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Beat cell phone addiction: how to use your phone mindfully

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We’ve heard customers say that on Ting, every month can feel like a game to keep their bill lower and lower. Our customers are pretty aware of how they use their phones, and many of them are engaging in mindfulness exercises without even thinking about it. Got a cell phone addiction? You can free yourself from the constant messages, pings and alerts with a few simple changes to your mobile habits.

In some instances, we’ve seen people switch back to flip phones and feature phones, because a smartphone is just too tempting, but you can certainly still have a smartphone and engage with it in a mindful way.

Try Ting to practice mindful phone use

On Ting Mobile, you only pay for the messages, minutes and megabytes you actually use. When you use less, you pay less. If you want to break your cell phone addiction, consider going with a mobile service provider that actually encourages you to use your phone less. Unlimited data plans can be too tempting for those of us who struggle to put our phones down and engage with the world around us.

With Ting, you can save on your cell phone bill so you have more cash for all those non-digital activities you love,  like family trips or investing in home improvement projects. Some of our customers save hundreds of dollars a month with Ting and savings like that can mean a lot to anyone. See if Ting’s right for you.

Being mindful: what is mindfulness anyway?

Being mindful means you are aware of what is happening in the present moment. By bringing your attention to what is happening right now, you can observe your default or autopilot behavior. For instance, you might find you’re always starving at noon, so you put on your favorite Netflix show, eat a bunch of food really fast and wind up with a stomach ache.

If you were to introduce mindfulness in that scenario, you would bring attention to actually eating your lunch in the present moment. That means no Netflix and really paying attention to every bite. You’d probably end up eating at a slower pace, and you may even feel full faster and consume less.

We can apply the principles of mindfulness to pretty much everything we do in a day. That’s not to say that being mindful is easy. This mental work requires discipline, attention and the ability to forgive yourself when your mind wanders.

A key part of mindfulness is nonjudgmental observation. So when you’re observing yourself eating fast out of habit, you might have negative thoughts about yourself. But mindfulness asks us to acknowledge those thoughts, notice them, and move back to focusing on the experience of eating. Mindfulness is about cultivating positive behavior based on pure observation.

Benefits of mindfulness: mobile phone addiction

Here on the Ting blog, we’ve talked about a few ways to use your phone less, including self-monitoring how many times you check your phone in a day, turning off apps and notifications, making your display grayscale, using Wi-Fi only and, if you’re really having a hard time, consider undertaking in a digital detox.

You can be mindful of how you use your phone. Every time you pick your phone up, ask yourself: Why am I picking up my phone?

This is mindfulness in action. You’re forcing yourself to be aware, in the present moment, of what you’re actually doing.

Start to practice mindfulness

Once you start being mindful of what you’re doing with your phone in the present moment, you’ll probably realize, most of the time, you don’t have a good reason to pick up your phone.

You haven’t received a notification or alert, and you aren’t planning on making a call or sending a message. So why do we pick up our smartphones so often?

Most of the time, we’re picking up our phone out of habit. We’re opening social media, scrolling on Instagram or Reddit, or sending an unnecessary text to someone to start a conversation. Every time you act on that impulse to pick up your phone, you’re furthering your cell phone addiction.

Mindfulness can help you get started, but you’ll need to stick with it to get the full benefits. That’s why we recommend beginning with a digital detox to give your phone addicted brain a chance to reset.

Use your phone less on Ting

Don’t forget, Ting is the mobile provider that wants to see you use your phone less. That’s because our customers can keep their bills low, as low as $16/mo, by making a few changes to their mobile habits.

Skip the unlimited option and go with something that’s better for your brain.