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10 Tips To Break Your Phone Addiction

How’s your relationship with your phone? Are you two inseparable? Is it on you every minute of the day? Lately my phone has been making serious in-roads into my life, to the point where I was responding to it every minute of the day. Voxer, SMS, Whatsapp, Messenger, Emails, Instagram, Linkedin, and phone calls. It didn’t stop, I was losing control of my life to my phone. And lately wherever I go, I have been noticing how everyone else is on their phones as well…all the time!

For that reason, I had to set some very clear boundaries so that my phone no longer controlled my life. I found that once I set these boundaries, I felt less agitated and less hyper-stimulated. It made a big difference to my day. We are in unchartered waters now, in the history of human evolution we have never been so exposed to anything like this. Just get a train to the city at peak hour in the morning and have a look around. It will be very rare to find someone not engaged in their phone in some way.

I didn’t want to be owned like this by my phone, so I set to map out ways I could live more freely from my phone and here I share with you the 10 steps that I took to try to take back the power from my phone. Now admittedly, these are my preferences, and sometimes I struggle to stick to them!!

1. Avoid the phone while I am eating. I found eating and being on my phone highly distracting from my ability to enjoy my food. It was like eating was ‘just something you do’ rather than a special part of my day to relish the sensory delights and nourish myself for sustenance. So now eating is for eating!
2. Avoid the phone for the first hour in the morning. I found myself waking up and falling into the void of everyone else thinking processes by reading feeds, messages, and news items. I wanted to start my day with greater clarity and stillness so now my day starts with meditation to create space then visualisation, gratitude, and intention setting. It’s not until after this is done, that I will check my overnight messages.
3. Avoid the phone 30 minutes (ideally one hour) before bedtime. Rather than ending my day with some low-grade news feeds or Instagram posts of people’s cappuccinos, I like to finish my day now with some stretching, and reading deep spiritual and transformational books before I drift off to sleep. These leaves my mind in a positive framework that helps me set up the next day ahead.
4. Don’t read or text on my phone while walking. I found that while I was walking and texting or walking and reading on my phone, my nervous system would get over-stimulated and I felt uncomfortable. So now if I have to respond to something on my phone while walking I will stop and pause to send the message, and then keep walking.
5. Turn my phone on airplane mode or silent while driving. I found myself responding to messages at red traffic lights (shhh!) and I was always feeling a sense of haste trying to squeeze everything in during those small windows at traffic lights. So once I made the decision to turn my phone off in the car I was much more at ease with the drive and yes, also driving legally!
6. Turn my phone on airplane mode at night time while sleeping. It’s been proven that your phone is emitting radiation. Even just the thought of my phone being on in the house while sleeping left me uncomfortable. So every night now I turn my phone onto airplane mode.
7. Turn my Wi-Fi off in your house at night time while sleeping. When we sleep we open ourselves up to frequencies around us. Knowing that there is a black box in our home sending out an entire web of information isn’t something that I wanted to expose myself to so we now turn that off every night before bed.
8. Don’t take my phone into the gym. Ok so I’m sure many people like to listen to music or podcasts at the gym but I found that I was getting work messages and responding to them while I was at the gym so now I prefer to work out without my phone, and keep my workouts separate from my work!
9. Avoid double screening by leaving my phone off while watching TV. I used to have my phone with me everywhere I went, which meant it was on me while I watch TV with my family. If it buzzed or a message came through I would immediately answer it. Not only distracting me from my family time but also from the TV show. Now I leave my phone off or in another room so that for that window of time I am not distracted.
10. Block out time in my day to check my phone and respond to messages. By now you are probably wondering how I will ever respond to my messages on my phone. What I do is a blackout periods of time to get through things that need to get done. So the end of the meeting when I get to my car I’ll sit in my car before driving off and respond to any messages that have come through. And I do these in stages throughout the day so I’m compartmentalizing the time on my phone and not always responding to it. This way I’m empowered and not giving my power to my phone.

So like I said, these are my preferences and sometimes I bend these rules, but they are a useful guide to help me be less controlled by my phone and live a more balanced, calmer life. Do you have any other suggestions that might help our readers with their phones? Please share below.

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Tom is a meditation teacher, speaker, personal coach, and producer and co-writer of the film and book The Portal!

A unique cinematic experience created to inspire humankind into a new era, THE PORTAL is about the ability for inner change to bring about a powerful planetary shift.

Exploring the role crisis plays in our evolution—and the mental programs we’re born into—this experiential documentary brings to life the stories of six people who have used stillness and mindfulness to move beyond trauma.

To find out where you can watch the film or read the book click here. 

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