Our Smartphones today are filled with so many different features that it can be hard not to get addicted to them. We can access a whole world of information at the press of a button. At times it can be very fruitful, making life easier with easy access to some really useful information such as reading this blog post. Other times it can be not so healthy, such as spending hours on end, scrolling through social media and other online platforms.
When we use our mobile phones, our brain produces a chemical called dopamine due to which we feel good. Now to feel good more and more, we use our phone again and again. As a result, chances are we get addicted to our mobiles and do not realize how we are spending time mindlessly on the smalls screen.
Excessive use of mobile phones is unhealthy for our physical and mental wellbeing. Lack of sleep, poor concentration, memory loss, obesity, lethargy, loneliness, mental dullness, unhappiness are some of the negative effects being observed today among children, youth and adults who indulge in excessive use of their phones. There is no denying that the use of mobiles comes with a lot of advantages and thus we cannot eliminate its usage completely. However, there is also no doubt that we got to keep its usage to minimal.
Here are some ideas you can use to control your phone usage and addiction.
1. Turn off Notifications.
Many people get distracted by the endless notifications they receive from WhatsApp messages and other social media apps. You don’t need to know right away if someone likes your status update, follows you on Instagram or sends you a forward. The more often you check your phone, the more it becomes a deep rooted habit and addiction. Suddenly you realise that you are tempted to open a message or a video someone shared. One message and video leads you to another and before you know it, you have lost some precious time that could have been used to refresh, relax, recharge or even complete something important.
The best way to reduce distractions is to turn off notifications. The only apps perhaps you may want to receive notifications from might be your SMS app, calendar and some specific groups that might be related to your work. This way you will feel less compelled to check your phone all the time.
2. Practice Mindful breathing to overcome temptations.
You may be trying very hard to focus on something important when suddenly you find yourself checking your phone and scrolling through your WhatsApp and Instagram notifications. Your mind wants you to derive more pleasure out of it and so it makes you procrastinate by continuing to keep you hooked on to your phone. If this is happening often enough that you are losing your productivity, you got to do something about it.
Next time you find yourself procrastinating or being hooked on to your phone, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Inhale slowly counting 1to 7 and exhale slowly counting 1 to 7. You can also take your awareness to your thoughts, emotions, and just how your body is feeling in general. Connect with your feelings and affirm statements such as “I am calm”, “I am in control”, “I am relaxed”, “I choose healthy habits,” “I spend my time very efficiently.”
By doing this mindfulness practice, you will find yourself more in control of your behaviour. You will be able to cut down your screen time and habit of mindless scrolling especially when you have something important to accomplish. This is a simple but powerful technique that will eventually help you break your smartphone addiction and bring your attention back to the present moment.
3. Delete social media apps on your phone.
This may sound nearly impossible as it may appear like a drastic step but it isn’t. You will still be able to access social media sites through your phone’s Internet browser. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have mobile-friendly websites. They are good enough to satisfy your occasional social media craving. Going to apps is easy but the extra step of opening your Internet browser and typing in the site’s URL adds a bit inconvenience to the process. This will prevent you from checking your social media updates all the time. The same is the case with game apps. Delete them and instead visit their websites if you have to. This will reduce your addiction and you will become a much more productive, healthier and happier person.
To start with, today choose one social media app that you can do without. Delete it from your mobile. Choose one activity that you can give time to instead of it. For example, instead of being on twitter, may be you can buy a puzzle book for yourself and sharpen your brain by solving some puzzles. After few days, delete another social media app and include another fun activity to your day. You will feel good and you will also encourage yourself to minimise your screen time.
4. Use an Alarm clock (not your Mobile) to wake up
These days almost everyone uses their phone as an alarm clock to wake up in the morning. The problem lies in the fact that when keep your mobile phone so close to you, chances are you will be tempted to use it more and more. Infact, some people take their mobiles first thing in the morning as they switch off their alarm and start checking their messages and emails.
Possible that even before you completely wake up, you have been hooked on to your phone and that’s not something very healthy. Any activity you involve yourself in first thing in morning will get more deeply rooted into your subconscious mind and turn into a habit. To counter this problem, Use an actual alarm clock. It will help you to wake up with more mindfulness where you will have the precious first few minutes of waking up to recharge, rejuvenate and energize yourself with activities like silent sitting, visualization, repeating positive affirmations etc- activities that will immensely help you to cleanse your mind and balance your energy for wellbeing and success.
5. Wear a Watch
How many of us are guilty of constantly checking the time on our mobiles? Probably quite a few. We glance at our phone to see what time it is. As we do this, chances are we get a pop up from a website we visited and open a shopping advertisement flashing on our screen. We start going through these notifications one by one and before you know it, 15 minutes have passed. In reality all you wanted to do was take a second to check the time but you ended up wasting 15 minutes of your time.
A simple way to prevent this time waste is to wear a watch and practice checking time on it rather than your phone.
6. Keep your Phone away for few hours
If you are trying to eat healthier, a common piece of advice you might hear is to avoid keeping junk food in the house. The idea is that unhealthy eating, a choice you might otherwise make without thinking, should require effort. If unhealthy food is kept before you, it will keep tempting you. The same idea applies to phone addictions. When we have our phone in our pockets, purses, next to our bedside or somewhere it is easily accessible, it’s all too easy to pick it up even when not absolutely necessary. We as human beings tend to do more of the things if they are easy and generally avoid things if they require more effort. By keeping your phone in another room or somewhere you don’t see it for some time, you will have a tendency to be less hooked to it.
Practice this especially once you are done with your work for the day. That way you won’t feel like you are missing out on some important stuff if your mobile is not close to you. You will get more time for your family and also for your mental peace and relaxation.
7. Identify limiting thoughts and emotions that need to be addressed.
There’s some research today that points out that people compulsively use their phones to avoid certain issues in their lives. Through excessive use of mobiles, what they are trying to do is to divert their minds or stop themselves from thinking about their problems or tensions.
Sit with yourself in silence and note down any issues that you are currently experiencing. Identify things make you so stressed and anxious that you want to avoid them. May be being addicted to your phone is your subconscious way of handling the pressure. Resolving the issue could help you release yourself from the urge to be on your phone all the time. You could also seek some help to resolve your emotional issues. Talk to a friend, family member or therapist. Read some good books. Watch inspirational videos. Recharge yourself by feeding positive thoughts to yourself daily. This will help you overcome anxiety and you will find yourself more alert and active to do the things that add value to your life rather than being controlled by your urges and temptations.
To your Success
Dr Karishma Ahuja
There is great power in Letting go of the past. It will leave you feeling relaxed, peaceful, free and present. Forgiveness 21 days course will help you to stop looking back and instead feel lighter and happier in the present, bringing you more success and peace. Start your cleansing journey here: Forgiveness 21 days course.
Did you know, there are some amazing metaphysical tools you can use daily to stay mindful, healthy and happy? They are simple to practice yet highly effective in bringing about great positive changes to your personality, attitude, health and results. Sign Up here for the Metaphysics for Health course: 31 rituals for Wellbeing
About Dr Karishma Ahuja
Dr. Karishma Ahuja is a Metaphysical teacher specializing in Law of Attraction, Forgiveness practices and Inner child healing therapy based on the Hawaiian Problem solving technique of Ho’oponopono. She has coached thousands of children and adults over the last 16 years and offers various courses and personal coaching programs on manifestation, mind power, energy cleaning and positive thinking. Dr Ahuja writes a weekly Colum for the Hindustan Times and regularly shares her inputs for success on various media portals like The Times of India, Zee News, Midday, Tax Guru etc. She is the author of 2 popular Self help books – “The Healing Power of Words” and “The Healing Power of Gratitude.”
Get rid of Mobile Phone addiction Click To Tweet