Then, every time we have an urge to use our phones beyond our desired use, we can plan small meditations, 10 seconds to three minutes instead. Yes, they can be short! They don’t have to be sitting. You can do walking or standing meditation too.
Before you check your phone, gently ask yourself:
1. How’s my posture and body?
Personally, I can’t believe how often I find myself slouching on my phone despite attempts to have a healthy posture. Check-in especially with your neck and shoulders. Make sure your whole body is comfortable, especially when you spend a long time on your phone.
Hunching can worsen your emotional state too, which can lead to more unnecessary phone use, creating a harmful cycle. Having an erect, upright posture may be the best option. Also check in with your fingers, wrist, and arms. Sometimes if you tune in, you may notice them in more pain. I notice my wrist aches a little and the skin on my fingers feels raw and irritated after too long on my phone.
2. Why am I doing it?
Before monitoring this, I personally found myself checking my phone numerous times without actually needing to. I still do from time to time. If it’s not because you need to send an important message, check directions, or another intentional behavior, is it from frustration? Fatigue? Overwhelm? Discomfort? Listlessness? Boredom?
Mindfulness can help us become aware of these automatic mini-compulsions and take more effective or wise action. If it is one of the latter, perhaps phone checking isn’t the best option to get your needs met.
3. How do you feel after having been on your phone for a while? Especially after mindlessly scrolling or to kill boredom?
It’s vital to notice without beating yourself up. Big tech companies like Apple have created intensely addictive products. The iPhone is the most profitable product of all time. Try to see your use patterns as mere data or fodder for later, to help you get to know yourself. Self-awareness is key to mindfulness. Perhaps texting friends is calming, but scrolling Instagram isn’t. It’s different for all of us.
Pro tip: if you’re interested, monitor your use for a week. Apps like “Break Free” do this. It gives you an “addiction score” based on patterns in your phone use. Having a natural background on your phone behind the apps can help too; one of nature or plants, for example. It can also help to have a reminder putting this article into practice, such as “What do I need right now?” as your phone background so it becomes a bell of mindfulness instead of the opposite.
Let me highlight that smartphone use is not innately bad, but how we use it can significantly affect our mental health given its high addiction potential. Mindfulness can help us reclaim our attention in ways that serve us and enhance our well-being. As they become extensions of ourselves, changing our relationship to our phones isn’t easy.
You deserve credit for looking into this and taking care of your mental health. Do you want to be interacting with life primarily, or on a screen? Your phone can be a call for mindfulness or the opposite.
Want to know more about phone addiction? Check this video out below!
Written By Jason N. Linder Originally Appeared On PsychologyToday