In today’s society, mobile phones are a necessity. We rely on our phones to connect to the world, stay in touch with our loved ones, and keep up with news and social media. Although there are many benefits of cell phone use, our over-reliance can be detrimental too. Smartphones have an addictive quality, thus gaining entry into the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Mobile phones are widely-known to negatively impact mental health and well-being for several reasons such as:

  1. Loss of Interest in Daily Activities
  2. Reduced Attention and Productivity
  3. Depression
  4. Relationship Stress
  5. Sleep Disturbances 
  6. Anxiety
 
How can we minimize the effect of mobile phone use on our mental health?

Completely avoiding using mobile phones altogether is unrealistic, there are several ways to reduce the effects that it can have on mental health such as:

  • Screen-free meal times. Doing this not only limits the amount of time you spend looking at your phone but also provides the chance to talk to those around you – strengthening your relationships. 
  • Go for a walk without your phone. Walking is refreshing and allows you some time to think. Use this as an opportunity to have a break from your device, too. 
  • For social media, setting a limit of two or three days a week and then deleting the apps for the remaining days could help your well-being. 
  • Set screen time limits. Setting screen-time restrictions reduce the temptation to be on our phones and the tendency to doom scroll. 

Although it’s clear that cell phones can add value to our lives, overuse can negatively impact our mental health in a variety of ways. So the next time you’re feeling anxious or depressed, try taking a break from your phone. Your mental health will thank you for it.