Addicted To Your Phone


Develop healthier habits with your digital bff

Is your phone the first thing you look at when you wake up and the last thing you look at before you go to bed? Do you ever head to the bathroom and then turn around to get your phone because you want to use it while you're on the can? Do you text while driving? If so, we have some strategies to help you develop healthier habits with your digital best friend.
YOUR PHONE NEEDS ITS OWN BEDROOM. If you're anything like the average person, you probably use your phone as your alarm clock. We're here to tell you it is a crappy way to wake up. While it seems convenient and harmless, it actually creates unhealthy habits. If you have to reach for your phone to turn off your alarm, you will be immediately pulled into texts and social media when you wake up. We all know how lame it feels to realize 30 minutes have passed since we woke up and we are still in bed staring at our phone doing nothing valuable. And that's just in the morning...

Using your phone as an alarm means keeping by your bed. See where we're going with this? Now you are guaranteeing you have to use it before you go to bed. That's more screen time and media consumption when your brain needs to be winding down so you can get the rest you need. By using your phone as an alarm clock you are not just training but forcing yourself to look at it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Give your phone its separate bedroom by putting it in your office or another room, even your closet or dresser is better as long as it's not within reach of your bed and you have to physically get out of bed and walk to retrieve it.

GET ANALOG. What's the solution? Spend $10-50 and completely break this habit by getting yourself a good ole fashioned alarm clock. They range from simple digital clocks to more advanced devices that simulate nature by emitting "sunlight" and playing melodic tunes to gently wake you up. Waking up gently, as opposed to a blaring alarm sound, has been proven to make you feel less groggy and tired so we recommend going that route if you're able to wake up that way.

FINISH YOUR MORNING ROUTINE FIRST. Whatever your morning routine is, do it before looking at your phone. Go for a walk, make your coffee, read the newspaper, before diving into all the notifications your phone has in store. By doing so you will be in control of your time and completely present for your morning. You'll also make better use of your time overall by eliminating the distraction of your phone interrupting every activity.

RETRAIN YOUR BRAIN. Every time you receive or send a text, your brain releases a little bit of dopamine. Dopamine controls the pleasure and desire centers of your brain and is also responsible for creating addiction. So that sound you hear when you get a text is literally turning you into an addict. For some people this creates stress as well. Break the cycle and retrain your brain by turning text notification sounds off and checking your phone every once in a while.

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