It’s the very first thing you check when you wake up and the last thing you grab at night (even after bae). You check it time after time and stress out if you ever leave it at home. Yes – we’re talking about your beloved, dearest, most treasured possession: your mobile phone.
If you can’t leave the room without holding your phone close to you, you might have nomophobia (aka phone separation anxiety).
A mobile phone is basically a tiny dopamine vending machine, dispensing hits of the feel-good brain chemical as a positive reinforcement when you get double-taps, favourites or even when you relieve your boredom by scrolling through Twitter.
But as psychologist Elysaa Barbash reveals:
“the dopamine system is not satiable, so you continue to crave more and more.”
And that’s why the average Brit checks their phones around 80 times per day…
So, while you don’t have to ditch your mobile completely, you can lessen its negative effects by practising a few self-rehab techniques…
1. Set Up A Screen Time Lock
Screen time allows iPhone users to set restrictions on when they can access particular apps. When screen time is active, you can limit apps that will require you to enter your passcode to access them.
2. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
We’ve all been there – if there’s a bar of chocolate or biscuits or sweets or anything similarly delicious, you’re going to cave into temptation. Remove the urge to check your phone by stashing it in your bag or in a drawer so you can’t see it.
3. Set A Roadblock
To stop you reaching for your phone, ‘put a hair tie around it’ suggests author of How to Break Up With Your Phone, Catherine Price.
“It will act like a little speed bump and jolt your brain out of autopilot.”
By this she means that when you see the hair tie, you’ll automatically ask yourself whether or not you need to open your phone at that moment. Chances are it’ going to be a no.