It’s Monday morning and the alarm goes off, what is the first thing you do? For lots of us the first thing we do is pick up our phone, firstly checking for messages, then emails then scrolling through LinkedIn or Facebook and before you know it twenty minutes have passed and you are behind schedule. Panic! Shockingly the majority of us continue to keep on checking! Did you know a recent study revealed that the average Brit checks their phones 28 times a day, starting at around 07:31am. Overwhelming isn’t it?! That’s at least once an hour and more than 10, 000 times a year.
Why do we do this?!
At some point you would have put something on one of your feeds or maybe sent an email and read the response following hearing the “notification ping”. When reading it you’ve found the response to be really positive, possibly a lovely comment following a selfie you have posted or maybe you have opened an email to find you have won some business or got a lovely review. Ultimately this response would have resulted in positive emotion. Whilst all this is going on, your brain is busy firing up neural pathways associated with reward and activated addition centres in your brain accumbens, creating a feedback loop. So naturally the brain begins to crave more of these lovely feelings, which explains why so many of us can’t turn off in the presence of our device, even subconsciously we can be waiting for that ping!
All makes sense now doesn’t it? However, it doesn’t make it good for us as it contributes massively to stress levels as I’ve witnessed in my practice. A large majority of the clients I see are overwhelmed and stressed and more often than not they are a slave to their devices.
Practice What I Preach!
I can imagine some of you reading this are getting palpitations with even the mere thought of doing the same! I know how you feel. I felt the same. Being self-employed you wear all the hats and being connected plays a very important role. However, I recognised quite quickly that being connected 24/7 wasn’t helping my stress levels and was also impacting those around me. So it was time to switch off those notifications.
What I and some of my clients noticed as a result of turning off notifications:
- Feeling calmer and more in control
- Relationships improved
- Better time management
- Working more efficiently
- Improved sleep
Can you do it?
If you find it too overwhelming turning them off all together take small steps, here are some suggestions:
- Turn off notifications when you return home from work or at a certain time in the evening, so those around you get your full attention.
- Maybe start with turning off email notifications and gradually move to other feeds. Make a plan!
- Have one day during the weekend which is free of any devices.
Remember some habits are easier to break than others, your subconscious mind has been getting pretty reliant on those devices! By introducing new ways of doing things you are retraining that wonderful brain of yours, this does take time, so persevere it’s worth it.
Many of the clients I see in my practice are suffering with anxiety and stress. Attending The Guthrie Practice has enabled them to successfully manage their own anxiety and stress levels resulting in healthier habits and higher self esteem and confidence.
If you would like to come along for a free initial consultation please do call me on 07929 005149 and we will get you booked in.