For most of us, we initially purchased an iPhone or smartphone to help us stay organized, connect with others, and essentially make our lives easier. However, all too often your smartphone can actually add to your stress. It is important to take a big step back and evaluate your phone usage to see if you are using your smartphone to add or reduce stress.
Here are a few ways to use your iPhone to reduce stress and help you stay organized:
Download a meditation app: There are dozens of free meditation apps available that can guide you through daily meditation. These apps are super easy to use. You can transform ten minutes of waiting in a doctor’s office into an opportunity to listen to guided meditation. Just be sure to bring your headphones along.
Be mindful of your alert settings: It’s important to regularly check the settings on your phone and apps. I would recommend taking time once a month to review your phone and app alerts. Only allow your most important apps (calendar, mail, etc.) to send you “push notifications” on your phone. Getting too many unnecessary phone alerts can actually add to your stress and anxiety levels.
Use a “calming” ring tone: Instead of using the default ringtone that comes on your phone, go into the ring settings and pick a soothing tone. Picking a soft soothing ring tone can help you stay relaxed as your phone rings. It also can help you differentiate your tone in public places. If you are using the default ring tone, chances are you’ve been in a situation where you thought your phone was ringing but it was actually someone near you with the same ring tone. Choosing a unique and calming ring tone can help you identify your ring and also lower anxiety levels when your phone does ring in public.
Take advantage of the “do not disturb” setting: About a month ago I set my phone to cut off all alerts after 9:30pm. This has helped me not check my phone while trying to fall asleep and also ensures that I don’t get woken up by a text from a friend who may be staying up later. The best part of this setting is that you can allow certain calls to come in (your husband, your mother, etc…).
Use a journal app: Writing in a journal is a great stress reliever and it’s never been so easy to journal daily. Download a free journal app and write down your thoughts and feelings daily.
Go technology free during certain times a day: It’s important to “disconnect” from technology at least once a day. Make a pact with your friends or spouse that while eating together or spending time together, you put your phones away.
Change the brightness setting: If you do have to use your phone at night, make sure you have turned down your brightness setting. Using a bright screen at night can lead to trouble falling asleep and also unnecessary eye strain.
Play some relaxing tunes: Download a free music app (such as Pandora) to help you access soothing music and help you “unwind” at the end of the day. Instead of flipping through local radio stations you can create your own “relaxing tunes” radio station to listen to during your afternoon commute or while taking a bubble bath (just keep your phone far away from the tub).
Organize your contacts for easier use: IPhones let you sync your phone contacts with your email contacts. You can use contact labels to help you sort through and easily access contacts. For example you could label all of your doctors and then easily search this label to find the doctor you are looking for.
Use iPhone to help you multi task: Smartphones can help you accomplish more during your day. Listen to podcasts while going on a walk, reading news articles while in a waiting room, and downloading a shared family calendar to access while you are away are just a few ways you can use your iPhone to multi task.
By being mindful about your iPhone settings, apps and usage, you can make your iPhone an integral part of keeping your stress levels down!