Snapchat, Instagram, Yelp, Yahoo and all of the apps that keep us glued to our smartphones offer instant joy and entertainment. Taking selfies—another screen-focused activity—has even been proven to be beneficial for self esteem. However, when your find yourself scrolling for hours on end, phone-world can be draining on your body and mind. To help readers find balance, here are five tips to break screen addiction.
Establish tech-free zones
One way for easing out of screen addiction is by designating ‘tech-free zones’ at home, work and out in the world. Designate the kitchen to preserve meal time with your family, or your bedroom to encourage falling asleep to music or with a book.
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No screens while en route, simply breathe and relax instead
Meditation teacher Jon Krop urges city-dwellers who take the subway to trade passing time with their smartphones to doing nothing at all. He says in this Upworthy piece, “Instead, you might rest your attention gently on the sensation of breathing, observe the people around you, or do nothing in particular.”
Phones can also get in the way of a great weightlifting or cardio sesh. While practicing focused exercise, it’s quite hard to scroll and click, so don't! Get active when you have the irritating urge to check your email account or Twitter feed. You can come back in 15 minutes relieved and ready for the day.
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Make your mornings phone-free
One of the easiest ways to develop an addiction is by starting your day with a phone. From that moment on, you’re trapped. Save yourself the stress of being bombarded with notifications in those vital first hours by staying away from your phone till you’ve completely prepped for your day. Krop suggests this pro tip: “Put your phone on airplane mode the night before. That way, if you need to briefly use your phone (to check the time or the weather or something), you won’t get hit with a zillion notifications.”
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Meditation is an excellent way to pull yourself from tapping into your phone during your free time. Meditate in increments by simply focusing on your breathing. Try this while sitting with your back against a wall, first for two minutes, then gradually progressing to five, ten, and beyond. Time spent with oneself outside of the haze of work, social media and pop culture is essential for a sound body and mind.
Have other useful ways to incorporate more you time and less screen time into your life? Leave them in the comments below!
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