This week’s Mental Sunshine is about your mobile phone.

Mobile phones are great. When I was young it would have been difficult to believe that I would have access to all of the world’s knowledge, be able to take photos, access my bank account and chat to people all over the world – all from a tiny gadget in the palm of my hand!

That said – they do also have a major downside.

They can be damaging to our mood and our concentration. Having access to all that information right there in front of us can feel really tempting

And so our attention is often drawn to our phones, and away from everything else that’s going on around us. The book we are reading, the task we are doing, or worse – the person we are talking to.

Many phones these days have “Digital Wellbeing” settings which can help you to see how much time you are spending on your phone, and also to put limits in place.

For example, you might set your phone to automatically go to “airplane mode” and greyscale the screen an hour before your bedtime, until you get up in the morning.

You can also limit your time on particular apps through the day, and on some phones you can make it so that those apps are not available during the day.

Many people these days are opting to leave their phone in a different room while they’re eating dinner with their family – and even overnight.

If you use your phone as an alarm, invest in an old-fashioned one and see if it makes a difference to leave your phone outside of your bedroom.

In fact I never have my phone by my bedside – I do however use the alarm setting on it – That way I have to get up and out of bed to go downstairs and switch it off…

Then I’m up 🙂

Leave the phone, look around & just enjoy just being…

I think the main thing is to be aware – to notice how much time you are spending scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, and see if you can knock that down a little bit.

We like to think that by being on social media we are connecting with the world around us – but then often that can serve as a poor substitute for actually connecting with the people around us.

I actually think social media can have more of an adverse effect on us. Seeing others post about their so-called “perfect lives” and posting pics of everything they eat – But more about that another week…

It’s not realistic to suggest you just bin your phone – but could you cut down how much you use it?

You might be surprised at how your mood and focus improve if you do!

As always – let me know how you get on with this; I love to hear feedback about my Mental Sunshine suggestions!