Modern life is unthinkable without gadgets. With a phone in our hands we solve work issues, pay for purchases, make doctor's appointments, communicate with friends.... No wonder that for some people the phone becomes literally "the whole life". However, such dependence on gadgets is transformed into nomophobia - an obsessive fear of losing access to the phone, to be away from it. How to prevent the emergence of this phobia and what to do if it already makes itself known? Let's find out together with experts.
Psychosomatologist, neuropsychologist Ekaterina Tur specifies: "Nomophobia manifests itself as a feeling of anxiety, anxiety or panic arising from the loss or absence of a cell phone, low battery or lack of signal. People with nomophobia may feel dependent on their phone and constantly check it for notifications, even if it interferes with their daily activities or interactions with others."
What to do?
A few recommendations for dealing with nomophobia from Catherine Tur:
"1. Understand your feelings: identify what it is that triggers your fear or anxiety around your mobile phone. It could be the fear of missing important calls or messages, losing control of information, or simply the discomfort of being disconnected from social media. Understanding your emotions will help you control them.
2. Develop healthy habits: Set rules for mobile phone use. For example, set specific times to turn off your device or limit your use in certain situations, such as at lunch or before bed. Creating healthy habits will help you gradually reduce your mobile phone addiction.
3. Engage in alternative activities: Find other ways to fill the free time you normally spend using your mobile phone. This could include reading books, playing sports, socialising with friends or learning new skills. Engaging in other activities can help take your mind off your phone and reduce your nomophobia.
4. Maintain healthy relationships: You may be experiencing nomophobia because you fear being disconnected from loved ones. If this is the case, spend more time in face-to-face meetings and conversations with people you care about. Maintain quality relationships and learn to trust that other people can be available and supportive even if you don't have a mobile phone.
5. Seek professional help: If you suffer from serious nomophobia that is significantly affecting your life and relationships, don't hesitate to see a psychologist or psychotherapist. They will be able to help you get to the root of your nomophobia and develop strategies to overcome it."
Clinical psychologist Darya Yausheva also offers her own algorithm of actions:
- You can run a test. Check how much time you can spend without a smartphone, measure the level of anxiety and record the thoughts that arise in the process.
- It's important to understand what the roots of nomophobia are, the loss of what value you may be talking about. It could be the significance of connection with others, a sense of security, the need to be present in the lives of others, or control over one's life. Understand how important values can be taken care of in other ways: perhaps meeting people in person or working with feelings of safety in therapy.
- You can organize hours or days of detox (days of silence) for yourself. But it's important to figure out what you'll fill the time without your phone with.
- Mindfulness techniques can help you learn to spend more time without a gadget. Learning to return to the "here and now," through breathing or other techniques. For example, looking around, identifying and naming the objects, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations around you. The tactic of doing one thing at a time, doing the thing with immersion in it (e.g., washing dishes, concentrating on the action).
- The technique of "emotional surfing" helps with addictions. You can pay attention to your experiences, observe how the wave of desire to take a smartphone grows inside and how it subsides. Every emotion has a rise, a peak and a fall.
She adds that the fear of losing a phone is logical, as many people keep their bank cards and other important information on it, but it is not nomophobia, but normal anxiety. It's normal, it doesn't compromise quality of life.
"Another way to combat nomophobia is to create goals and activities that spark interest and require total immersion. Find a hobby or project that will occupy your time and engage you enough that you won't be thinking about your phone.
It's important to remember that overcoming nomophobia can be a difficult process and takes time. But with adequate support and effort from the individual themselves, it is possible. Most people find that after overcoming cell phone addiction, they begin to enjoy more freedom and quality relationships with their environment" says neuropsychologist, meditologist, founder of the international association Neo Lady
Gadgets are an integral part of our lives - to deny it is as unreasonable as to completely abandon them. Let them be just a part, not the meaning of life.