How To Know If You Have ‘Phone Addiction’ – And Ways To Address It

Smartphones have become the new normal and they are now quite essential for running day-to-day activities. However, you must be careful to not stay abnormally fixed on all they have to offer which mostly includes apps for social media, streaming, games and more as this could lead to phone addiction.

Although phone addiction has not been officially labelled as a medically accepted diagnosis based on grounds of insufficient medical evidence, there are criteria experts have used to describe behaviors, feelings and thoughts that indicate an unhealthy dependence on phone.

Such traits include those whose phone use interferes with their commitments and relationships; those whose lack of access to their phones cause dread, anxiety or irritability; and hampered ability to think deeply or creatively.

 Lynn Bufka, the senior director at the American Psychological Association says another triggering indication of phone addiction is you ignoring any potential negative consequences or loved ones’ comments about your excessive phone use.

You could follow the following steps to ward yourself off phone addictions

Know why you want to improve

According to experts, recognizing the need to limit phone use is a very pivotal point in breaking phone addictions. Though the device may seem so much entertaining and rewarding than other activities you could be doing, Dr. Smita Das; the chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council, hints psyching yourself up would develop and maintain intrinsic motivation to make a change.

Set time limits to reduce phone addiction

Once you have come to terms with addressing your weaknesses, the next step would require you set up in your smartphone a timer that will tell you you’ve reached your daily screen time limit. You could employ screen-time-tracking tools that can be set to stop your engagement with other apps and ask whether you really want to continue your current activity or spend your time differently.

Learn your triggers

Another remedy is to identify the various factors that bait you into using your phone too much. As you are on your journey to ward off negative behaviors, there are certain traits that would prompt you to withdraw – take note of such.

Thus, by knowing whether your phone addiction is related to trying to address boredom or mental health issues can help guide your select a viable approach to reduce unhealthy screen time.

Dismiss fears of missing out

You would definitely have a feeling of missing out when you start to break unhealthy phone usage. According to experts, you should rather ask questions like “Am I catastrophizing that some horrible thing will befall me, or I will be perceived as the social outcast?” as these would provide you some logical reasoning to dismiss the fear.

Turn off notifications

Switching off unnecessary notifications can help limit temptations that lead to minutes or hours of unintended screen time. You can do this by deliberately turning off notifications at your phone’s settings.

Choose healthier activities to replace your phone addiction

One best way you can dismiss the urge to constantly use your phone is to find a substitute activity that would healthily keep you engaged. You can simply think of three things you could do besides using your phone, such as reading a book you’ve been wanting to read, exercising or cleaning something that has been on your to-do list for awhile

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