Does your friend get anxious, panic attack or stressed when they don’t have their phones close by? That hateful feeling of turning off your phone or the fear of your phone battery dying are some of the things that show you have Nomophobia or no mobile phone phobia. Mobile phones continue to be a prominent fixture in our lives because we can do almost everything using them. However, too much of something is poisonous. Nomophobia is said to be related to separation anxiety although it has some identifiable symptoms such as increased heart rate, shortness of breath, anxiety, nausea, trembling, dizziness, discomfort, fear, and panic. These symptoms are what shows the difference between Nomophobia and phone addiction. Now, here is how to know if you have Nomophobia.
Having No Signal Causes Temporary Insanity
If you see yourself trying to stretch your hand out of a train window, your arm raised all the way up to boost the signal and get at least one bar, this could be a sign of Nomophobia. Interestingly, you might not even realize you’re doing this. You might even keep on cursing the nature for your misfortune over and over again. Evaluate yourself and see if this could be a problem.
You Put Your Life or That of Others in Danger to Check Your Smartphone
There is a road safety rule that doesn’t allow the use of smartphones while driving. In fact, it’s said that if you text while driving, your reaction times are actually twice slower than if you were drunk driving.
If you must reply to a text that has been sent to you without considering you’re driving, then this is a serious sign of Nomophobia. You’re prioritizing your phone more than your safety and that of those around you.
You Can’t Leave the House Without Your Phone
You can’t even go to a neighboring shop without having your phone with you. Being unable to go for an urgent meeting without your smartphone is an indication of an unhealthy habit. You should spend more time out without your phone which is considered to be a form of detox. Taking a walk to the park viewing the beautiful work of nature helps clear your mind.
You Would Rather Run Out of Food Than Credit
You become anxious when it’s at night and you’re running low on credit. You try scrolling through the old messages while contemplating where you will get credit. Sometimes you might become bored and feel stranded. In extreme cases, you might end up calling your close friend to see if they can top up your credit because you’re not sure how the night will be.
You Become Anxious When Your Phone Battery Gets Low
Do you get sweaty palms or your heart starts racing when your battery drops low? To be realistic, worrying that you will be out of reach or you wouldn’t be able to see your emails or social feeds is a clear sign of Nomophobia. Some people get even panic attacks which could be serious at times. No one has ever died from low battery on their phones, but Nomophobia could be life-threatening due to a serious panic attack.
You’re Always Checking On Your Emails While On Holiday
Researchers reported that 60 percent of people who go for holiday vacations don’t come back feeling refreshed because they stay in contact with work and always check their emails. Taking your phone to the beach is inappropriate. If you’re among the people who can’t stop checking work messages from their phones while on annual leave, then you have Nomophobia. You should take your time and relax until it’s time to resume work.
Assessing and Treating Nomophobia
First, you need to accept that you have Nomophobia or you’re at risk of developing it. If you seek professional assistance, you will be given a questionnaire to assess your situation. Therapies for Nomophobia range from interpersonal counseling to cognitive behavioral. The initial step of therapy is to expose the individual to their phobia at a confined room then move them to a real-life scenario. Being mindful has shown to reduce Nomophobia tendencies mostly among women.
If your Nomophobia is due to a feeling of attachment towards your phone and you’re afraid if your phone gets lost you will lose important information, you’re advised to back it up periodically. All your photos, emails, messages and documents will be secure. With technology continuing to govern most aspects of our life, is Nomophobia the next epidemic waiting to take over? It’s time we take steps to address this issue. “
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