Healthy Friday: 5 ways to curb your smartphone addiction

Sure, the technology is spectacular. When put to good use, it can really maximise efficiency. But it can also distract you from the people you love and from doing phoneless things that are also important.

A neurotransmitter in your brain called dopamine is the cause of your phone addiction.

The latest research shows that dopamine causes seeking behaviour. It keeps you motivated to move through your world, learn, and survive.

Dr Susan Weinschenk says: “With the internet, Twitter, and texting you now have almost instant gratification of your desire to seek. Want to talk to someone right away? Send a text and they respond in a few seconds. Want to look up some information? Just type your request into google… It’s easy to get in a dopamine induced loop. Dopamine starts you seeking, then you get rewarded for the seeking which makes you seek more. It becomes harder and harder to stop looking at email, stop texting, or stop checking your cell phone to see if you have a message or a new text.”

No wonder, so many of us are mindlessly overusing our devices.

Remove apps that you don’t use from your screen

Your smartphone is a tool not your brain or an amusement park. If you mostly text, close the other apps, you will also save on your bill. Delete apps you haven’t used in a year.

If you knew that every app on your smartphone was using advanced techniques of persuasion to try to get you hooked, would you invite them in?

Put your phone in another room when you go to bed

It should not be the last thing you look at at night and the first in the morning.

This will help with the virtual FOMO and expectation anticipation. Come on, admit it, most of what you get is nonsense!

Get an alarm clock.

Leave your phone at home when you don’t need it

But what if something happens or someone needs me?

How many times has something serious happened where you really couldn’t do without your phone?

You’re suffering from fear of consequence. Unhook from the fear, it’s irrational. You’re going to be OK. Not having your phone with you isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Turn your phone off and buy some time

That means turning your phone completely off so that you can actually get the stuff done that you are always complaining about.

In the often mindless time you spend on your phone addiction, you could be doing some of the things that have been bugging you or that you “don’t have time for”.

Stop using Google Maps

Use a map book or simple pen and paper and map out directions before you embark on your trip. Ask the person you’re visiting for directions and landmarks. Think about the logic of getting to where you need to be. Google maps have their place, but you don’t always need them.



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