Empower Yourself To Use Technology In Healthy, Productive Ways
Do you wonder if your technology use has moved into abuse or even an addiction? Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO) and find yourself incessantly checking news feeds, email, texts and social media sites? Perhaps the time you spend on your computer or behind your phone has begun to negatively impact your relationships. Maybe loved ones have made comments about feeling disrespected by your lack of presence or expressed concern about the volume of your screen time. Have you made promises to yourself or others to cut back, but find yourself distracted by thoughts of what you’re missing or unable to avoid technology in one form or another? Is it a struggle for you to enjoy reflective time without media? Do you want to develop the skills and insights needed to use technology in ways that empower rather than limit your success?
We live in a society that stimulates us to constantly plug into something. And, while technology comes with a wealth of benefits, too much screen time can wreak havoc on our personal and professional lives. The fear of missing out, which many people suffer from in today’s busy world, can heighten stress, cause anxiety and insomnia, decrease productivity and keep us from being present with what is going on in our lives in real time. But, even if you are feeling strained and distracted, you might not know how to step away.
Understanding Technology Addiction
Technology use, abuse and what could be considered addiction is ubiquitous in our culture. While technology addiction is not an official DSM-5 diagnosis, should it become one, many of us would likely qualify. Addiction is characterized by a the continuation of a certain behavior in spite of the various negative costs and consequences of such behavior. When it comes to technology, harmful use behavior can impact sleep, relationships and productivity at work. Overuse can also lead to incessant thoughts about technology, separation anxiety and even withdrawal symptoms. Essentially, a problem likely exists if your technology use distracts you from being present, causes anxiety or impacts your ability to function well.
I firmly believe that, in the coming years, we will hear more and more about the technology addiction epidemic. Because technology addiction is based on intermittent reinforcement—meaning the pleasure derived from use is only sometimes rewarding—it can be one of the hardest addictions to break. However, the sooner you take control of your technology use, the easier it is to break harmful habits and use technology in ways that serve your highest potential.
Technology Addiction Treatment Can Provide You With Support, Insight And Effective Tips, Tools And Techniques
A healthy relationship with technology begins with awareness—an awareness of how you are using it, why you are using it and how it makes you feel. Technology addiction coaching, along with a mindfulness meditation practice, can help you become more present and develop an increased awareness of what you are doing, thinking and feeling on a moment-to-moment basis. This awareness can help you rise above the undercurrent of the thought and behavior patterns that you default to, such as mindlessly checking your phone during dinner or business meetings. Technology can be a fantastic tool when used with intention and awareness, but, as with most anything, it can become distracting and harmful when used to excess. If you’re ready to gain more awareness of your technology habits—embracing the good and shedding the bad—and reach your highest potential, I can help.
In technology addiction treatment and coaching sessions, I can help you clarify how technology use is impacting your life, address your overuse and set clear goals. We will begin by assessing your current use and taking an honest look at how technology is both serving you and causing you distress. We’ll then work collaboratively to tailor-create a plan that best supports your unique personality, needs, goals and lifestyle. This plan will not rely on willpower. Instead, we will put supportive systems in place to help you overcome potential obstacles. Specific supports can include setting up a lock screen on your phone or a system of messages/reminders you can write and send to your future self. If you are concerned about your ability to follow through, we can set up an accountability plan to help keep you on track. We can also set up a fallback plan by identifying the moments that you predict may be extra challenging for you. Being proactive can help you stay in alignment with your goals and not stray too far from your larger intentions.
We can also use technology addiction treatment sessions to assess your thoughts about your relationship to technology. If we discover that the tone of your internal critic needs to be reframed, we can develop an action plan to help support healthy thinking as well.
Smart phones didn’t really take off until 2007. Whatever negative habits you have created around this portable technology haven’t been around for too long. I have been teaching and coaching mindfulness meditation for over a decade. And, I have helped empower both individuals and tech startup companies to use technology with intention and awareness. With awareness, you can embrace and use technology in a way that doesn’t consume you, which can lead to improved sleep, increased productivity and more meaningful connections with the people in your life. You can appreciate the power of technology without letting it hold power over you. Once you take control, all aspects of your life can change for the better.
You still may have questions or concerns about technology addiction treatment and coaching…
I can’t stop using my phone. My boss and family expect me to be online and responsive.
You don’t have to stop using your phone. However, by becoming more conscious of your use, you can experience a greater sense of freedom, peace and engagement with the world around you. If it is important that you are always available to family or work, we can make your phone default to only letting them through. The idea isn’t that you stop using technology. Rather, it’s that you use technology to support your life and goals.
Sure, I use my phone too much, but so does everyone else. How can I tell if I really have a problem?
There is no doubt that the overuse of technology in our culture is ubiquitous. And, it can be difficult to determine if you are experiencing a problem. If friends or family members have made comments about how much you use technology or you are concerned, I encourage you to track your use for a couple of days. Although the experience may be uncomfortable, it can provide you with valuable insight into how much time you are spending plugged in.
I don’t have the time to dedicate to technology addiction treatment or coaching right now.
The great thing about this kind of coaching is that even a session or two to identify the problem and develop a plan can be highly effective. Because I create a specific plan for each client, the number of sessions and frequency of coaching visits is flexible and can be tailored to meet your specific needs and goals.
You Can Use Technology With Awareness And Intention
The incessant use of technology doesn’t have to continue to limit your life. I invite you to contact me for a free phone consultation to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions you have about technology addiction treatment, coaching sessions and mindfulness meditation.