A cellphone can reveal a lot about a person, including their emotions. Therapists suggest that certain phone habits may indicate feelings of anxiety. Tasha Bailey, a psychotherapist and author, explains that when we're anxious, our body goes into fight or flight mode, and our attachment to our phones often triggers this response.
One common habit associated with anxiety is "doomscrolling," which refers to continuously scrolling through disturbing or worrying news. This behavior can exacerbate anxiety by flooding the mind with distressing thoughts. Excessive scrolling through seemingly "good" content can also be a sign of anxiety, as it serves as a distraction from real-life stressors.
Another phone habit linked to anxiety is searching troubling questions. Anxious individuals may have multiple tabs open, searching for answers or validation for their worries. This hypervigilance and overthinking can manifest in excessive Google searches related to health concerns or post-breakup recovery.
Using the phone as a means of avoiding social situations or work-related stress is another indicator of anxiety. Some individuals pretend to be busy on their phones to avoid real-life interactions or procrastinate on important tasks. An inability to detach from one's phone, even in situations like exercising or sleeping, can signal both anxiety and codependence.
The need to reply to notifications immediately is another habit associated with anxiety. This behavior stems from the desire to avoid anxious feelings by constantly staying connected. Similarly, the avoidance of phone calls, a common trait among younger generations, can be a sign of anxiety and a lack of social confidence.
Feeling nervous or panicked when the phone is not working, except for safety reasons, may indicate an unhealthy attachment to the device. The constant need for contact with others can perpetuate anxiety. However, it is important not to shame oneself for these behaviors, as phones are designed to foster attachment.
To address anxiously attached phone use, individuals can try mindfulness techniques or establish clear boundaries. Creating physical barriers like putting a hair tie around the phone can increase mindfulness and reduce impulsive usage. Setting time limits for apps, silencing notifications, or even turning the phone off for designated periods can also help establish healthier phone habits.
In addition to managing phone use, taking care of overall mental health and practicing self-care is essential. This includes getting adequate rest, maintaining a healthy diet, and engaging in regular exercise. Mindfulness strategies such as meditation, journaling, and deep breathing can also help regulate the mind and body. Seeking support from a mental health professional is another valuable option, as they can provide guidance and assistance in managing anxiety.
Ultimately, recognizing and addressing anxiously attached phone habits is an important step towards improving mental well-being and finding a healthier balance in daily life.