Are you addicted to your phone? 2/3 of phone users have “Nomophobia” –the fear of being without their phone or phone service. In some ways, excessive phone use is like other forms of addiction in which you experience pleasure (dopamine brain chemicals), but then suffer from withdrawals (anxiety, sadness) when you’re not able to use your phone. If you find yourself wasting too much time on your phone, and your work or relationships are suffering, then it may be time for you to try the Phone Addiction Cure. Apply these techniques so you can use your phone for useful and beneficial purposes, instead of using it too much for the wrong reasons: negative news, distractions, compulsive activities, or excessive social media comparisons.
*Keep track of your phone use. You can use an app or journal to become aware of how often you use your phone daily and what you do on the phone. With this awareness, you can decide to limit your phone use to your most important goals or objectives.
*Take a phone fast. If you discover that you're using the phone too much for nonproductive or harmful activities (comparing yourself to people who seem better off on social media), then it's time to turn off your phone or devices for a while. You can turn them off for an hour or for a few hours at a time. When you first do this, you may have the feeling of "FOMO”—fear of missing out—but you will soon realize that most of the time, you didn't really miss out on anything important. Instead, you will start to experience a tremendous feeling of relaxation and peace. You will realize that you no longer have to constantly and immediately respond to the demands of other people; you don’t have to keep up with every single piece of information in the Universe. You can relax and be at peace.
*Substitute healthy activities. When was the last time you had a long talk with a good friend, or leisurely enjoyed reading an interesting book? Instead of being on your phone all the time, do activities that refresh and energize you. Exercise, spend fun time with family and friends, read, meditate, do creative projects, hobbies, and crafts; engage in a spiritual practice. When you’re tempted to reach for your phone to distract yourself, or to alleviate your sadness or loneliness, do a fun and healthy activity instead.
*Love yourself, others, and a higher nature. Addictive phone users may not feel good about themselves so they use the phone—and all the things connected with it (gaming, shopping, social media, gambling)—to feel better about themselves. Short circuit these negative patterns by loving yourself. Take good care of your health—diet, exercise, sleep, meditative/spiritual practice—and tell yourself that you are a strong and loving person. Also, give love to others without expectation—smile, pay sincere compliments, help others—without expecting anything in return. Finally, love a Higher Nature (God, spirit, nature, goodness)—something that is beyond you. When you do this, you will have a greater perspective and meaning in life, and you will feel better about your existence on earth.
Yes, you can be the master over your phone. Your phone can be a very wonderful servant that brings you great convenience, opportunities, connections, information, entertainment, and inspiration. But, you must be the one that controls the phone and technology—using it as tool for growth, contribution, enjoyment, and love. Make your phone an instrument of goodness and love, and you will enhance your life and help make the world a better place.
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