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There you are, sitting in the back of a Lyft, standing in line at Starbucks, or waiting at a bar, trying not to look desperate until your date arrives, when suddenly you feel the urge to reach for your phone. If this sounds familiar, it should. 66% of people suffer from Nomophobia, a fear of wandering too far from their smartphones. What used to be a window to the outside world has become a security blanket, small enough to fit in our pockets but big enough to hide behind whenever we feel uncomfortable.
Technology addiction is fast becoming a serious concern among psychologists. In fact, studies show that social media can be more addictive than cigarettes. But the good news is, the more we practice living life without a phone in our hands, the easier it becomes to unplug. So the next time you feel the need to scroll, swipe, or send a text message, try one of these tactics instead.
1. Jump in the Shower Before You Look at Your Phone
80% of iPhone users check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up, which sets an important tone for the rest of the day. The majority of information we are being fed is designed to make us feel like we are missing out on something, and if you begin your day in that mindset, you will spend the rest of it wondering what else you might be missing. (You’ll get back +:15 minutes a day)
2. Leave Your Phone in the Car When Getting Your Morning Coffee
Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day, and you can bet the majority of them are ordered between liking, sharing, and commenting on any number of popular social media platforms. Try leaving your phone in the car. At first it will be super annoying, reaching for your phone every few seconds, but eventually, the anxiety will subside and you’ll find the wait feels surprisingly shorter than it did before. (+:15m)
3. Don’t Touch Your Phone Until You Are Finished Eating
Ancient yogis believed that digestion is encouraged, and overall health is improved, when you eat in a quiet place with minimal distraction. This includes scrolling with one hand while you eat with the other. You’ll find that you enjoy your food more, and you will only eat until you are full, instead of mindlessly ordering more than you need and finishing whatever is on your plate. (+1:00h)
4. Meditate Instead of Multitasking
For most of us, 5 minutes without something to do can be overwhelming. Meanwhile, people who think they are great multitaskers are actually less capable of focusing on more than one thing at a time. If you feel the urge to check your phone while you’re at work or at the gym, take a break. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and wait 60 seconds. 60 SECONDS before checking a text or an email. You will probably realize it wasn’t as urgent as you thought it would be. (+:30m)
5. Spend 30 Minutes Without Your Phone Before Bed
Nearly 30% of social media users experience some type of sleep disturbance, from anxiety about the information they are consuming, to the physical irritation of a bright, backlit screen. While many psychologists suggest a full 2 hours of winding down without our phones, for most of us, that’s excessive. Start small and plug it in 30 minutes before bed. You’ll go to sleep faster, and stay asleep longer. (+:30m)
Estimated Time Saved: 2:30. Over a month that’s more than 50 hours of “me time” you can get back.
How about a helping hand…
Reaching for our phones has become second nature. 75% of smartphone users are never more than 5 feet from their favorite device at any given time. Onward has been proven to help many people reduce their dependence on addictive technology, and can make it easier to achieve some of the ideas above. Download it today and get started – you’ll be happier, healthier and calmer in no time.
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