Limitless Mondays: Breaking Your Cell Phone Addiction, Add One New Habit Today To Feel Less Stressed, Ready To Face New Day!


Limitless Monday – How to free yourself from cell phone addiction

The other day after just completing a workout at my local gym and feeling energized and calm, I heard my phone pinging incessantly inside my locker.

I reached down to discover that I had 9 new messages. I could feel my calmness seeping away as I read the messages. A friend had found it necessary to explain to me that her meditation practice had been interrupted by a telemarketer trying to sell her an investment. Her point was, she was incredibly frustrated and ‘felt like crying’.

I asked her the obvious question, why hadn’t she turned her phone off?

“I subconsciously think that I need to be available all the time for everyone,” was her response. It got me thinking.

Is this why many of us go to sleep with our phones on? According to one survey I read, it appears that 60% of US adults sleep with their phones on.

I for one become extremely irritated if a partner’s phone starts ringing or beeping in the middle of the night. There are only two choices for me, either the phone goes or the girlfriend.

To justify my, some might call, impulsive behavior, I found significant scientific evidence that notifications and calls contribute to sleep disturbance.

It is also generally recommended to establish a sleep friendly environment and part of that friendly environment is turning your phone off or putting it on airplane mode before bed.

That brings me back to my friend’s comment about making herself available to everyone 24/7.

It seems she isn’t alone in her thinking; many of us believe that we must always be available in case of emergencies.

Let me provide you with one of my favorite quotations before I give you my solution to phone addiction, also called the fear of missing out or FOMO.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrow. It empties today of strength.” Think about that for a few seconds…

That enlightening quotation reminds me of the demonstration you receive just before a plane takes off. Passengers are advised to secure their oxygen masks before helping others. The thinking goes that you are no good to anyone if you are not able to help yourself first.

The same policy applies to prioritizing your health and happiness, for if you are not happy, then that negativity flows to all of those who you come into contact with. If your girlfriend or boyfriend is regularly giving you a hard time for going to the gym four times a week rather than spending more time with him or her slouched on the sofa watching another episode of Fast and Furious, you must ignore such misguided thinking and continue with your healthy habit.

A happy and healthy boyfriend is going to be far better company than an obese, depressed one.

Missing one gym session may not seem a big deal, but this is exactly how habits are broken.

I practice jiu jitsu. What I find fascinating is how many people have come and gone over the years.

The majority of them leave because of their partner’s influence.  The ex-jiu jitsu warriors I bump into at the local coffee shop or gym all regret quitting.

Let’s say it’s 3am and you receive a call from a telemarketer in Nigeria. Not only did it interrupt your sleep, but it also disrupted your partner’s. Let’s say at 2am on another occasion you receive a call from a friend to say that someone you are close to has just died.

This is extremely sad news, and I truly sympathize with you. But what can you do about it at 2am? Nothing.

And if the friend wants someone to talk to at that ungodly hour, then I am sure they will find someone else who has their phone turned on.

When 6am arrives you are going to be well-rested and ready to deal with any challenges coming your way, including your tired friend’s grief.

Back to my friend’s meditation. As I explained to her, it’s not mediation when you have your phone turned on. And, do you really think that if your boss calls you because the billing system just crashed that he is going to make a big deal about it if you call him back 20 minutes later with a solution?

A month later, even a day later her boss won’t even remember the event in question. He has his own issues to deal with.

What about turning your phone off on vacation?

Your partner and or children deserve quality time with you, which means uninterrupted time.

I learned that the hard way after my children complained I was always on the phone. When I realized they were serious, I turned my phone off until the evening when, beer in hand, I would check my messages.

That new routine made me understand something which I am going to share with you.

Quite often the first message I received from my co-worker at 9.05am was a problem he couldn’t solve without my input.

By 1pm his second or third message was to tell me, ”Don’t worry, problem solved.”

Let’s face it, the world is not going to go to shit if you turn your phone off. And you know what, even if it does, there is nothing you can do about it anyway!

You are going to be in a much better frame of mind, fully rested and energized to handle anything coming your way, compared to my friend who is walking around half-asleep, with black bags under her eyes, constantly complaining she is stressed and worried about matters that won’t even figure on your radar after reading this.

Tonight, turn your freakin phone off (airplane mode will do), enjoy a restful night’s sleep, and begin prioritizing your own health and happiness over others’.

Happy Monday!

Banner Image: Cell phone addiction. Image Credit – John Tuesday


Harry Maximillian

Harry is an author, coach, entrepreneur, comedian and a convicted felon. Harry was sent to prison for a financial crime where he spent five long years. Prison allowed Harry to realize the error of his ways. He decided to use his time productively and mobilize his extraordinary determination, dedication, drive, motivation and desire to focus on writing and the art of self-improvement. Before Harry’s enforced vacation he was one of the most prolific deal makers in the City of London.

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