Smartphone addiction is real and symptomatic of our overly connected society. But what if, in addition to addiction, our overuse and reliance on portable technology was causing us, to be more stressed and anxious? I think it definitely is, and here is a #lifehack to reduce that unhealthy smartphone induced #stress, one step at a time.
The vast majority of the modern american population relies on technologies for all sort of important things, from running a business to connecting with loved ones, from sharing snaps of our busy lives to waking up to sweet sounds in the morning. Sure, it has made our human lives much easier and opened our narrowed horizons. But, with the rise of smartphones and social medias, it is like technology is now permanently glued to the tips of our fingers. Like an extension of our bodies, almost.
It is not an enormous stretch to suppose that, the more and more connected humans have become, the more and more stressed and anxious they’ve become, reaching levels hazardous for their health, and even for their lives. Being in constant communication with, well, the world is exhausting for the nervous system. Think about it. Have you already mindlessly scrolled down your Facebook feed without even remembering what you saw? Do you always feel the need to reply right away to a text message? Have you already checked your work stuff during breakfast and again before going to bed? Did you already find yourself disappointing to a social media post not getting as much likes as you’d wish?
Isn’t that all a little bit too much? Or a lot too much!
Our poor processing system (our brain) hasn’t evolved that much over the last hundreds of years, but our lifestyles and our environment has! It is no wonder why million of us feel so overwhelmed that we develop all kinds of stress and anxiety reaction, mood changes and so on. Of course, stress is not all related to technologies and medias, but I feel like it is a huge part of it.
I strongly think that this addiction to technology and smartphones in particular is making us lazy and dependant, but also heedless, unmindful, unconscious of our actions. Which is extremely sad, because it encourages us to live in a land far away for the present moment and, therefore, missing more important things in our lives (experiences, relationship, love, passion...etc). That lack of attentiveness to the now is probably a cause of a good amount of these heavy stress bricks piling up in our brains. The question now is, what to do about it? Here is my personally experienced trick.
As simple as that. But I know that you can’t just turn off your phone one whole day, especially when you are at work. So, maybe, take it baby steps at a time.
Step 1Put your phone in airplane mode at night. So at least, you don’t come out of your precious sleep with some buzz or ping. Don’t turn the sound off. Literally put it in airplane, so it is completely quiet, and so you don’t feel the urge to look at it.
Step 2 When you’ve been doing step 1 for a while, take it further. Put your phone in airplane mode during a day activity, during your weekend, for example. You’ll then be 100% present and committed to that special something you like to do. No commitment, nothing to reply to, no social medias, just happiness and mindfulness.
Step 3Tried step 2 and enjoyed it? Now, try putting your phone in airplane mode every night, one hour before going to sleep. This is a tougher one, I know, but try to find another more meaningful activity to do at night than blindly checking your Facebook feed. Reading, perhaps, cooking maybe. This way, the last thing you see before bed, won’t be stressful emails or coworkers’ texts for the next day. Stress level : definitely lowered!
Step 4 Now that you are used to step 1 to 3, decrease your screen exposition a notch more by unlocking your phone from airplane mode after your morning routine. I am crazy, I know, but I am telling you, it works wonders! I have been doing it for few months now and it is great. Before I check all my connected stuff, I go through my whole morning tasks and it is only when I am ready that I start bombarding my brain with information. The mornings are now much mellower, smoother, happier!
Do you already have a disconnected practice? What step are you most reluctant to try?
I know you can do it!