If you’re like many people, you grab your beloved phone first thing in the morning like an infant grabs a security blanket.
You just have to see what’s in your inbox…
What happened in the news overnight…
How many likes your latest Facebook post received…
Or, if you’re so addicted to it, you don’t even know why you grab your phone. It’s just what you do.
Your phone has become part of your programming, and you subconscious signals your body to pick up the phone without your conscious mind even entering the equation.
The same way an addict reaches for a needle. Or an alcoholic for a drink.
Further, you’re outsourcing control of your mind to external forces. To whomever is emailing you, posting on Facebook, texting you; or whatever dipshit politician did something you like or don’t like since you last checked your phone ten minutes earlier.
All of this is preventing you from being truly mindful and present.
Consider this an intervention. Put down the fucking phone.
Here are some tips to help you control your phone addiction and be more present and grateful:
- Keep your phone out of your bedroom and away from you while you sleep. This will force you to do anything but check it first thing in the morning. I keep my phone across the house and upstairs in my office. I’ll go several hours in the morning before I even glance at it. Instead, I meditate, read, and spend time being present with the people I love.
- Start your day with gratitude, instead. Don’t start your day by letting others get you down with their toxic news or social media posts. Instead, grab a notebook and write down 25 things for which you are grateful. Do it every morning. Scientists have found that it actually rewires your brain. This practice will reprogram you for gratitude, abundance, and joy each and every day.
- Challenge yourself to reduce your screen time. If you’re an iPhone user, you have a built-in app on your phone that measures your screen time. Look at your screen time and you may feel embarrassed about how much time you’ve spent trapped in your phone instead of present in the world. Set a challenge for yourself this week to reduce your screen time by a set percentage of period of time. Keep setting challenges each week so you continuously reduce the amount of time you’re stuck in your phone.
- Use the Freedom App. Screen time right before bed can also mess with your body’s natural rhythms and melatonin production, which can impact your sleep. I started using the Freedom app, which basically locks down certain apps on my phone and my computer for any period of time I want. I set mine to lock everything down at 7 p.m. and unlock it all just before 9 a.m. each morning. I’ve suggested this to others, and their reactions were akin to a junky panicking over not being able to get his or her next “hit.” Think about how sad you sound if that’s your reaction.
- Meditate. Mindfulness meditation is a great way to reprogram yourself to be mindful and present at all times. Sitting quietly, without distractions, being aware and present instead of worrying about the future or marinating in the past, is a great stress reducer. If you’re too impatient or “in a hurry” to meditate … well … that might be part of your problem. Grab the Ten Percent Happier mobile app for some great “beginner” meditations to help you ease into it. Substituting mindfulness for smartphone mind control is well worth it.
Bottom line — there are wonderful things happening in the world outside of your phone.
In the words of the great philosopher Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
And he said that before mobile phones were even a thing. What a futurist.