Smartphone Addiction How to Break Free
It's almost impossible to overestimate how much connectedness and productivity have risen thanks to smartphones. There is, however, undoubtedly a risk of receiving too much good, for certain people.
According to the International Journal of Cognition and Behaviour, although precise definitions of smartphone addiction vary, it can include compulsively checking or using your phone, feeling agitated when not using it, and using it in a way that interferes with social interactions or other activities. It can occasionally be linked to an all-encompassing addiction to the internet.
You're also not alone if browsing takes up more time than you'd like; many people struggle with smartphone addiction or overuse.
According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, excessive smartphone use is frequently associated with anxiety, poor sleep, and even physical issues with the fingers, neck, back, and shoulders. Some of these symptoms might sound familiar if you've ever stayed up too late perusing your phone. Additionally, if you talk on the phone for hours, you might have less time for other hobbies or social activities.
The average time spent using a phone varies depending on the country, but Americans typically use their phones for five to six hours per day. The average American spends about three months of the year staring at their phone screen, according to this statistic.
Similar circumstances apply to other western nations. For instance, the typical British person uses their phone for almost four hours every day. Even if this is shorter than the U.S. average, it's still a sizable period of time. Social media has a significant role in our devices' addictiveness. Today, practically everyone uses social media in some capacity, and this can have a significant impact on how productive we are.
Dopamine signals in our brains rise as a result of using social media. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, like serotonin and oxytocin that makes us feel happy. Dopamine induces a momentary feeling of pleasure, so our brains try to recreate it, which is why we use social media frequently. This is a practise that is obviously harmful, yet we can't really blame our brains for it. The process of overcoming smartphone addiction can be difficult yet rewarding.
Listed below are some actions you can take to lessen your reliance on your smartphone:
a. Acknowledge the addiction: Realising you have an addiction and comprehending its effects on your life is the first step. Think about how much time you spend on your smartphone, the things you miss out on, and the potential harm it may be doing to your relationships and your health.
b. Set goals and limits: Set definite objectives and restrictions for your smartphone use. Choose which tasks are vital and how much time you want to spend each day on your phone. To establish limits, make clear guidelines such as refraining from using smartphones before bed or during meals.
c. Create a schedule: Set aside specified times during the day to use your smartphone. You may restore control over your usage and stop mindless scrolling by setting specific times for reading emails, social media, or playing games.
d. Remove triggers: Determine the factors that contribute to excessive smartphone use, and work to reduce or eliminate them. Consider deactivating or removing particular apps or notifications, for instance, if they tempt you repeatedly. Rearrange your surroundings such that your phone is less visible and accessible.
e. Find alternative activities: Find new things to do to offset your excessive smartphone use. Spend time with friends and family, go for a walk, engage in hobbies, or explore personal interests unrelated to your phone. You can lessen your impulse to reach for your gadget all the time by engaging in enjoyable activities.
f. Practice mindfulness: Take care how you use your smartphone. Be mindful of your feelings prior to, during, and following phone use. Observe any unfavourable feelings or indications of reliance. You can improve self-awareness and reclaim control over your behaviours by practising mindfulness.
g. Use productivity apps: Use screen time management and restriction apps on your smartphone. These programmes can monitor your usage, send you warnings, and even block access to particular programmes or websites after a predetermined time. Forest, Moment, and Flipd are some of the more well-liked choices.
h. Seek support: Don't be afraid to ask for help if you're having trouble kicking your smartphone addiction on your own. Tell your loved ones, a support group, or pals about your objectives. They can support you along the way, hold you responsible, and give you advice.
i. Practice digital detox: Practise a digital detox by stepping away from your smartphone on a regular basis. Set aside specified times, like weekends or vacations, when you entirely turn off your phone. Spend this time getting back in touch with reality and concentrating on the things that make you happy and fulfilled.
j. Seek professional help: It may be useful to seek professional assistance if your smartphone addiction has a severe influence on your everyday life and mental health. You can get customised advice and help to beat your addiction from a therapist or counsellor who specialises in addiction.
Keep in mind that overcoming smartphone addiction is a journey that calls for endurance, perseverance, and self-compassion. As you strive to develop healthy habits, be gentle to yourself and recognise each little success.