Is reaching for your phone the first thing you do in the morning? You're not alone.
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, around 85% of adults in the United States check their smartphones within the first 15 minutes of waking up, highlighting the common tendency to begin the day with digital interaction.
However, breaking this habit and opting for a more mindful morning routine can lead to improved focus, reduced stress, and a more positive start to your day.
9 Morning Habits For A Digital-Free Routine
Mindful Moment: Close your eyes briefly and focus on the sensations around you.
Deep Breath: Take a few deep breaths to oxygenate your body and clear your mind.
Open Curtains: Let in natural light to signal your body it's time to wake up.
Smile: Start your day with a smile to set a positive tone.
Morning Affirmation: Repeat a positive affirmation or mantra for the day ahead.
Hydrate: Drink a glass of water to rehydrate your body after sleep.
Light Movement: Do a gentle, quick body shake or a few easy stretches.
Set Intentions: Quickly visualize your main goals for the day.
Express Gratitude: Mentally list three things you're thankful for to cultivate positivity.
By prioritizing these simple and screen-free habits, you can shape a mindful morning routine that contributes to your overall well-being and helps you face the day ahead with greater clarity and intention.
6 Dangers of Checking Your Phone First-Thing
Checking your phone first thing in the morning can indeed lead to stress and anxiety, primarily due to the following reasons:
1. Information Overload: When you start your day by scrolling through emails, social media, and news updates, you're bombarded with a flood of information. This can overwhelm your brain and trigger stress as you process a multitude of stimuli.
2. Reactive Mode: Engaging with your phone immediately puts you in a reactive mode, responding to messages and notifications. This can make you feel like you're already behind or obliged to address various issues, contributing to feelings of stress.
3. Comparison and Social Pressure: Social media often presents idealized versions of others' lives, fostering comparison and a sense of inadequacy. This can lead to anxiety as you unconsciously measure your life against curated online portrayals.
4. Lack of Mindfulness: Checking your phone right away prevents you from easing into the day mindfully. You're immediately tethered to external stimuli, making it difficult to center yourself and set a positive tone for the day.
5. Blue Light Impact: The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your body's natural circadian rhythm, affecting sleep quality and contributing to morning grogginess and stress.
6. Lack of Personal Time: Engaging with your phone immediately steals time that could be spent on personal activities like exercise, meditation, or self-reflection, which can alleviate stress.
But Why Do We Do It?
Despite the potential negative consequences, several factors contribute to the habit of checking your phone first thing:
1. Habit Formation: Reaching for your phone upon waking can become a habitual behavior if it's consistently reinforced over time.
2. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): The fear of missing out on important news, messages, or updates can drive the urge to check your phone immediately.
3. Dopamine Release: The anticipation of seeing new notifications triggers the release of dopamine, the brain's pleasure neurotransmitter. This makes checking your phone feel rewarding, reinforcing the behavior.
4. Societal Norms: With the prevalence of smartphones, checking them first thing has become a societal norm, making it seem natural to do so.
5. Alleviation of Morning Grogginess: For some, checking the phone is a way to wake up their brain and overcome morning grogginess.
Remember, you have the power to break the cycle and cultivate a healthier relationship with your mornings and your digital devices.
Taking control of your morning routine and embracing a digital detox can lead to a more peaceful and intentional start to your day. By prioritizing mindful activities, such as deep breathing, stretching, meditation, and enjoying moments of gratitude, you can set the tone for a calmer and more focused day ahead.