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Smartphone stress

Be 'smart' about your smartphone use

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    Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 12:43 PM - Sure, there are plenty of advantages of owning a smartphone, but could our attachment to our phones be affecting us negatively and perhaps even causing us stress?

    Ringing, dinging, even flashing. If alerts are not turned off smartphones can constantly prompt their owners.

    "The technology travels with us everywhere we go, intrudes into our awareness and is routinely interrupting our concentration or our ability to focus," says Scott Bea, psychologist at Cleveland Clinic.

    If this sounds familiar, here are some tips to be 'smart' about your smartphone use.

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    "The first thing is to tune into how you're using your smartphone," Bea says. "Is it dictating your life or are you actually creating rules on how you're going to use it? Maybe you're willing to check your phone once every hour or once every half hour, rather than every time you hear an alert."

    Practicing mindfulness- being truly aware of your surroundings, may help.

    One of the things that reduces stress in people is a sense of "controllability."

    "And so, as we relinquish our smart phones a little bit or create better decision rules, we get back a sense that we're actually in governance of our life and in governance of where our attention is going," Bea says.

    That means deciding when you are going to bother with your phone versus when it is going to bother you.

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