Nowadays, it has become so hard to go a whole day without taking a peek at our mobile phones. They have become so fundamental in the way we do our routines that we have indeed become phone junkies. Our interpersonal communication has become so superseded by the use of our mobiles that we can no longer survive a two hour face-to-face conversation without checking incoming messages and gossiping about the latest trends and other people’s lives as we tune in to social networking sites with the use of phones.
Today, anything that could be considered profound has become dependent on our mobile phones. It has become one of the most addictive distractions ever invented. So much that we now find it shocking whenever we can withstand a particular situation without our phones.
The excessive use of mobile phones in everyday life has paved way for what we call as screen addiction. Wherever we are, be it public transportation, malls, sidewalks and even within the confines of our homes, we can never really get away with the urgency that the phone is posing in every beep. If you are the kind of person practically described in the aforementioned situations, then you are indeed a screen addict. Life is more than just what we see in our phone screens and perhaps, it is time for you to break this screen addiction.
Like any other type of addiction, there are also ways to reverse screen addiction. Unlike being addicted to harmful substances, screen addiction does not need medical intervention. It only needs your initiative and an adherence to a mindfulness approach called non-distraction. Below are a mindfulness expert’s five tips for breaking screen addiction.
5 Tips to Break Screen Addiction
1. Make a deliberate effort to not pull out your phone in public places.
Whether you are with company or just walking home alone, try to put your phone in the deepest area in your bag. Instead of pulling it out and legitimizing your reasons for doing so, it would be better if you spark up a conversation with your company or observe people and take some time to rest when you are on your own. You will be amazed with the things that could fill up your boredom without looking at your phone.
2. Try walking without your earplugs on.
Our common tendency is to always put on our earplugs to listen to music when we are alone, especially when walking. Trying to walk without your earplugs on could give you more serenity than you could possibly imagine. You will be given more time to ponder on things and appreciate the simplicity of life and the environment you live in. It will also give you a quiet time to clear your thoughts and just be at peace with the people and surroundings you see.
3. Declare your bathroom a non-reading zone.
First of all, think about hygiene and all the microbes that you could pick up when you read inside your bathroom using your mobile phones. It is too gross to even think of it. Responding to the call of nature should be an opportunity for you to practice a moment of non-distraction. Having some moment without any pre-occupations is actually liberating and it will give so much relief.
4. Every morning should be device free.
Let go of your everyday morning routine of picking your phone up the moment you wake up. Instead of checking morning messages, make time to stretch, breathe and prepare yourself for the day ahead with exercise or even meditation. Reading morning messages first thing in the morning could be stressful, especially if it comes from your superiors. So be advised. Make your mornings device-free.
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5. Ask yourself if you really need to hear about each notification.
Be reminded to mind your own business. It is actually a bad habit to be amused with the ins and outs of someone’s life. Perhaps you do not need to address each notification beep to give a sense of peace for quite some time. Making yourself busy with watching the lives of others in your little phone screens make you a peeping tom. Stop that because that is not healthy.
Like all tips against addiction, these too should be done gradually. Everything starts at your own volition. And breaking your screen addiction must be done at your own pacing. Forcing it would lead to more addiction and taking the addiction itself for granted will be detrimental for you physically and socially. Boredom is just temporary. Don’t entertain it. Instead, find beautiful things in what we consider mundane. That’s more therapeutic than you can ever imagine.