Finding Mindfulness by Putting Down your Phone

Finding Mindfulness by Putting Down your Phone

November 01, 2019

Mobile phones can be brilliant. They can tell you your train times, aid in your meditation, and tell you where to buy organic veg. More importantly, they can keep you connected to your friends and family – those on the other side of the world, and those on the next road over.

But our relationships with our phones have become unhealthy. According to Movement, a screen-time tracking app, almost half of global smartphone users spend more than 5 hours a day on their mobile.

If we’re spending so much time focusing on what’s happening on our phone screen, when are we allowing time to focus on ourselves?

Taking a few small steps to separate yourself from your phone can have amazing benefits. Here’s what we recommend...

Maintain consciousness when using your phone

Mobile phones can drain your time. You may open it to check the weather, and snap back to reality 20 minutes later 30 Instagram stories deep.

By learning to consciously manage the time you spend on your phone, you’ll free up so much time to spend on yourself: to finish that book you started months ago, to add home yoga practice to your daily routine, or to start that hobby you’ve been wanting to try.

The best advice I’ve received to aid this is to add “Do you want to proceed?” to my lock screen background. It may sound silly – but it forces me to stop, think, and determine whether I’m going on my phone because I need to or out of habit. It’s that second option that tends to lead to mindless scrolling, which you can definitely do without.

 

Prescribe periods of phone-free time

It’s no secret that spending time on social media apps affects your mood.

Time spent scrolling through others' selectively uploaded lives can make you feel less satisfied with your own life, can bring about feelings of loneliness, and can increase feelings of anxiety.

By putting your phone down, you’re allowing yourself to be present: to focus on your here and now. You’re allowing yourself time to be grateful for what you’ve got. Your present will never repeat itself, so putting your phone down will make sure you’re there to see it.

It might be difficult at first, but after a while, spending longer periods of time without your phone will prove to be a freeing experience.

We recommend starting by spending the first and last hour of each day phone-free. That extra time in the morning will allow you to plan your day, and the hour in the evening will allow you to reflect on it. Try to fit in phone-free periods throughout your day, too: rather than staring at your screen, look out of the window on your commute, and take in your surroundings whilst you’re walking.


Out of sight, out of mind

Mobile phones are having an effect on our productivity.

Having your mobile in sight lowers your concentration, as you feel the frequent need to check it. The constant buzz of notifications is distracting and disruptive, and this is impacting the strength of our memory. Whilst our phone is in sight, we can never have a moment of genuine quietness and calm. We’re not giving ourselves a chance to slow down, reflect, and focus.

By removing your phone from the table or your pocket, and by putting it in a bag or in a different room, you’re freeing yourself from the demands of your notifications.

You’ll be surprised at how little you think about your phone when it’s not in your eye line or pushing against your leg. You’ll probably be equally surprised at how much you’re able to get done when you allow your mind to concentrate fully on your goal.

 


Whilst we are thankful to our mobile phones for keeping us connected to our loved ones, it’s definitely time to take a step back from our relationship.

You’ll free up time, feel happier within yourself, allow yourself time to focus on you, and be more productive in the process.

Try giving it a go and see the rewards for yourself.



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