Woman reaching for her phone in the dark

Experiencing phone addiction? Reduce exposure and get your life back

In today’s digital age it’s no secret that phone addiction – especially driven by excessive use of social media – can have a significant impact on our mental health and overall wellbeing. The constant notifications, endless scrolling and the pressure to constantly stay connected can lead to heightened levels of stress and anxiety.

If you find yourself glued to your phone more often than not, it might be time to take a step back and regain control over your habits.

It’s all about balance

I have also struggled to find the balance between using social media for sharing personal photos and business information, ending up spending hours on my phone.

Having taught Yoga for Sleep for the past year, I’m very aware of ‘walking the talk’ regarding phone usage at bedtime. Easier said than done when your daughter is about to have her first baby and you’re busy all day and evening!

I’m also aware of the paradox of using social media to promote the studio and share personal photos, and my desire for myself and others to use these platforms less, so they can connect with life offline, connect with people, nature and themselves.

Small changes can make a big difference

My experience has been to gradually make small changes to reduce the time I spend on my phone and create more balance in my life.

For example, I’ve found a local walk where there’s no mobile signal. This has become my go-to place to walk, because it means I’m not tempted to check my phone… there’s absolutely no point!

Also, simply putting my phone on the other side of the room at night is an improvement on having it at my bedside as my alarm clock. I’ve bought a Lumie lamp instead.

Man sleeping soundly with analogue alarm clock

Understanding phone addiction

Phone addiction, or nomophobia (the fear of being without a mobile phone), is a very real phenomenon that affects individuals of all ages. The constant need to check notifications, post updates and compare oneself to others online can lead to a vicious cycle of dependency on our devices. This can result in poor sleep quality, decreased productivity and negative impacts on mental health.

The role of social media in fuelling phone addiction

Social media platforms are designed to captivate our attention with endless streams of content and notifications. The constant cycle of likes, shares and comments can trigger the release of dopamine in our brains, reinforcing the addictive nature of these platforms. Additionally, the comparison trap that social media often creates can take a toll on our mental health, leading to feelings of inadequacy and FOMO (fear of missing out).

Effects of phone addiction on mental health

Excessive phone use and social media consumption have been linked to increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression. The constant bombardment of information and the pressure to present a curated version of our lives online can exacerbate existing mental health issues. It’s important to recognize these negative effects and take proactive steps to reduce exposure.

Woman looking at her phone, featuring a mental health warning sticker

Tips to reduce phone addiction and improve mental health

1. Set boundaries

Establish specific times of the day for phone usage and stick to them. Create phone-free zones in your home or workspace to reduce the temptation to check your device constantly.

2. Limit social media use

Consider setting a timer for social media apps or using tools that track your screen time. Unfollow accounts that trigger negative emotions and curate your feed to promote positivity.

3. Engage in offline activities

Rediscover hobbies and activities that don’t involve screens. Spend time outdoors, connect with friends or family in person, or pick up a new skill or hobby. Why not book a class at SPACE Yoga Studio!

4. Practise instinctive meditation

Take breaks throughout the day to practise techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga. Disconnecting from your phone can help you be more present in the moment and reduce stress levels.

5. Seek support

If you’re struggling to break free from phone addiction, or experiencing severe mental health symptoms, consider seeking professional help. Therapy or counselling can provide valuable support and strategies for managing phone use and improving mental wellbeing. You might consider joining a Yoga for Sleep Course at SPACE to find new ways of coping without a phone to improve your sleep.

Reclaim control over your mental health

By taking proactive steps to reduce your phone addiction and limit social media exposure, you can reclaim control over your habits and prioritise your mental health.

It’s essential to find a healthy balance between technology use and real-world experiences to lead a more fulfilling and stress-free life.

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