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Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with the way social media can affect our mental health. If not, you can review some of our past articles:

But let’s take a step back. What if it isn’t just social media that is affecting your mental health. What if it is the act of being on your phone at all?

Our Phones and Our Day to Day Lives

So many of us find that there is little time in the day to focus on ourselves – to take walks, to spend time with friends, to engage in hobbies, to spend quality time with our partners, and more. We need these activities to be our best selves and stay as psychologically healthy as possible. The problem is that there is just not enough time in the day.

… Or is there?

Most phones keep track of how much screen time you have looking at your phone, and if you review it, you may find that you’re spending anywhere from 2 to 8 hours of the day looking at your phone – out of only 16 hours that we spend awake.

When we spend that much time on our phones, then we’re not taking care of ourselves and we’re losing out on a significant amount of time that could have been available for things that are far more important to us. Even if you use it productively, that time is often seen as wasted, as it does not create memories that will help us through the hard times.

Time spend on your phone can also affect other things as well:

  • It activates our brain, causing us to feel less tired and potentially not get the sleep we need.
  • It turns us off to the rest of the world, causing us to look like we’re neglecting our partners or kids.
  • It prevents us from using our senses, as our phones only activate our eyes.

Studies have even shown that not all screen time is the same. Spending time watching quality television does not cause the same issues that phones do. Phones put your eyes on something in front of you, closing you off to the rest of the world. With television, you can typically hear and see what is going on around you, and interact with the world in positive ways.

What We Do On Our Phones vs Time on Our Phones

We know that what we do on our phones can impact our mental health, especially the time spent on activities like social media. But phones themselves, as a screen, are simply a worse choice for your mental health than many other activities. That is why it is so important to make sure that you unplug, and learn to control any phone addiction or other issues that cause you to feel like you need to be on your phone for a large chunk of the day.

For more information on living your best life, contact Flourish Psychology.

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