3 March 2020

Living Without Smartphone Stress

Do you ever get that overwhelming feeling of urgency that you need to check your phone, like right now? And if you don't, you'll become stressed out. Your hand is magnetised to your phone, rummaging in your handbag desperately just to see how many likes you have on your breakfast Instagram post. Well, you may, like many of us are these days, be a tad addicted to your smartphone - possibly leading to something called smartphone stress.

But when our smartphone is causing us to feel stressed & unable to switch off our minds, it can become troublesome. Well, the best way to deal with that is to cut down our usage. The more you check your phone, the more you'll feel the need to keep on checking it! Here are some of my tips & things I've done which might help you to reduce any smartphone stress.

Work/Life Balance & Being Aware
Being aware of the time spent on your phone & what apps you tend to use the most is really beneficial. Moment is an amazing app for this. The app enables users to see how much time they're spending on their device & set up warnings if self-imposed usage limits are breached. Alternatively, if you're an Apple user, there is a feature called 'Screen Time' where you're able to see daily & weekly averages plus what apps you tend to the most. I highly recommend using these apps & features to help you out & you'll be surprised & pleased to rediscover the pleasures of being in control.

Turn Off Notifications
Does checking one notification turn into a half-hour of phone browsing? It's just all too easy to get sucked into the social media world through one alert. If you disable all unnecessary notifications, this is less likely to happen. Even muting your device to stop audio alerts can help end that impulse we all have to check our phones whenever the buzz or ping.

Set Up Phone Free Periods
Look at times in your day where you're not going to need your phone. You don't need it in the bath, you don't need it while watching a movie & you don't need it whilst eating your dinner. So set times of the day, like these, to just put your phone on airplane mode & put it away for a while.

Re-Train Your Brain
If all else fails, you can try something called tech breaks. This was something I read about online & while it's not something I've tried myself, it could be something that works for you. Start by looking at your phone for one minute & checking all forms of communication, including texts, calls & social media. Then turn it off, set an alarm for 15 minutes & place it down in plain sight. The upside-down phone reminds your brain to not release stress & anxiety neurotransmitters. The next time it rings or buzzes, check it again for only one minute. Keep going with this method until it feels natural not to check in & see that you didn't miss anything. Increase your tech break by five minutes every week or so & soon you'll be able to not check in for an hour or more without getting anxious about what you may have missed.

B x

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