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The brain is a curious and caring thing

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Did you know that when you feel loneliness, your brain tries to balance this out. Seems quite caring actually. How does it do this? The areas in the brain such as the striatum and orbitofrontal cortex are part of the brain’s reward system. These areas encourage you to be on the lookout for a reward, which will help get rid of this feeling of loneliness.

This means you become hypersensitive to cues which will help you get a reward. What kind of a reward? Interestingly it’s the same system that t…

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You want to change? Watch your expectations

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Maybe you want to develop your leadership behaviours? Or become more persuasive? Or change your phone behaviour? Then there is one thing you need to watch out for. As a “self-changer”.

Many people fail when trying to make these sorts of personal changes. Canadian researchers in Toronto looked into this pattern of repeated failure and renewed efforts at self-change. And what contributes to this pattern. 

They coined a term for this - the “false hope syndrome”. However, overly high expectations …

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What Covid-19 did to our health behaviour. Some early insights

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It’s been over a year that we have experienced the massive impact of Covid-19 on our daily routines and behaviour. All this time confined during the pandemic shows some negative impact on our health behaviour, according to a number of studies recently published in Europe.

“Health behaviour” means those things we do which can affect our health – both positively and negatively. Looking across these research studies, these categories were used to compare pre-Covid levels with behaviour during Covi…

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You decide where your energy goes

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Often the daily chores and busy life just seem to control our actions. And to be fair a lot of our time is filled with "need to's". 

But what about the time you do have, the discretionary time?

Do you ever stop to think about how you want to spend it? 

  • Reading?
  • Exercising?
  • Napping?
  • On your phone? 

All choices are perfectly fine. You should be clear with yourself that spending time on your phone is an active choice. If not it often ends up being a default action that takes time from th…

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The journey counts: Not just the destination

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In the context of driving, if I said “Paying attention to the road means you will most likely get to your destination” you would probably reply “well, of course”.  With driving we know this. But with habit change we focus on the goal, but often neglect the process.

If you want to change your habits it’s important to have clear goals. Most people understand this. Most people, however, underestimate the importance of paying attention to just how they will get there. Lets look at an example.

Gerr…

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What chocolate can teach us about Smartphone usage

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If you love chocolate you will know what I'm talking about. If not, then you can just replace chocolate with the food or snack you crave. 

Many chocoholics will tend to switch between eating too much chocolate - and deciding to lay off chocolate altogether.  The reasoning being that this is just TOO delicious and if you start eating you won't be able to control how much you eat. 

It can sound like the easy option is to just stop eating chocolate. 

But let's be honest here! When have you ever …

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This makes me so angry

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Besides all the practical stuff we do on our smartphones:  

  • Checking our calendar
  • online meetings
  • ordering groceries

We also use our phones for something entirely different.

We use our phone as a buffer against strong emotions:

  • I feel angry = I grab my phone 
  • I feel lonely = I grab my phone
  • I feel bored = I grab my phone

We do this to lessen the severity of the feelings. By distracting ourselves with something else.

But the price can be high.

Let's look at an example. 

Michel…

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What is the opposite of smartphone addiction?

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What is the opposite of smartphone addiction?

    Freedom

Freedom to choose, amongst other choices, to use your phone or not.

  • Freedom is not about NOT feeling the pull to pick up your phone. 
  • Freedom doesn't mean having to throw away your phone either.

It means making a decision, intentionally how to use it, and not as an automatic habit.

A key to this freedom, and taking back control, is understanding what triggers you to become psychologically dependent on your phone. With this knowl…

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Will grayscale mode work for you?

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If you are looking for a quick fix to spend less time on your phone, then turning on Grayscale mode might interest you. 

It's often suggested in online posts. It might even work for you.

But here are my concerns. 

  1. On a practical level, the usefulness of this feature will depend on what you usually use your phone for. If you take a lot of photos or make videos for work purposes as I do, it will definitely annoy you, and possibly even make your end product of lesser quality.
  2. But a different …

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How about turning off notifications?

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When we want to use our phones less, we are often told to turn off notifications or set the screen to Black and white. 

And while this might be a help - it won’t be enough. 

A study by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) found that 89% of interactions with our phones are unprompted. 

Or in other words, 89% of the time, it is an internal cue that makes us pick up the phone. 

So what do you need to do when you want to use your phone less? 

If you want lasting change, th…

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