Technology has integrated into our lives so profoundly that there is no moment in the day where we are without our smartphones, tablet, laptops, or other devices. The innovations have indeed improved lives for the better in various ways, but they’ve also been toxic to our mental and physical health.
The increased use of smartphones or laptops disrupts our social lives and family time. We think that by being always busy, we’re productive, but that’s not entirely correct. Sometimes a little downtime, minus any electronics, is necessary to keep our brain functioning at optimum condition.
Research suggests that taking a minute to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings can significantly improve your brain function by a margin. Studies conducted show that the urge to pick up your phone every second release a shot of dopamine, the happy hormone that is much like other forms of behavioral addiction.
So, the question is how to break the habit? Here are some methods to help you put away your phone and focus on what matters.
Realize that You have an Addiction
The mind is a powerful thing; if you’ve got the will, no task is impossible. It is the same with limiting the use of your smartphone.
How many times did you mean to check your phone for a second, but realize that an hour has passed? Or, you’ve got an unexpected minute to spare, and you automatically pull out your smartphone to browse social media or check your emails?
Being aware that you have a problem is the first step to stopping the addiction. It will put the power back in your hands and give you a choice on how to best spend your time. It is a mindful exercise to realize the problem and choosing to stop it.
Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode
The world was revolving around the sun before smartphones were invented, and it still would even if you don’t use them as much. The essential factor to getting over any addiction is to realize that you don’t need that item as much as you think.
Make sleep a priority! It’ll lead to more benefits than merely being fresh the next day.
At night, put your phone on airplane mode or at least turn off the ringer. It’ll help to ignore the not-so-urgent notifications that demand your attention late in the night.
Turn off the Colors in Your Phone
The reason behind the increased use of smartphones is also the enchanting colors of the app icons. So, turn on the grey-scale and observe the significant decrease in the use of your phone.
It’s designed to be irritating and will help you limit the time spent aimlessly scrolling through the phone. Ironically, shutting down the colors in your smartphone will help you see the colors in your surroundings.
Be Okay with Doing Nothing
Life is about balance! It means having a schedule with enough free time spent doing nothing just as there is time to work.
As the age-old saying goes, “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Having no time for anything but work will make you a loner for your friends and family, devoid of any social life or time for recreational activity.
Even being on your phone when you have a free moment is ‘doing something.’ So, a way to let go of the addiction is to adopt other positive habits. Take a walk in the park, for instance, enjoy the view, talk to other people around you, or reflect on your day before you go to sleep.
It’ll give you the chance to reflect on yourself and make positive adjustments in your life for you and your loved ones.
Keep Your Phone in Another Room
One surefire way to curb any compulsion is to keep the source of the addiction away from you. Be the master of your surroundings, and decide what you want near you and what is best kept distant.
For instance, put your phone in your room, if you are with friends or family at home. Or keep it across the room, where it’s not at an easy-to-reach place. It’ll substantially decrease the chances of you reaching out for your phone or checking every time it ‘dings.’
Additionally, smartphones are an unwelcomed guest at the dinner table. So, make dinner time an ‘electronics-free zone’ and take that time to catch up with your family.
Hit Delete for Apps You Don’t Need
It’s a fact that none of us use all the apps installed on our smartphones. So, another way to control the addiction is by deleting unused applications.
Unused apps only take up space on your phone and nothing more. Even the gaming apps on your phone need to go. You might play on them occasionally, but the point of the article is to help you let go of your addiction. Mobile games are among the most addictive apps, so they have to go!
Instead, invest your time in physical sports that will improve your health or get a gaming system.
Group the Apps You Do Need
Deleting all the apps on your Android or iOS will leave you more frustrated than before. So, group the apps that you use like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and email. It’ll put them away from the home screen and decrease the urge to use your phone.
Grouping the apps will limit accessibility without making you miss out on opportunities and invites, which is another factor that reduces smartphone addiction.
Breaking any habit isn’t an easy task. It is a test of self-discipline and our determination to follow through the plan. But it doesn’t mean it is impossible!
More than following each, or at least one of these points, you need to be able to have control over your urge. Prioritize your needs, and it’ll be easier to let go of your phone more often during the day.
So, break the habit and live healthier, happier lives!