Reduce Your Stress by Leaving Your Smartphone ON

 

Whether you’re having a full-blown panic attack or simply feeling a bit overwhelmed, you could stand to get rid of some stress in your life. I just know it.

Many articles I read suggest the same thing: unplug. ThoughtBubble

They advocate silencing your phone, getting rid of your apps, turning off alerts.

So here’s what I’m doing: I’m keeping everything and keeping it on.

Turning all these off makes me anxious. I worry whether that appointment is today and, if so, what time it is and, crap, what if I’m late because we’re playing Boggle. What if I miss that call, text, or email I’ve been waiting for?

If I set my phone up to check my email, guess what I’m not doing? If I set it up to alert me an hour before an appointment, I can be in the moment because I won’t be watching the clock. It gives me peace of mind.

Am I relying too much on my phone? You bet. But, for now, it’s working.

There are times I need a break—I mute my phone or turn it off completely. I get it. I really do. But, sometimes, reducing my stress means not unplugging.

 

Unplugging

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

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38 thoughts on “Reduce Your Stress by Leaving Your Smartphone ON

    • A lot of people love the total unplug. And I can see the beauty in that. The quiet. The non-bugging-me-ness of it all. But I’m bombarded on a daily basis with calls and kids and appointments anyway. O_o Calgon! Take me away!

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  1. You had to be the rebel! I agree with you though, the phone reduces my day to day stress. However when on vacation, I do try and unplug and ignore the nagging feeling that I might be missing something. 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m for sure a rebel without a clue. That I am. 😉
      I’m talking daily stress. I recently went on vacation and my phone was OFF. Well, notifications were. I still used the phone and camera but only to meet up with everyone who had scattered and were trying to find each other again. That was handy.

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  2. You know– very fair points! I think I’m anxious when it’s off, too, especially because I have four kids and I swear the minute I do the right thing (often it is the polite thing at least) and put it away for a few hours, that is inevitably when the school has called or something. Arg!

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    • I always turn off my phone when it’s appropriate: movies, meetings, recitals, theatre, etc. But, I will say, I’ve missed texts, emails, and calls from teachers, school admin., editors, and a friend in need so far. The timing is always such, you’re right. And with four kids, you are bound to miss something!

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  3. I’m happy with everything unplugged except my computer for writing, and only writing, but that’s because cell phones and such weren’t around when I was growing up so I’m still perfectly fine without them. I can see, though, where unplugging would be stressful for someone who depended on their phone. If I lost my watch and my calendar, I’d be stressed, too.

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      • Ahh…well, yes, I should have explained! Your last paragraph summed up exactly how I feel. Although I keep my phone on vibrate all the time now as the sound of it pinging everytime I get an email, text, or FB alert drives me mad. Oh…and calls too. But, I check it regularly, and if I don’t have it on I get very stressed. So long as I’m in control of it all, I can handle it so much better. It’s the feeling that it controls me, making me jump everytime it rings or pings that sends my anxiety flying super high o_O

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      • Oh, yes, the ping-ring panic attack. I know it well. I must be in control of what sounds it makes and how often it checks my email and exactly how many alerts are on my phone otherwise…CHAOS! Ooh, my favorite is when I get an email alert while I’m getting a text while my appt. “reminder” is beeping then someone calls. Delightful. Yes. We must control the technology. We can never let it control us. (This is my new mantra.)

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  4. My personal and work lives do not mingle on one phone – two phones please! I have no problem unplugging from my corporate phone in the evenings, weekends, etc. My personal phone – hah! – I’m with you Sarah – it’s less stressful having it on all day long. I do turn it off at night when everyone is home safe and sound and we all go to bed. 🙂

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    • Two phones?! Ah, yes, okay. Unplugging the corporate phone. That would give you some sanity time. Yes, at night, mine is on “silent” (but not “off” because…alarm). I don’t know when I became so attached to this thing. I don’t even have an alarm clock in this house anymore!

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  5. I don’t know that any of my stress is related to my phone. Both children will still demand my time at the same time regardless if I’m plugged in or not. And I’ll still have book stuff I want to be working on, or craft stuff I want to try, or cleaning that needs to be done…

    But yeah, I think I’m with you. When I have my phone around, at least I know I can look up a recipe on the fly, or search for craft techniques when I have a free moment, or pull up a book cover to get an opinion from a stranger while waiting in line for groceries. I have access, which means I have reduced need to rearrange schedules to find time.

    Then again, my kids kind of force me into being unplugged since I don’t get to do much computer work at home. That probably balances out the other stressful factors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice! You’ve got this thing down. (I love getting an opinion from a stranger in line about a book cover — that is awesome.) Getting work done at home doesn’t get much easier…sorry. I got my phone when my kids were older than yours but I can’t imagine having it on all the time when they were young. No way.

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  6. Couldn’t agree with you more although I have limited the notifications I get on it. My problem with turning it off or muting it is that I forget to turn it back on and blame my hearing for all the missed calls. My husband says “Get rid of that iphone. It’s useless you can never hear it.” and then after a week or so I remember I went somewhere I had to mute it. 🙂

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  7. This is so hard. I couldn’t imagine a total turn off – that would stress me out too. I always have my phone on mute – ever since I had my first child! But it’s also always on… Which is not that good for my brain balance.

    My new thing is to delete apps that make it hard for me to resist checking – I just downloaded and then deleted the Facebook one, and I may delete Bloglovin (the app) to make it less easy to lose myself in a half dozen posts.

    There is no easy answer, that is for sure!

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    • I guess that’s my whole point. If my phone is checking, I’m not. (At least not constantly.) However…I don’t have many apps so I guess it’s easier for me to say “keep everything on”. There is no easy answer — it’s whatever works for the individual person.

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  8. I was just scrolling through and caught “Gollum with a smartphone!” and had the most absurd mental image of him fawning over one. *shudder*

    I just got a smartphone in February and feel like I am still shutting off notifications. I got it primarily to keep up with Instagram and Etsy and because my old keyboard phone was almost 5 years old – but I do feel like I’m whipping it out more and more to show someone a photo or look something up… I haven’t used it for reminders yet, other than morning alarms, which I think is saving me so far. There are certainly plenty of things that I could and possibly should set reminders for though… I just… don’t want to be enslaved to carrying it around all the time. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is quite a visual. O_o
      I just got my smartphone last year. I didn’t want one but now… Ugh. I don’t want to be chained to it, either, but I always use it for my morning wake-up alarm now as well as notifications for email. But, like I mentioned, I’m not on seventeen different social media sites so my phone isn’t alerting me every 3 seconds. Appointment reminders, yes. That has helped me.

      Liked by 1 person

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