If you want to kick your addiction there is help available and it doesn’t involve a twelve-step program. I’ve got some tips to help you to stop scrolling and start living!

There’s no denying it, smartphones are incredible. You can chat to your second cousin in Berlin, find the answer to strange questions, look at beautiful pictures, stalk ex-flings or read interesting articles ­­– all in an instant. When you have a smartphone you’ve got the world in the palm of your hand, literally. And, if you’re anything like me you're totally addicted to it.

But don't worry, if you want to kick your addiction there is help available and it doesn’t involve a twelve-step program. I’ve got some tips to help you to stop scrolling and start living!

Get the stats

You won’t be able to break a habit until you know just how bad it is. Seeing the actual numbers in regards to how much time you spend on your phone might make you rethink your next social media check. Lucky for us, auditing your smartphone usage is actually pretty easy.

Checky is the most simple of the tracking apps. It shows you how many times you’ve checked your phone and you can compare those stats day-by-day. Break Free is another great app that tracks how much time you are using in each application and it will send you notifications if you are using your phone too much.

But, my all-time favourite app would have to be Forest because it focuses on the time you save rather than the time you are wasting. Basically, when you want to focus or take time away from your phone you open Forest and plant a tree. This ‘tree’ will continue to grow over the next thirty minutes. If you leave the app or use your phone for anything else, the tree will die. Every ‘tree’ you plant in your forest represents 30 minutes you’ve been phone free.

Change your phone settings

This might sound simple but one sure-fire way to stop checking your phone is by turning notifications off. If you don’t get any notifications then you won’t have any alerts telling you to check your apps. You can take this tactic one step further by turning off your WiFi or data at certain times of the day. This means you will be giving yourself peaceful periods with no emails, no Instagram and no Facebook. Trust me, if someone really wants to get hold of you they’ll go retro and call. If you’re using an iPhone, simply start using the awesome Do Not Disturb feature – you won’t look back.

Delete Extra Applications

If you’ve got a serious addiction to your handset then you might have to take matters out of your own hands. It’s simple, just delete the apps you are most addicted to. You can still keep your social media accounts and games but just use them on your desktop, not your handset. This means that when you do sit down and open Facebook it will be because you want to, not out of habit.

Have Quiet Time

It might sound crazy but you don't need to be on your phone every single minute of the waking day. Set yourself some quiet times and have a “no phone zone” during certain periods. A good time to stop using your phone is an hour before you go to sleep. It will help you to switch off and fall straight into a peaceful slumber. The same goes for when you wake up, break the habit of scrolling through your phone first thing – instead, wake up and smell the roses.

Get your friends onboard

It’s hard enough to find time to catch up with friends and family so why would you spend that time looking at a screen rather than listening to what they are saying. Get real! Tell your friends and family that you're trying to spend less time on your phone and then you will be accountable to them when you see them. Who knows, maybe they would like to spend less time on their phone and you could help each other.

When you’re on your phone, be on it

Whenever you do want to use your phone or just have a quick scroll through Twitter, make sure you sit down and focus on doing just that. You’ll enjoy your time more and you’ll be less likely to check your phone five minutes later.

I hope these tips have given you some ideas about how you can change the way you use your smartphone. Because your phone might be great but so are lots of things - enjoy!/p>

Thanks,

Mariah – amaysim's communication's coordinator

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