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7 Practical Ways To Break Free From Your Phone Addiction

Reducing your screen time in the meantime

By The Breatharian BloggerPublished 12 months ago Updated 12 months ago 9 min read

“Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of information can drive out knowledge.” ~Daniel J. Boorstin

No doubt you have felt it. The pull and tug of technology.

You log out of your phone for an instant and, in that short window, you somehow wind up back on it.

You sign out of Facebook or Instagram and, somehow your fingers sign you back in.

Why are we so susceptible to more screen time? Why is it so tempting to turn away from technology? What makes our smartphones so seductive?

People are addicted to their phones because they provide constant entertainment and connection to others.

Phones are also portable, so people can access them anywhere. This addiction can lead to people neglecting their work, family, and social life.

It’s like living in a dopamine dream!

With a phone, people can stay connected to their social media accounts, email, and text messaging.

They can also use their phones to take pictures and videos, and to play games.

But, with all this focus on our phones, when will we make time for ourselves?

Let’s see how phone addiction can affect your Mental health.

Afflictions from Phone Addiction

By Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

1. Increases Depression levels

A 2014 study found that people who use social media a lot tend to be more depressed and anxious.

In the same year of 2014, there was a 19 year old boy in Britain named Danny Bowman. He would reportedly spend up to 10 hours a day taking selfies.

He became so obsessed with taking the “perfect selfie” that, when he was unsuccessful, he turned to suicide.

This is because users, especially teens, compare themselves unfavorably with their peers on social media, which makes them feel lonely and depressed.

2. Increases Anxiety

In a Research study, the presence of a phone in a workplace was found to make people more anxious and perform poorly on given tasks.

The heaviest phone users were also seen to show the greatest anxiety.

3. Increases Stress Levels

When you use your smartphone for work, it's easy for work to start spilling into your personal life.

You might feel pressure to always be available, and checking and responding to email can become stressful. This can lead to burnout.

4. Disturbs sleeping Pattern

Your sleep patterns can really take a hit if you're constantly glued to your smartphone.

That can then have a serious ripple effect on your mental health, making it harder to focus and remember things.

This can generally put a damper on your cognitive skills.

5. Diminished Creativity

The constant buzzing, pinging or beeping of your smartphone can be really distracting when you're trying to focus on important tasks.

This can also slow down your work and interrupt those moments of peace and quiet that are so crucial for being creative and solving problems.

Instead of ever having any time to ourselves to just think, we're now always online and connected.

Signs and symptoms of Phone Addiction

By Timi David on Unsplash

1. Inability to finish tasks

Do you find yourself working late more often because you can't finish your work on time?

Have you ever found yourself with a ton of tasks to do and no food in the house because you've been busy chatting online, texting, or playing video games?

This was me. I was utterly addicted and afflicted by constant cellphone use. I did not know how to put it down.

It was as though my phone was attached to my body. Just an extension of my hand, and I was a slave to its many demands.

They say, discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons!

Don’t let your smartphone outsmart you when getting things done.

2. Feeling detached from friends and family

Do you spend so much time on your phone that it's impacting your social life?

If you're always checking your phone when you're hanging out with friends or in meetings, you might be missing out on what's being said.

There were plenty of times I missed out on magical moments with friends and family.

This was because I was tied up with serving technology.

I would lock myself in a room or even play video games on the toilet.

It is easy for us to have our attention divided when our focus is on our devices.

3. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Is social media giving you anxiety? Do you feel like you need to compulsively check it in case you're missing out on something?

If you're not regularly checking your phone, are you worried you'll miss out on some important news or information?

There have even been times when I have felt a “phantom vibration” in my pocket. When I reached for my phone, I found that it was not there.

Can you explain this physical reaction?

Or how about the tense reaction of anxiety when you find you have lost your phone somewhere?

Think of the level of stress as you retrace your steps. Is your own peace of mind worth a couple of texts?

If you're finding yourself up at night scrolling through your phone, it might be time to take a break.

Especially when you start to realize, it’s really your mind and your time at stake.

Tips To Get Rid of Phone Addiction

By Shane on Unsplash

If you're concerned about your phone or Internet use, these tips can help you break the habit and better balance your life offline and online.

1. Stop Charging Your Phone Near Your Bed

If you charge your phone near your bed, you will be more likely to use it before bed and first thing in the morning.

So, never take your phone to the bed until and unless it is very much required.

This will help greatly in getting rid of phone addiction.

2. Get an Actual Alarm clock instead of setting the alarm on the phone

If you find that you're constantly picking up your phone and checking for notifications, even when you don't need to, then an alarm clock can help you break the habit.

With an alarm clock, you can set a time for when you want to wake up, and then put your phone away so you're not tempted to keep checking it.

This can help you to get a better night's sleep and also to focus more during the day, as you're not constantly interrupted by your phone.

3. Turn off your Phone notifications

If you're addicted to your phone, one of the best things you can do is to turn off your notifications.

By doing this, you'll be less likely to constantly check your phone for new updates and alerts.

Instead, you'll only check your phone when you have the time and energy to do so.

This can help you to break your addiction and focus on more important things in your life.

By Yura Fresh on Unsplash

4. Delete Apps that are addictive and not useful for you

If you find that you are spending too much time on your phone, or if you are using your phone more than you are using your brain, it is time to get rid of the addiction.

There are many ways to do this, but one of the best ways is to delete the apps that are addictive.

There are many apps that are addictive and can keep us glued to our phones for hours on end.

These apps can be a major distraction from our daily lives and can cause us to become addicted to our phones.

Deleting these apps from our phones can help us to get rid of our phone addiction and help us to focus on more important things in our lives.

5. Substitute your smartphone use with healthier activities

If you find that you're spending too much time on your phone, or you're struggling with phone addiction, then replacing your smartphone with healthier activities can help.

This could involve spending more time outdoors, taking up a new hobby, or spending time with family and friends.

One thing I appreciate about certain apps is that they got people to go outside. I remember being in the Pokémon Go era, and seeing all the teenagers walking in parks on their cellphones.

Why there are some unique applications, don’t allow them to replace the sensation of just being in nature.

Having the courage to go out without your phone will lead you to start feeling less alone.

But the more we give in, the more we’re prone to answering calls and tempting tones.

By doing things that make you feel good, you'll be less likely to rely on your phone for happiness.

Plus, you'll be setting a good example for others who might be struggling with the same issue.

Let people see that it’s okay to simply enjoy the day.

6. Try a phone free day once a week

If you're addicted to your phone, one way to help break the habit is to take a phone-free day once a week.

Some people call this a “digital detox”.

This means no texting, no checking social media, no playing games, and no phone calls (except for emergencies).

It may be difficult at first, but it will help you to be more present and engaged in the world around you.

You may even find that you enjoy your phone-free days and look forward to them each week!

Back in 2019, I took a two month digital detox. Going without watching movies or playing games for sixty days.

This was a tremendous boost for my productivity, focus, drive, and confidence. I would recommend it to anyone who feels like they need a reset.

7. Try going out to places nearby without your phone

If you find yourself constantly attached to your phone, going out without it may be a helpful way to break the addiction.

When you're used to having your phone with you all the time, it can be difficult to be without it.

This is why it's important to remember that you can survive without it.

This can be a great way to reset your relationship with your phone and help you to remember that you don't need it constantly.

Plus, it's a great way to connect with the people around you.

BONUS TIP: Greyscale

By Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

One of the tools I have found, and use frequently, is a little hack called “greyscale”.

It is a form of digital minimalism, and is actually very subtle.

What you can do is go into the settings on your phone. Go to accessibility and find the section that controls the color on your screen.

Turn this setting to greyscale.

Switching off the color filter will be uncomfortable at first, but this is actually powerful for two reasons.

For one, it disconnects your eyes from your device. There are so many apps and notifications that pop out with bright colors.

Have you ever wondered why an alert or text message is colored red? What does the color red make you want to do?

Don’t think that the developers haven’t done this by design. It is very intentional and grabs at our attention.

Lastly, having your phone on greyscale will allow you to appreciate the natural, vibrant, and colorful world around you.

Able to savor the sensations by reducing your stimulation.

Thanks for reading! I trust this gave you a few tips on how to take back control of your technology.

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About the Creator

The Breatharian Blogger

Here to inspire you on your journey. ✊🏾

Connect with me on IG @jromeshaw

Donations are appreciated $jromeshaw 🙏🏾

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