With recent documentaries The Social Dilemma and Screened Out gaining popularity on Netflix, it’s hard to ignore the damming evidence that increased screen time has on our mental health.
Perhaps one of the biggest factors though responsible for such a decline in our overall well-being must be that of the mobile phone.
Yet, more and more people are now beginning to switch off their mobile devices several hours before bedtime each night to try to combat the issue.
The biggest reason – they too have noticed the detrimental effect of being glued to this tiny screen until the late hours.
Here are 4 potential long-term benefits that are readily accessible – and all for just switching off that phone before you turn in for the night!
1. You learn to love reading again
For many, a thirst for reading develops solely because they removed the phone from their grasp and, in its place, picked up a physical book.
When you trade-in your phone for a book you immediately indicate to your brain and body that you are settling down for the night.
A book allows you to immerse yourself in another world of your choosing, and you get to choose the world, the characters, and the story.
A way of encouraging a process of shutting off completely from the real world for an hour or so each evening, when you set yourself up comfortably to read, you allow both your body and mind to simply stop.
A great way of improving your mood, memory, and concentration levels, ultimately, when you enter this stage each night, you’re more likely to drop off to sleep with ease as a result.
By holding a book in front of you before bed, you eliminate the harmful blue light that your phone emits. You also remove the temptation to scroll and read those negative news articles and social media posts, thus keeping your mind stress-free right before you sleep.
2. You don’t automatically reach for your phone first thing
Another immensely damaging problem with mobile devices is reaching for them the very instant you open your eyes in the morning. This can take precedent over everything else and is a soul-destroying way to start any day off.
However, once you begin the daily ritual, of scrolling and checking, you’ve lost a good chunk of your morning as a result. What’s worst is when once again most of this information you’ve absorbed is negative.
Therefore, in just a few minutes of waking up you’ve set the tone for your brain, body, and indeed mindset on that day.
Yet, for those who successfully eliminate the phone before bed, it becomes easier to forego it upon waking.
Instead, many find that this time can be devoted to waking up the right way, whether that be yoga, deep breathing, exercising, journaling, or simply taking in the first-morning coffee in the peace and quiet. And there’s no temptation to check that screen during this!
3. You reduce the need to reach for the phone during the day
As a result of weaning yourself off your phone at night, and not readily reaching for it as soon as the alarm goes off, you may well notice you have less of a compulsion to use it throughout the day as a result.
When you commit to reducing your phone time you begin to realize that your world won’t fall apart because you haven’t checked your phone every few minutes.
The knock-on effect of improving yourself by reading at night, sleeping better, and indeed waking more refreshed often reverberates through to the daytime – thus meaning you have increased energy.
So, by wasting this time on your phone, when you know by now you can cope without it, becomes more of an issue you feel more inclined to combat.
It becomes easier to strike a balance during the day, but more so, those releasing and calming effects you’ve noticed both evening and morning highlight the way you may well change when you overuse your phone during the day.
4. You re-think your social media time
Though social media has its advantages, undeniably it’s also for many people a huge form of pressure, increases depression, and encourages a need to compete.
With so many negative comments and pictures that hang on their likes, it often serves to make us all needy for approval.
By turning off your phone or even removing it entirely from your room at night, you switch off this continual quest to please or compare yourself to others.
Perhaps the biggest habit for many, social media platforms are a form of addiction, and the after feeling of it is never usually positive.
After a week or two of training your brain to live without this incessant scrolling, you will begin to see that social media can at times actually work to make you feel less connected.
With family and friends playing out their dramas online and everyone airing their issues on it, it is in fact immensely detrimental to keeping mental health well-balanced. It’s also an area whereby the world seems to implode every few minutes of the day.
By stepping away from such drama each night, you allow yourself the chance to focus on your self-care – which should be the most important thing going on in your world right now.