January 2018

The Dangers of Smartphone Addiction in 2018

We live in an amazing day and age. Humans have advanced technology to an unbelievable level and at an unbelievable rate. We have cell phones that let us speak to relatives around the world. They provide access to an infinite amount of information right at our fingertips. They let us talk to our friends whenever we want, see their faces whenever we want. We are wholly dependent on these machines for many everyday activities; they make things easier and more efficient. While cell phones have plenty of pros, they also have lots of cons. No matter where you go, you’re bound to see people with their head buried in their phone. We have become detached, and in lots of cases, addicted. In this article, I’ll be discussing smartphones and their possible downsides. I’ll share a time I went two weeks without mine, how it’s possible to become addicted to your phone, and some tips for those who think they may be addicted.


My Smartphone Addiction Self-Detox

A few years ago, I took a trip to Ecuador and then the Amazon Rainforest. It was absolutely fantastic, of course, but I couldn’t use my cell phone. I didn’t have coverage or data there, and so I was forced to be without it for 15 days. Now if the trip hadn’t been as cool, it might not have mattered. But I was STILL feeling some side effects from being without it. I would hesitate to check it, even as it was stashed away in my bag. I would pull it out. I thought about taking pictures with it. A lot of things entered my mind that I would regularly act on. This told me that I was really using my phone too much.

I’m sure that we all have an experience or two like this. Maybe going away to camp, getting our phones were taken away when we were younger, or even something much simpler. Ever check your phone in your pocket, only to realize it’s not there? That onset of panic and anxiety is something to think about.

Process Addiction is Still Addiction

Even if you don’t know it, addiction comes in many different forms. People are addicted to a plethora of different things and smartphones are definitely one of them. A process addiction is an addiction to a rewarding behavior that may not necessarily be tied to drugs. For example, many suffer from sex or gambling addictions.

There are lots of reasons we become addicted to smartphones. One is due to our extended self. American psychologist William James defined the self as “the sum total of all that a man can call his, not only his body and his psychic powers, but his clothes and his house, his wife and children.”

Our brain also releases dopamine and oxytocin, feelings that cause highs, when we use it. We get likes on social media, talk to friends, and we get to portray ourselves a little differently on the Internet. Phones also just have it all. Why we get addicted to smartphones is almost self-explanatory. It’s a camera, music playing device, telephone, computer, and much more all in the palm of your hand. Once you realize you’re addicted and you want to find out how you can curve your usage, it’s time you learn some tips on how to overcome smartphone addiction.

Overcoming Your Own Smartphone Addiction

Okay, you get it. You constantly check and use your phone and you realize you might be addicted. Don’t worry! There are lots of ways you can fight addiction, and I’ll share just a few of the best ways to overcome addiction.

My first tip is set a schedule. If you have discipline, this might be the best way. Set an alarm every 15, 30, maybe even 45 minutes, and only check it when the alarm goes off. Another tip I have employed is to just get rid of a lot of apps and turn off push notifications. I deleted my Snapchat after considering if the time I spend on it is really not worth what I get out of it.

Charging your phone away from your bed is a tactic my roommate uses to make sure his phone isn’t the first and last thing he sees every day. This is a wonderful thing to do, because the phone screen can also be a hazard to your eyesight when you’re going to sleep or waking up. Another thing one of my friends started to do is turn the phone on grayscale. Imaging staring at grey and black all day. That’s sure to keep you off your phone more!

By now, you should know that smartphone addiction is real and it affects lots of us. Maybe you have seen a few of the characteristics I have pointed out in this article, in yourself. If so, and you want to do something about it, try using some of the tips I wrote! They will work. Many people have been in your shoes, whether they are suffering from a similar addiction to their smartphone, or even one that involves illicit substance abuse such as drug addiction. Lots of other people just like you are fighting and battling addiction, and you don’t have to be alone. Good luck!

The Benefits of Yoga for Men

Around 21.5 million American adults suffer from substance abuse. Whether it is to alcohol, illicit drugs, or both, addiction is not only prevalent throughout the United States, but the rest of the world. About one in ten adults has recovered from drug or alcohol addiction and studies show around 90% of those that need drug rehabilitation do not receive it. If you or a loved one is struggling with drugs, alcohol, or mental health problems, please research and get addiction and depression help as soon as possible.

If you’re reading and have already gone through rehab and need tips to avoid relapsing, are looking for activities you can enjoy while staying sober, or are interested in a beneficial rehab tool such as yoga practice, keep reading for more information!

Tips to Help Prevent Relapse

Congratulations! Hopefully, if you’re reading that means you’re on your way to recovery, have already completed a rehab of some sort, care about somebody in a situation like this, or are just interested in learning more about drug and alcohol addiction. The hardest thing to do once you complete rehab is to avoid relapsing, and I’d like to share a few tips to help with your relapse prevention coping skills. The first is to formulate a plan to avoid relapse. Part of the disease of addiction includes constant cravings. While cravings will decrease the longer you stay sober, you should have a plan of action for when they arrive. AA or NA meetings are a good tool to hold yourself accountable. Get a sponsor, and learn to talk to him or her whenever a craving surfaces or you feel like using. Another big important piece of advice is to change your friends. It’s likely your friends highly enabled you, and once you’ve made the decision to quit drugs and alcohol it’s smart to get rid of the temptations to abuse. It may be hard, but getting rid of triggers will lead to the life you want and help you adopt new, healthier routines.

What are these routines? That’s up to you. Fill time by going to the gym, eating healthier, or taking up things like meditation, yoga, or finding other medical alternatives to treat anxiety. I’ll talk about more potential activities later. One thing that cannot be a part of your new routine is visiting old hangouts, spots, or houses you used to use drugs at. There are certain places where drug use is part of the culture, like bars, raves, dance clubs, or the homes of friends who use drugs. Avoiding temptations like these is one of the keys to avoiding relapse. Another great tip is to remember rehab. Staying sober after detox is challenging, and most rehab centers offer refresher courses for little or no charge. Go back and get yourself inspired to move past the cravings. Read internet blogs, the r/Leaves subreddit on Reddit, and other forums involving getting clean.

Activites to Enjoy Sober

Lots of people don’t know what to do when getting sober. They have free time that used to be taken up by drugs and alcohol. Don’t worry and don’t let it be daunting! This is exciting. You finally have time to better yourself and your lifestyle. One activity that’s very important is exercise. Going to the gym can help you relieve stress and anxiety, and it’s a great way to get endorphins and build a healthier mind and body. If you have hobbies such as music, sports, cooking, or drawing, devote more time to them! And if you don’t have any hobbies, it’s not too late to start one. Take up bicycling, get a keyboard and learn some songs, grab some recipes and cook for yourself tonight, take up yoga or meditation. The opportunities are endless, you just have to figure out what you want to do and dive in. I have only provided a small list. Do a quick online search for much more information.

Why Yoga is an Exceptional Tool For Those Getting Clean

“Yoga? I thought only women do that!” While you’ve probably thought about most activities I mentioned a few moments ago, your mind may have skipped over yoga and meditation. Lots of men don’t think of yoga as something they can get into, which is a sad reality when you realize how many benefits yoga can provide. The benefits of yoga for men include the ability to help depression, reduce stress, encourage positive feelings, improve flexibility, lower blood sugar, boost your immune system, give you peace of mind, help you focus on the present, and build awareness. These are just a few. You can see why yoga is great for anybody, but it’s especially great for those who are going through rehab and addiction withdrawals. Lots of men who become addicted to drugs or alcohol are escaping physical or emotional pain, and having an alternative like yoga can keep the body’s stress hormones down and the mood-boosting chemicals up. Yoga can be an amazing tool for an addict to help guide him through sobriety by balancing his emotions and helping him achieve a healthier mind, body, and spirit.

Alcohol and drug addiction can be a scary thing, haunting a person for years before they finally get sober. But sadly, the shadow of addiction never truly goes away. Luckily for addicts, there are ways to battle cravings and urges, and activities you can take up to help take your mind off of drugs. Wanting to build a healthy lifestyle is essential, and I have listed lots of beneficial activities and hobbies one can pick up. I hope you’ll also strongly consider the practice of yoga, as it can seriously change one’s life and the way you handle your past addiction.