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Why Do I Need to Give Up My Cell Phone While in Treatment?

Technology is distracting. Subconsciously you wait for an alert to let you know that someone sent you a text, email, or message. Once you receive that alert, you may not be able to focus on what is going on around you. The pull to respond or engage in a text or social media conversation can decrease your ability to focus on the present. However, being in the moment helps you focus on your mental and physical well-being. When you enter a mental health or substance addiction program, giving up your connection to technology is essential.

Does My Phone Distract Me?

Your most valuable asset is your attention to yourself and others. Unfortunately, phones and other types of technology pull you away from those around you. Suppose you’re distracted or preoccupied with messages, videos, or social media. You’re not paying attention to those around you. You’re also not giving full attention to the conversation or activity you’re engaged in. When you’re not in the moment, you lose vital information and chances to build stronger relationships.

Researchers at the University of Texas discovered that your phone could demand your attention regardless of whether your phone is off, tucked away, or silenced. The presence of your phone is still a drain on your brain. The researchers studied two groups’ responses to tests. Both groups of people were asked to silence their phones.

One group kept their phone near them while the second group placed their phones in a different room. Those whose phones were in another room outperformed the group who had their phones near them. Why? Think of it like this. Your phone’s alerts are like your name. If you’re in a room and hear your name said by someone, you take your complete attention off what you’re doing and try to listen. The same thing happens to your attention when you hear alerts. You can’t focus on group or individual therapy if you’re subconsciously waiting to listen for your phone to make a noise.

Why Should I Live Without My Phone?

Phones block your connection with your inner self. Try to imagine everything you could do if you weren’t subconsciously listening to your phone for alerts. Think about how meaningful your relationships would be if you were in the moment. Technology can create a false sense of being. Instead, what phones do create are:

  • The Pavlov Effect: Pavlov created a connection between the sound of a bell and food. Cell phone alerts create a similar response. You become preoccupied, wondering what the alert signifies, and lose your focus.
  • The Glancing Effect: If you’re paying attention to alerts or browsing, you’re not getting the full impact of conversations or information. Your interactions with others become trivial. You glance over everything and form your conclusions.

While you’re in treatment, you will have a chance to use your phone. You are allowed to stay connected with your loved ones. However, you may find you don’t need your phone for any other purpose.

Distractions are everywhere. A person can go from one place to another without paying attention to the people, places, or environment surrounding them. The constant urge to respond or stay connected damages their mental and physical well-being. That’s why The Guest House is located on a serene estate near Silver Springs, Florida. We honor your need to unplug and focus on being in the moment. From the moment you enter our doors, we embrace your individuality and provide comfort so you can heal. We welcome you to learn more about us. Call The Guest House at (855) 483-7800 today.