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It is estimated that the average person in the UK checks their phone over 10,000 times a year which works out at 28 times a day. It is like checking your phone at least once an hour every single day and night.
Furthermore, 40% of people check their work email at least five times a day, outside of their working hours. Most of us agree that this heightened level of engagement, and persistent “switched on culture” is not good for us. With stress, anxiety and feeling under surveillance, there is a way to curb these feelings. However, are we able to commit to a digital detox?
What is a digital detox?
Multiple studies have shown that increased social media and technology use has an impact on our stress, health and wellbeing. People who check their phones or emails report higher levels of stress, as well as feeling disconnected from loved ones. To help prevent or reduce the feeling of stress and anxiety, you can help yourself with a digital detox.
Put simply; a digital detox is unplugging yourself from digital devices for a set period of time. Some people choose to detox through a holiday while others may take small daily steps to curb their technology use by turning off notifications and reserving an hour or two a day for non-digital time.
For many of us, it is hard. In fact, research suggests that 37% of adults and 60% of children are addicted to their gadgets. However, taking the time to switch off occasionally can do wonders for our mental health as well our relationships. So, how can you make a digital detox work for you?
How to digitally detox in three steps
- Turn off notifications
The constant buzz, flash or shrill of your phone is distracting. By drawing your attention to your phone, it is likely that you will pick it up without thinking. Instead, you need to train yourself to be mindful of your technology use. By turning off your notifications, you will not feel the need to address every single update.
- Set a bedtime routine
Phones, tablets and computer screens emit blue light. This blue light can suppress melatonin levels in our body which can make it harder to fall asleep and then stay asleep. Start by giving yourself half an hour to wind down with no technology before bed. After you have mastered 30 minutes, gradually extend that time until you have an evening to dedicate to your interests and you will receive a much better sleep routine too.
You can make it easier by making your bedroom a technology-free zone.
- Ask yourself why
Checking your phone does become a habit, but you can train yourself to break the habit. Every time you reach for your phone or tablet, ask yourself; ‘why?’. We often check our phone to distract ourselves, ignore thoughts we do not want to address or because we feel insecure. By working out why you are compelled to look at your phone, you can learn to be in the present moment and can combat any issues that may be causing you to busy yourself with technology.
Let hypnosis help
If you have anxiety that leads you to spend more time on your phone or computer than you would like, then hypnosis can help. By addressing the anxiety, whether it is social confidence or nervousness at work, you can start to tackle a digital detox and find more time in life for the things you love. Call Malminder on 0203 937 8883 for a free 15-minute consultation to find out how hypnosis can help you to manage anxiety and gain control of your life.
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Barr, S. (2018). The average Brit checks their phone 10,000 times a year, a study finds. [online] The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/average-briton-check-phone-10000-times-year-uk-study-iphone-samsung-smartphone-a8086631.html [Accessed 14 Feb. 2018].
Chapman, B. (2018). Remote access: 40% of people check work emails five times a day outside office hours. [online] The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/remote-access-people-work-emails-check-5-times-outside-office-hours-40-per-cent-life-balance-a7703776.html [Accessed 14 Feb. 2018].
Ofcom. (2018). A nation addicted to smartphones. [online] Available at: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2011/a-nation-addicted-to-smartphones [Accessed 14 Feb. 2018].
Psychology Today. (2018). Do You Need a Digital Detox?. [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/media-spotlight/201703/do-you-need-digital-detox [Accessed 14 Feb. 2018].
Sleep.Org. (2018). How Technology Impacts Sleep Quality | Sleep.org. [online] Available at: https://sleep.org/articles/ways-technology-affects-sleep/ [Accessed 14 Feb. 2018].