Happiness Hacks to Stay Off Your Phone and Stay in the Moment

We all do it: automatically reaching for our phones, habitually opening and closing apps just like we do to the fridge.

It’s not until our weekly screen time reports pop up on our phones that we realize just how many hours we shred checking Instagram stories and getting stuck in TikTok holes. This is one habit that’s just about impossible to quit — no matter how often we resolve to spend less time locked in a romance with our screens.

But what if this distraction is less innocent than it seems? For many of us, picking up our phones is a great way to avoid dealing with the stress and anxieties that fill our lives. It’s easier to project those worries onto a smartphone packed with mind-numbing entertainment than to actually address them.

In his book Indistractable, author Nir Eyal says: “Without dealing with the discomfort driving the desire for escape, you’ll continue to resort to one distraction or another.” But this escape merely offers momentary relief. For happiness that lasts longer than getting to the bottom of your social media feed, we must move beyond those temporary distractions.

CNN even compared cellphones to cigarettes. Christopher Lynn, an anthropology professor at the University of Alabama, says “Smartphones are like cigarettes are like junk food are like chewing your nails or doodling … Does the naked space of your own mind and the world around you send you screaming into oblivion when you walk across campus, across a street even? Pull out your smartphone and check your email again — that car will swerve around you."

CNN went on to say that phones have killed boredom, and perhaps not for the better. With so many shiny objects capturing our focus, most of us have lost touch with our imagination, those delicious times when we just let our thoughts wander.

According to Dr. Jessica Gold, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in HuffPost: “Taking time to purposefully check in with ourselves, and ask how we are doing at various points throughout our day, will help us make choices and schedules that better align with things that make us happy.”

By figuring out our true priorities and aligning them with our lives, we can quit the needless distractions and enjoy a happier, more intentional life.

Here are some tips for getting off your phone and back into the present:

Implement a Digital Sabbath

So, you say you want to get off your phone … so, get off your phone. Easier said than done, obviously. Rather than trying to control each urge to check your notifications, establish a rule that you won’t go on certain apps on certain days. Try limiting social media to weekends, then see if you can quit non-essential apps altogether on certain days.

Need something to do on those off days? Let your imagination run free with good, old-fashioned board games

Do Some Breathing

Instead of pretending to ignore your worries when they creep up, try taking some deep breaths. Center yourself. Draw your mind back to the present. Place candles in your space to enhance your mood and encourage deep breathing. “Research has shown that aromatherapy may be beneficial for your mental health. Lavender and mint are two popular essential oils that may calm you down and boost your mood,” Gold said in HuffPost.

These luxury scents from Harlem Candle Co will do the trick.

Do Something Creative

Flex your creative muscles and engage in something that challenges you, like painting or crafting. Lose yourself in the joy of boundless creativity and time will fly.

Try this coloring book for motivation and child-like joy — but updated :)

Create a Self-Care Moment

Get to the root of your stress and anxiety by making self-care part of your daily routine. Spend an hour doing a face mask and skincare routine instead of scrolling through TikTok. Your skin and your stress levels will thank you.

Try this Caudalie Instant Detox Mask to cleanse and tighten Pores in 10 minutes

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