*Originally published on Daily Transformations.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
Now pick up your cell phone, tap the button and look at the screen.
What are you feeling? Nine out of 10 people experience anxiety.
We experience anxiety because we react like Pavlov’s dog to every ring ding and dong coming from this cell phone.
Clients and co-workers have been conditioned to expect availability 24/7, friends take offense when you don’t return their text immediately, and even worse, you’re afraid you might miss something important.
The ugly truth? You have become your cell phone’s bitch.
Electrical devices mess with your brain. Studies have shown that the brain displays increased activity for up to 90 minutes after looking at any device, and hormonal levels elevate long after being online or having cellular connection to the degree that mimics addiction.
Here’s another truth: Friends, bosses and loved ones can be re-conditioned to have normal expectations.
All of this technology equals one thing: stress.
So how do we gain control?
- Schedule some private time by tossing your cell phone into the back seat of your car while commuting or running errands so you’re not tempted to grab it at stop lights.
- Practice driving in silence and let yourself get lost in thoughts. After a while, you’re at your destination and won’t remember even getting there because you were in the zone.
Welcome to peace.
- Leave the phone at home while you walk your dog or in your gym bag while you work out. Immersing yourself in the moment vs. being constantly distracted by technology calms your nervous system, slows breathing and awakens your senses to the scenery around you.
Welcome to emotional health.
- Stash you phone, iPad or laptop in your carry-on while doing air or rail travel. Take this time as private time and read. Better yet, close your eyes and meditate. This “time off” will leave you mentally refreshed and more focused than had you distracted yourself with technology.
- Having control over technology = more productivity in the long run which in turn = more happiness, health and money. Consider giving yourself a lunch and coffee break without your phone. Sound daunting? Start with twice a week.
- Shut the computer off by a certain time in the evening and witness your knee jerk reaction to check it. It’s been proven that looking at the light of an electronic device within 90 minutes of bedtime stimulates the brain and inhibits sound sleep. (TV included)
- Give yourself freedom from your phone and laptop from dinner time three days a week. Sound scary? Think about this: if you can’t allow yourself and your loved ones (dog included) some quality time to reboot and refresh, how effective are you going to be in life?
Cell phones are an addiction like anything else. It takes strength to abstain from addictions that hurt you.
Don’t under estimate your technology addiction.
When we take substantial breaks from devices during the evening, we create a more balanced, productive and happy next day.
The best news? Balance, productivity and happiness create more prosperity and more health.
It’s time to get control over technology. Your quality of life depends on it.
Featured photo by Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos.net
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Ed: B. Bemel