According to a survey done by eMarketer, the average smartphone user is on their phone for four hours every single day. Between answering emails and messages, playing games, and spending time on social media, smartphones have quickly become a large part of our lives. The technology is revolutionary, and always evolving to meet our everyday needs. Nonetheless, it is important to take a break from your phone regularly, as constantly being connected has been shown to increase our levels of stress and anxiety.
Research has found that frequent use of smartphones raises the level of cortisol that your body produces. Cortisol is the main stress hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland. If your body creates too much cortisol, it can have a direct impact on your health. Common symptoms include raised blood pressure, mood swings (which include irritability, depression and anxiety), weight gain and osteoporosis. If you want to combat daily feelings of anxiety then it is important to counteract the effects of your body producing excess cortisol. You need to understand what the signs are, which include feeling tired, poor concentration, feelings of dread, and a racing heart.
Put your phone out of reach
Smartphones are excellent for communication and learning, but if used too much, they can interfere with our impulse control – this is why you may find yourself picking up your phone to scan through information or check apps even when you don’t need to. Research has found that even having your phone within reach can have a direct effect on your cognitive capability – you will have trouble concentrating, often known as “brain drain.” There is a simple answer to this. If you don’t need to use your phone, put it out of reach, preferably out of sight. Keeping your phone in a drawer will mean that you are less tempted to pick it up without a reason.
Limit social media use
Of the 4 billion smartphone users, 90% of them use social media on their devices. Although it is nice to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues, social media can also become stressful. It can generate FOMO (fear of missing out), and many people find that they are making social comparisons that can become unhealthy. Your smartphone can make you feel tethered to your social networks if you are constantly logged in and checking the news feed. By taking some smartphone-free time every day, you will be limiting your social network use, giving yourself a break from a constant stream of information.
Putting your smartphone away for a while every day can be beneficial for your health. There is no need to go “cold turkey,” (which in itself can cause feelings of anxiety). Instead, simply put your phone out of sight when you don’t need it. This can reduce your risk of smartphone-related stress so that you feel happier and more relaxed every day.