Phones have become invaluable in our modern day lives. Look around you, and almost everyone is on their mobile. But how much can you gain from ditching your phone?
A global study conducted last year found that the average adult spends up to four hours a day on their phone. Ed Sheeran famously gave up his phone as part of a New Year's resolution back in 2015 after saying he was ready to see life for what it really was as opposed to 'through a screen' and still goes digital-free today.
You don't have to give up your phone completely, but maybe it's time to consider what you can gain from a mobile detox?
Improve your Zzz’s
In a world where we're constantly on the go, our sleep has never been more important. However, the NHS say one in three of us suffer from poor sleep. The average Brit doesn’t get the recommended seven to nine hours per night, and our phones are playing a big part in this.
We’re often on our phones up until lights out, not giving ourselves the time to sufficiently defuse from the day, relax our minds and prepare for sleep.
Spending time looking at work emails or social media is an unpredictable activity (we don’t know what we will see) which can ramp up our anxieties. And the blue light emitted by phones is thought to reduce your melatonin (a hormone that regulates sleep). Not what we need last thing at night.
Try this: Save yourself the stress and improve your sleep pattern, try an hour before bed, switching your phone on airplane mode or leaving it out of your bedroom.
Lose the comparison
We’ve all been there. One minute we’re just taking a ‘quick scroll’ through social media and next minute we’re knee deep into our ex boyfriend's-brother's-girlfriend's-colleague's Instagram account.
Although there's nothing wrong with taking a little browse through social media it’s very easy to get stuck in 'The Comparison Trap'.
The comparison trap is when you find yourself comparing every part of your being to someone else. Suddenly everyone is more healthy, happy and successful than you. You berate yourself for not having what they have (whether that be in terms of career/relationships/body or material objects), and when you are envious of others it's impossible to hold gratitude for what you have.
Try this: Unfollow/Unfriend everyone, yes everyone, that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Ask yourself: 'Do I judge myself when viewing their posts?' and if the answer is yes, then ditch them.
More quality time with your loved ones
We’re lucky enough to be in a digital age where it’s easy to stay connected with friends and family. Nowadays people are only ever a text or a call away. And this is great, except when it ends up stopping you from creating in-person time with the people that matter to you most.
Imagine if you didn’t have your mobile for a week, what would you do to engage with the people you are closest to?
Try this: Focus on quality over quantity and prioritise seeing people in person not through your phone. A catch up over a coffee, walk in the park, or going to a fitness class together is a great way to see your friends. Do yourself a favour and make it a phone-free time.
Improve your working relationships
From a professional point of view, it’s worth considering how much time you are spending on your phone and whether it’s hindering your working day. Find yourself getting distracted by non urgent emails, texts and notifications? It might not only be distracting you in the moment, but having an impact on the rest of your day.
Make an effort to keep your phone away from your desk and solely focus on the task at hand. Allowing yourself intervals to check your phone as oppose to having it always to hand may enable you to work more efficiently.
Try this: Make business meetings a no-phone zone. Having your phone at the table, even if it’s on silent or turned upside gives everyone the sub-conscious message that they are not your main priority. Whether you are leading the meeting or attending it, show your colleagues that they are your priority and leave your mobile behind.
Reconnect with yourself
Nowadays we spend so much time on our phones we forget what it’s like to truly do nothing.
And when we stop ‘doing’ we can begin to focus on ‘being’. Being in the moment, being present and welcoming in observations, thoughts, or feelings is often when we become our most creative.
Try this: Next time you find yourself automatically picking up your phone to occupy your mind, put it away and instead welcome being in the present. Find ways to occupy yourself that don’t involve your phone, such as reading, going for a run, journaling, or rolling out the yoga mat. If you have time to scroll through Insta, you have time to meditate!