the robocall blocking app that gets even with spammers. You can check it out at robokiller.com.

Originally published at medium.com