ABC news shared a study last year showing the average person looked at their cell phone 150 times a day. That breaks down to about every six minutes- and that data was so last year.
Technology has changed and we’re now able to access even more online information than ever before.
Sooo…I want you to close your eyes and take a deep breath. How do you feel?
Now think of your cell phone ringing. Think of the text, emails and messages waiting for you. How do you feel now?
9 out of 10 people experience anxiety. We experience anxiety because we react like Pavlov’s dog to every ring ding and dong coming from this electrical device.
Why? Because most clients, co-workers and friends have been conditioned to expect availability 24/7. Let’s face it, people take offense when we don’t return their text immediately, and even worse, we’ve become afraid we might miss something important if heaven forbid, we miss a beep.
The ugly truth? We may pay the bills, but we’re not running the show when it comes to our devices.
Electrical devices mess with your brain.
According to The New York Times, studies have shown that the brain displays increased activity for up to 90 minutes after looking at any device, and hormonal levels elevate long after being online or having cellular connection to the degree that mimics addiction.
Here’s another truth: Friends, bosses and loved ones can be re-conditioned to have normal expectations.
All of this technology equals one thing:
So how do we gain control?
- Schedule some private time by tossing your cell phone into the back seat of your car while commuting or running errands so you’re not tempted to grab it at stop lights.
- Practice driving in silence and let yourself get lost in thoughts. After a while, you’re at your destination and won’t remember getting there because you were in the zone.
Welcome to peace.
- Leave the phone at home while you walk your dog or in your gym bag while you work out. Immersing yourself in the moment vs. being constantly distracted calms the nervous system, slows breathing and awakens your senses to the scenery around you.
Welcome to emotional health.
- Stash you phone, ipad or laptop in your carry-on while doing air or rail travel. Take this time as private time and read. Better yet, close your eyes and meditate. This “time off” will leave you mentally refreshed and more focused than had you distracted yourself with technology.
- Having control over technology = more productivity in the long run which in turn = more happiness, health and money. Consider giving yourself a lunch and coffee break without your phone. Sound daunting? Start with twice a week.
- Shut the computer down by a certain time in the evening and witness your knee jerk reaction to check it again and again.
According to Sleep Foundation.org, it’s been proven that looking at the light of an electronic device within 90 minutes of bedtime stimulates the brain and inhibits sound sleep. (TV included)
- Give yourself freedom sans phone and laptop from dinner time to bedtime 2 days a week. Sound scary? Consider this: if you can’t allow yourself and your loved ones (dog included) some quality time to reboot and refresh, how effective are you going to be in life?
Cell phones are an addiction like anything else. It takes strength to abstain from addictions that hurt you.
When we take substantial breaks from devices during the evening, we create a more balanced, productive, and happy next day.
Like with any good relationship, healthy boundaries are needed for long term happiness.
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Image courtesy of Fisb.