It’s an affliction we all suffer from. A bad habit we’re all guilty of. A curse on society which needs eradicating. Okay, maybe that last one is a touch excessive, but mobile phone use seems to have permeated every moment in life, from interrupting our sleep to taking precedent over our social interactions. It’s not too late to change your ways though, with these 5 IDEAL ways to beat mobile phone addiction.

Change your habits and your settings

Most will be familiar with that vibration on the bedside table in the night, and the unstoppable urge to check it. Maybe even more will be acquainted with that blue light illuminating the bedroom long after the bedside lamp has been turned off. All will know the fear of leaving the house without your device and the overwhelming compulsion to have it back in your arms as soon as you’re through the door.

These are habits which can all be changed though. Leave your phone out of reach of the bed, on silent, when you turn in for the night. Impose a no screens after 9pm rule, and sleep way more soundly. Change your phones settings, so notifications for popular apps are off, meaning every message you receive doesn’t seem urgent and requiring immediate attention. These little steps could go a long way.

Limit number of hours a day

Set a strict limit to the number of hours a day you’re on your phone and stick to it. There are apps to help you with that. Ban early morning and late night use and trade in those hours for exercise or reading a good old fashioned paperback. Enjoy your lunch break phone-free. Again, simple steps, but ones which can really help.

Reward yourself for less time spend on your phone

The mind’s reward mechanism needs impetus as motivation sometimes. It can be tough to implement self-imposed restrictions if you don’t allow yourself a little treat by way of praise for your period of phone based abstinence. 

Buy a phone from the pre-smart era

We all have fond memories of our first Nokia, bricklike and reassuringly sturdy in our pocket and hand. I’d bet we also don’t have bad memories about the constant need to check a more antiquated device. Those were simpler times and none the worse for it. Consider investing in a phone with basic features only, such as texting and calling, and realise just how much time you have wasted flicking aimlessly through the internet on your more modern device.

Take a cellphone holiday

The most drastic intervention, a rehab for the mobile phone user who has taken it too far, is the digital detox. Take an extended break from your device by going on holiday without it. It seems too simple to work, right? Many, though, who do this report a spiritual awakening, a realisation that checking their phone every five minutes has, unsurprisingly, been detrimental to their work and social life. So, get that suitcase ready, pack everything that doesn’t have a screen, get out there and really see the world through your eyes not your instagram filter. Good luck!