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Get Over Your Smartphone Addiction

Get Over Your Smartphone Addiction

    At dinner with a friend last weekend, we lamented our husband’s incessant use of smartphones while “spending time” with our children. It turns out we are not alone. Smartphones are not just for work. They are for everything, all the time.

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    A Documented Phenomenon

    According to a recent study by the UK-based Ofcoms, smartphone addiction is reaching epidemic proportions.  When asked about the use of their smartphone devices, 37 percent of adult participants admitted they were highly addicted to their devices.

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    Over half of adult respondents claimed they have used their smartphones will socializing with others, nearly a quarter have used them during mealtimes, and over a fifth used them while in the bathroom.

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    Another study originally published in the Journal of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing concurred that smartphones are taking over some people’s lives. The researchers identified what they call a “checking habit” – when you repetitively look at your device for 30 seconds or less and access a single application. Apparently, this is a habitual response to boredom, and/or the need for constant distraction. It is easy to see how an out-of-control checking habit could result in negative consequences ranging from a traffic accident to a strained relationship with a family member.

    And How Does That Make You Feel?

    David Greenfield, Ph.D. is a psychologist and the author of Virtual Addiction: Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them (non-affiliate link).  In Susan Davis’ article for WebMD,Greenfield is quoted as saying that computer technologies can be addictive because they’re psychoactive, alter mood, and often trigger enjoyable feelings. E-mail in particular gives us satisfaction due to variable ratio reinforcement, meaning that we never know when we’ll get a great e-mail, so we keep checking over and over again.

    So how do you avoid becoming a slave to your smartphone without throwing the baby out with the bathwater?  Here, some tips:

    • Don’t buy the Lexus of phones: There is no need to purchase the most feature-rich, complex device on the market just because it’s available. Select a phone that meets your needs and ignore the bells and whistles that will only serve to confuse you.
    •  Don’t go app crazy: The more apps, the slower your phone works, and the faster it runs out of battery. Constantly buzzing and beeping apps can also be distracting. The truth is, most people only use between 5-10 apps regularly. So stop the downloading madness.
    •  Leave the phone in another room: If you constantly have the urge to check your smartphone, leave it in another room so that you aren’t tempted to pick it up. This is especially useful if you have set aside time to do something away from your phone, like finish a report or play a game with your family.
    •  If you’re talking to someone, don’t answer it: Unless you are expecting an urgent call, do not allow your phone to interrupt an in-person conversation.  Sneaking peeks at your phone or typing away on it while someone is trying to command your attention will negatively impact your relationships and productivity.
    (Photo credit: young businessman playing with his cell from Shutterstock)
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    Last Updated on April 9, 2020

    How to Think Positive Thoughts When Feeling Negative

    How to Think Positive Thoughts When Feeling Negative

    Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

    But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

    Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

    1. Spend Time with Positive People

    If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

    Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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    Learn How to Surround Yourself With Positive People.

    2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

    When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

    Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

    3. Contribute to the Community

    One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

    Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

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    4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

    Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

    Some recommendations for you:

    5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

    You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

    If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

    There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

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    6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

    It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

    Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

    7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

    Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

    Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

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    8. Offer Compliments to Others

    Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

    9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

    If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

    Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

    10. Practice Self-Care

    Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

    Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

    Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

    More Tips for Staying Positive

    Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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