Do you have phone separation anxiety? Time for a digital detox! 

How often do you open up your phone and start scrolling on any given day? You might not even realise you’re doing it. Chances are, it’s become an automatic action.

As humans, we’re naturally ‘pack animals’, always looking for ways to interact with and contribute to a community. It’s in our nature to look for opportunities to communicate and connect. But if we’re always doing this on our phones, instead of in real life, what does this mean for our health?

How do I know if my phone use is a problem?

Ask yourself a few important questions:

  • Do you find yourself reaching for your phone whenever you have a free moment?
  • Do you reach for your phone even when you’re having a conversation?
  • Do you find yourself looking up and realising a lot of time has passed?
  • Are you always looking for the next app to play with, or the next trend to download?
  • Do you feel anxious, tense, or irritable if you’re not able to look at your phone for whatever reason?
  • Have any of your relationships suffered as a result of your phone use?

Some of these might sound more serious than others, but it’s a good idea to take the time to reflect on how and why you use your phone at the moment. Be honest with yourself and question what effect your phone is really having on your life.

Why is this a concern?

You might not realise it, but phone addiction can lead to a lot of adverse effects. In particular:

    You might not realise it, but phone addiction can lead to a lot of adverse effects. In particular:

    1. You can become more anxious and stressed

    Without connection to others, we can become really anxious or needy in our interactions. We can find ourselves taking on more pressure as individuals, and feeling more stimulated by all sorts of potential issues that we might not face by keeping interactions realistic – like the ‘Fear of Missing Out’ (FOMO) phenomenon, which causes us to feel anxious about whether or not we’re missing out on something, regardless of whether we even wanted to participate! Also, by not having a clear line between home life and work life, we can have a harder time switching off or recovering from the stresses of daily life.

    2. You can knock your own self-esteem

    Comparing ourselves to others, is a big side effect of using our phones as the main mode of connection. A study in 2014 found a correlation between social media use in secondary school students, and depression and anxiety. The irony here is that we can often feel jealous, or view ourselves negatively, because we perceive others to be far better off than we are – but no online profile is a true representation of our whole lives. We can knock our own self-esteem based on a very incomplete picture of the lives of others!

    3. Your sleep can suffer

    Stimulation and blue light from screens have been shown to disrupt good sleep. This is definitely not a good thing – too much bad sleep can impact your memory, affect your ability to think clearly, and reduce cognitive and learning skills

    4.You can expose yourself to Electro Magnetic Frequency (EMF)

    Your body absorbs EMF from your phone, even when it’s not in use (though this is a lower level of EMF). This can cause a whole host of symptoms in the body, including nausea, fatigue, moodiness, and even more severe symptoms like chest pain or tinnitus. It affects your brain, and your anxiety levels.

    5.You can create physical discomfort
    Sometimes called “text neck”, there is a lot of physical strain you can create by hunching over and looking at your phone for far too long. Bad posture, and the habit of looking down to use your phone, can create neck pain that might require attention.

    How can I try a Digital Detox?

    It can sound scary to go ‘cold turkey’ on your phone, but there are easy ways to get started. Take some time to reflect on what you’d like to get from a Digital Detox, and how you can realistically make this work for you – maybe warn your loved ones or colleagues about what you’re attempting! If there are really important things you need to be in touch about, find reasonable ways to ensure you can still do those things.

    Start with a little time for reflection. Set some goals for yourself around when your phone use is really necessary and consider turning your phone off the rest of the time. Or start smaller, by setting a few hours of ‘no phone’ time or setting a time of day when you first turn on or turn off, your phone, limiting the hours it is in use. Avoid bringing your phone with you to bed – it’s far too tempting to start scrolling first thing in the morning, or when you really should be getting some sleep! Find other activities you might enjoy doing with your time, instead of playing with the latest game app or refreshing your emails – it might be cooking a new recipe, or reading a book, or trying out a new craft.

    Give a Digital Detox a try this week, even if it’s just for a few hours. You can always start small and build up! Commit to making time to talk and connect with others in real life instead.

    You might just find your phone becomes far less appealing.

    Contact Bianca Downey for more information:

    Book a FREE discovery call here: BOOK  NOW