We all spend a lot of time with our phones. They are practically additional appendages on our body. When you think about it, you’re hardly ever without it, so why not put it to some good use? Sure, there are the phone calls to loved ones and fun text messages but there are other ways you can use this technology to enhance your mood and impact your health.
I’ve got an iPhone, so this article is written with iPhone functionality in mind, but if you’ve got another type of smart phone, look for similar functions as what I’ve listed here.
Use your lock screen to display images that make you smile. One of the best things about smart phones is how you can personalize them to reflect your likes and preferences. I take lots of pictures and regularly rotate the picture on my lock screen to remind me of fun times. It might be a recent trip to the beach or local sightseeing adventure but I keep rotating the picture to keep it fresh. It gives me a warm feeling inside when I look at the phone.
Use the Notes function to keep a journal. Journals are a great way to stay in touch with your feelings, work towards a personal goal or challenge yourself to view things differently so you can make positive changes in your life. Rather than just using it to document “what” you’re doing, use it to keep track of how you feel as you move through your day. This will help you start making connections between your actions and their affect on your body. This could relate to what you eat, who you’re with or activities you do. This is all part of bringing things into consciousness and building connections between actions and feelings so you can decide what is best for you rather than just being a bundle of reactions.
Use the timer function for a meditation session. While there are applications you can download to guide you through meditation, you can start simply by setting the timer on your phone for 3 minutes, sitting in a chair, closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing. Don’t worry if your mind wanders; that’s natural. The idea is to stay with the breath until the timer goes off. After a week, increase the timer by a minute or two. Meditation has amazing affects on your health and will lower your blood pressure and overall feelings of stress as well as increase your focus and productivity.
Send yourself an inspirational email. Sometimes where you are going through a rough patch, you need help to see that it will pass. Write yourself an email, talking to yourself and giving yourself words of support, love, compassion and inspiration. View it when things are tough and you’re losing a grip on reality. It will ground you and help you stay on track and remind you that things will get better.
Set reminders throughout the year to ensure you make important preventative medical appointments. Setting up a yearly physical, having your eyes checked, going to the dentist and any other regular appointments you need to make are critical to maintaining your health. Set reminders throughout the year to ensure you make these appointments. In November, set a reminder to ensure you’ve completed each one.
Set reminders to inspire you to stay on track towards a goal or to break a bad habit. If you’re really in the thick of a bad time or you’re trying to stay on track to break a bad habit, you may need to see frequent reminders related to the task. It could be an inspirational reminder like, “Stay connected to your breath” or “You’re a wonderful person.” Or it might be something specific like, “Are you drinking enough water today?” Whatever it is, you can set it to go off in the morning and when it does, reset it so it goes off again in a few hours. It almost becomes like a guardian angel, sending you support throughout the day.
Find an application with the sound of ocean waves and listen to it before you go to sleep. Many of us have trouble falling asleep. The use of over-the-counter drugs to help in bringing on sleep has skyrocketed and the downside is that you can become dependent on them in order to fall asleep. Use your phone during those rough patches and find an application with the sound of ocean waves. It’s a great sound that will help lull you to sleep with visions of being at the beach.
Take a picture of an old picture of yourself as a kid to keep in touch with that sense of youth. The older we get, the further we are from the perspective we had as a kid. The sense of youth, freedom, possibility and optimism is often replaced with feelings of responsibility, fear and stress. Since most of your old photos are most likely in hard copy, take a picture with your phone of one of your favorite shots. Use it to remind you that there is still that kid inside you, with hope, joy and faith!
There are many reasons to spend some time away from your phone to improve your health. Disconnecting from technology is a wonderful way to give your nervous system a rest from all the mental stimulation. But, the reality is we are with them a great deal, so you might as well use them as a tool to work for you to improve your health.