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What Happened When I Put My Phone Down

By Megan Murphy, Co-Founder of Expansive Therapy

I wish I could say that I purposefully decided to take a tech break while I was away on holiday. The truth is that other activities pushed it out of the way. And then I noticed that. And then I started to notice other things.

We look for momentary comfort

As humans we are always looking for safety, which we generally find in our routines. If we know what’s happening next, our existential anxiety quiets. So we do the same things and we think the same things day in and day out without realizing we are stale. As in, not fully awake to the present moment. We might feel less anxiety, but we are also feeling less of everything. In my particular case I was on holiday with old friends, moving into their beach house for a week. This meant doing a lot of things together. It was glorious. Not a laptop or mention of Zoom for days. No one picked up their phones except for the need to take pictures. I also brought along a fat fiction to read. Being a therapist I’m always reading several books at once, none of them fiction. This seemed like something one does on a beach vacation.  Whenever I got time to myself I read. Remember reading? Books are sort of heavy! But the story was pulling me in and I developed a whole relationship with the weight of that book. (Many pages, hard bound).I finished the book on the plane home and thought about going back to my old routine of looking at Instagram reels before bed, which I’ve always found relaxing. The algorithm is so curated (one share of a video and you are sent one hundred more) that it’s actually helping you to dig that routine groove into your brain so much faster. While this feels like relaxing and safety-building in the moment, it’s a rather deadening activity. 

I wish I could say that I purposefully decided to take a tech break while I was away on holiday. The truth is that other activities pushed it out of the way. And then I noticed that. And then I started to notice other things.

We look for momentary comfort

As humans we are always looking for safety, which we generally find in our routines. If we know what’s happening next, our existential anxiety quiets. So we do the same things and we think the same things day in and day out without realizing we are stale. As in, not fully awake to the present moment. We might feel less anxiety, but we are also feeling less of everything. In my particular case I was on holiday with old friends, moving into their beach house for a week. This meant doing a lot of things together. It was glorious. Not a laptop or mention of Zoom for days. No one picked up their phones except for the need to take pictures. I also brought along a fat fiction to read. Being a therapist I’m always reading several books at once, none of them fiction. This seemed like something one does on a beach vacation.  Whenever I got time to myself I read. Remember reading? Books are sort of heavy! But the story was pulling me in and I developed a whole relationship with the weight of that book. (Many pages, hard bound).I finished the book on the plane home and thought about going back to my old routine of looking at Instagram reels before bed, which I’ve always found relaxing. The algorithm is so curated (one share of a video and you are sent one hundred more) that it’s actually helping you to dig that routine groove into your brain so much faster. While this feels like relaxing and safety-building in the moment, it’s a rather deadening activity. 

I wish I could say that I purposefully decided to take a tech break while I was away on holiday. The truth is that other activities pushed it out of the way. And then I noticed that. And then I started to notice other things.

We look for momentary comfort

As humans we are always looking for safety, which we generally find in our routines. If we know what’s happening next, our existential anxiety quiets. So we do the same things and we think the same things day in and day out without realizing we are stale. As in, not fully awake to the present moment. We might feel less anxiety, but we are also feeling less of everything. In my particular case I was on holiday with old friends, moving into their beach house for a week. This meant doing a lot of things together. It was glorious. Not a laptop or mention of Zoom for days. No one picked up their phones except for the need to take pictures. I also brought along a fat fiction to read. Being a therapist I’m always reading several books at once, none of them fiction. This seemed like something one does on a beach vacation.  Whenever I got time to myself I read. Remember reading? Books are sort of heavy! But the story was pulling me in and I developed a whole relationship with the weight of that book. (Many pages, hard bound).I finished the book on the plane home and thought about going back to my old routine of looking at Instagram reels before bed, which I’ve always found relaxing. The algorithm is so curated (one share of a video and you are sent one hundred more) that it’s actually helping you to dig that routine groove into your brain so much faster. While this feels like relaxing and safety-building in the moment, it’s a rather deadening activity. 

Protecting the cloud space in your mind came home wanting to protect the space that was created while on vacation, the space in my mind that was like beautiful clouds, asking nothing of me. Space that invites everything, including your subconscious, to begin to manifest new thoughts, new ideas. This more open space also helped me to be in a more intimate relationship with myself. I could feel whatever small feeling I was having without being so busy with something (a worn out thought pattern) that would make me miss it altogether. Therefore actually missing myself?

Phone addiction is real

As technology continues to advance, we won’t be able to totally avoid the effects of it.  But what we can do is build the awareness of how and when we are using it.  And then ask ourselves, what is taking up the beautiful cloud space in my mind?  The awareness is always the starting point.  From there, imagine creating a more intentional relationship with the things (or people) that crowd out the clouds.  

Reach out for help

Do you spend too much time on your phone?  Do you try to spend less, but end up scrolling the same apps over and over?  If you are having trouble with the pull of your smartphone, and if the amount of time you are spending staring at it leaves you feeling unhappy with yourself, consider scheduling a therapy session.  Investing in yourself is always a good idea. 

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Drop us a line.

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(917) 426-1521

© 2023 EXPANSIVE THERAPY | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Stay in the Know

Join our newsletter to get mental health tips and promotional offers delivered to you weekly.

Drop us a line.

Questions, concerns or need support?


info@expansivetherapy.com

(917)426-1521

© 2023 EXPANSIVE THERAPY | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Stay in the Know

Join our newsletter to get mental health tips and promotional offers delivered to you weekly.

Drop us a line.

Questions, concerns or need support?


info@expansivetherapy.com

(917)426-1521

© 2023 EXPANSIVE THERAPY | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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