Your immediate morning phone check has more consequences than you realize. The good news is that you can change this habit for those who will benefit from it as well as reduce its adverse effects on your day.

Imagine taking a flashlight, a calculator, a camera and a phone book in your bag everyday to work. It’s crazy to think how our phones today solved all these needs (and more).  Your phone is probably used for a variety of things throughout your day, starting with setting your alarm and keeping up with the news.

As soon as you wake up, you grab your phone to turn off your alarm, and notifications start appearing. You might spend some time looking at the emails, messages, social networks, and news while lying in bed. It may be something you do unconsciously and automatically. Or even if it is conscious, it is probably because you feel the need to be informed as soon as you wake up. No matter what, you probably can’t start your day without looking at your phone.

Is there anything wrong with checking my phone first thing in the morning?

We must be honest about how essential phones are in our lives today, we can’t live without them. However, they are also a source of great distraction and stress, so checking them at the beginning of the day won’t do any good.

When you get up, a natural process in your body promotes brain activation. After a deep sleep, delta waves are followed by theta and alpha waves as you experience that dreamy state and slowly wake up, although your brain is still relaxed and not processing much information. You will then reach the beta stage, fully awake and alert. Looking at the phone at the beginning of the day interrupts this natural process, making it faster and more stressful.

In addition, you may experience an increase in anxiety and discomfort. A morning email notification reminding you that you have work to do, or reading bad news, can make you feel stressed for the rest of the day. If you start the day by overloading your brain with information and feeling behind on your responsibilities, you’ll probably go through it in automatic pilot, completing tasks, responding to messages, and checking off your list without being mindful about what you’re doing.

And maintaining that rhythm throughout the day without taking a break can be highly problematic. When your brain goes through the theta and alpha phases in the morning, ideas flow freely without censorship or criticism. Thus, it is the ideal time to utilize your subconscious and visualize what you want, having a more remarkable ability to think and devise strategies for achieving those goals.

Furthermore, checking your phone as soon as you wake up will make you lose control over your attention. Rather than starting your day proactive and focused on your goals, you do it responding to the external stimuli the phone provides. Moreover, you can quickly lose track of time since what started as a review of phone notifications can become a great deal of time spent on social networks.

Additionally, when you check your phone, your brain releases a lot of dopamine. As a result, you’ll return to this same activity throughout the day of checking your phone continuously. This will increase your anxiety and stress levels throughout the day as you will be more likely to fall back into the distractions generated by your phone.

Is there anything I can do to avoid all this?

The Digital Wellness Institute is committed to promoting Digital Well-being. This involves using digital devices in a mindful way that enhances your mental and physical health. You can feel more balanced and fulfilled by taking a moment to ground yourself while online, just like the third prong on a plug channels energy and prevents shocks. To achieve this goal, start by focusing on your environment. Preparing your home will make it less tempting to check it. You can do this by leaving your phone in another room, using a classic alarm clock, or simply enabling airplane mode at night so you don’t get flooded with notifications.

The second step is to think of another activity that you can do at that moment, trying to do more productive things when you wake up instead of scrolling through your phone. It will be easier to change this behavior if you already have a defined activity. Make the most of this time by doing more productive activities to help you control your mornings and kick-start your day. Here are some ideas:

  • You can exercise, meditate, or read a book for a few minutes. Play some music or listen to a podcast.
  • Talk with your partner or your children before they begin their tasks. Spend some time preparing breakfast and drinking coffee. 
  • Another option is to write something down or review the day’s schedule. Planning, setting goals and prioritizing your tasks. 
  • It can even be as simple as making the bed and tidying up your room.

How do I get started?

Gaining control over what you do in the morning will help you start your day on the right foot. Rather than running behind notifications and external demands, you will focus on things that matter to you. Putting all your attention on them will allow you to stop worrying about the future or the past and enjoy the present. As a result, you will feel calmer and improve your mental health.

If possible, plan your waking up routine. This can include the first few minutes or even the first hour. Spend this time reflecting and doing activities that allow you to relax. Furthermore, if you manage to incorporate it into your daily routine, you will improve your quality of life in the long run.

The Digital Wellness Institute offers courses that can help you focus on those habits. As a result, your stress levels will be lower at the start of the day, and your concentration levels will increase. Throughout the day, you’ll be more productive. You can find more information and tools on our website and social networks. Even something as small as the first thing you do when you wake up can make a huge difference.

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