In 2018, on a trip to India, my phone went completely dead and when it did, I freaked out inside. As my amygdala was going bonkers, my mind was shooting off a bunch of questions… “How would I take pictures? Would my friends and family be worried about me? But I was creating the best Instagram Stories! What about work? I’m supposed to check in and make sure there’s nothing urgent. And finally… My life is over!” Okay, maybe that last one is a slight exaggeration.
I tried everything, finding a new battery, replacing the SIM Card and nothing worked. It was a complete mystery that was totally out of my control. And here I was, on a spiritual journey, worried about my phone. I had no choice. I was detached.
For several days I lived a life beyond the screen and guess what, everything worked out beautifully. I was more present and connected to the experience. My fellow travelers sent me pictures, I wrote my family an email from one of their phones and when I checked my work email days later, it was business as usual.
To this day, I have no idea what caused my phone to shut down as it miraculously started working once again but I use the experience to remind myself of the benefits that come with unplugging.
National Day of Unplugging
In preparation, I thought I would share with you the benefits that come from detaching from your phone but first, you should know that this is a REAL fear and it even has a name. NOMOPHOBIA (NO MObile PHone PhoBIA) is described by the National Center for Biotechnology Information as “a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from mobile phone connectivity.”
Here’s the thing, we have all learned that we can connect to the world through our phones. The question is, can we live with not being updated constantly? We are seriously addicted to the feeling of being in the know. Apple says that iPhone users unlock their phones 80 times a day on average. That seems incredible to me, but when you think about how we use it for everything these days, that might not be far off.
But we cannot dismiss the many benefits we have with this technology as well. So, because Nock Collaborative is all about doing things in a way that works best for you and our unique abilities, let’s look at a couple of ways we can unplug without totally unplugging.
How to Unplug Without Totally Unplugging
3 Questions • 3 Benefits • 3 Habit Hacks
What is the reason we are unplugging?
For many people, the goal is to relieve stress often caused by information overload.
The benefit of silence as a stress management tool:
It quiets your mind and stops the chatter from the part of your brain that wants to continuously tell you what you should be doing and how to do it better. When you are in constant connection with social media or emails, you don’t give your mind a chance to slow down and to communicate with you in a kinder way.
Incorporate moments of silence into your routine by starting with 1 minute, working up to 15 minutes each day. No matter how busy you are, you can find silence even while moving or doing. Try folding your clothes with no music or tv on and focus on what you are folding and the ambient noises. Turn off your phone while you eat and experience the taste and texture of your food. These are a couple of great ways to incorporate mindfulness throughout your days.
How can I help curb the habit of reaching for my phone every morning when I first get out of bed?
Being careful of what you reach for can help you create a better relationship with technology or write down 3-5 things you are grateful for before even touching your phone.
The benefit of giving yourself time to reach for your phone:
Your conscious brain is turned off while you sleep, so when you wake up your energy is in perfect alignment with your mind. Before you grab your phone and immediately create worry, stress, or fear, stay in that moment if you can and maybe set some intentions for your day. The longer you can wait, the more relaxed you will be.
Organize your apps on your phone by category. Create folders named after categories like Health, Well-Being, Work, News, Travel or by feeling: Calm, Connected, Inspired, Energized. Think about deleting the apps that have negative feelings associated with them. If you struggle with leaving or disconnecting from work, put that folder on the last screen of your phone so you must take the extra effort to engage. This will help protect your personal time.
Why am I picking up my phone?
Take notice of why you reach for your phone during the day. Is it because you are bored? Are you trying to avoid doing something else? Or is it providing information that is useful to you now?
The benefit of knowing why you are using your phone.
Your phone can be useful, but it can also be a distraction. Know when it is a distraction. Get the work done first or pay attention to who you are with. Your phone can wait.
Put your phone as far away from you as possible while you are working, eating, or with others. Turn off notifications so that you are not disturbed throughout the day. Give yourself 10 minutes time intervals to check-in and erase the fear of missing out on anything. Then get back to living your life.
Having your phone near you and checking it often has become so common that you might not even notice it. But you are also not noticing how life is happening around you.
Things You Can Instead of Looking at Your Phone
- Read a new book!
- Complete a project that’s been on your wish list.
- Hone in on a hobby.
- Use that gym membership you barely use.
- Make a meal for someone in need.
- Start a journal.
- Start a habit of going outside to enjoy nature.
So, without asking you to totally unplug, what are some other ways you can celebrate this National Day of Unplugging and glean its benefits?
About the Author
NOCK Collaborative is a group of wellness professionals providing a lifestyle change program that helps you release weight, stress, and the systems that have held you back from lasting change so you can maintain your results for life and show up as the person you truly want to be.
We make the connection between your biological instincts and the way you build habits into your life through a personalized, 3-pillar quarterly action plan based on thinking, consumption, and movement designed just for you.
Discover what living your NOCK Life is all about. Book your 15-minute Discovery Call to get your personalized action plan.