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How Smart Phones are Affecting Our Health

How Smart Phones are Affecting Our Health

“The greatest polluting element in the earth’s environment is the proliferation of (EMFs) electromagnetic fields. I consider that to be a far greater threat on a global scale than warming, or the increase of chemical elements in the environment.” – Dr. Robert Becker, two-time Nobel prize nominee

 

My Cell Phone Story:

For those who follow me on my facebook page, I am pretty transparent about wanting to use my phone less. Often times when we share our Mini-Step Mondays I will say putting my phone away at night.  I had/have (it’s a work in process) an addiction of ‘treating’ myself to looking at my phone right before going to sleep. Checking out instagram, facebook, pinterest. Not only do I know that it’s lowering my melatonin production, keeping me from going to sleep and from optimum health, but it’s also hurting my eyes and focusing my energy on what everyone ELSE is doing.  

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Why did I need this connection before bed? I love my alone time, so why did I need this connection so badly? It wasn’t just a quick check either; it could get up to 30 minutes before falling asleep. When I finally had the strength to put the thing down I would think, what did I just do? Where was I? 

It was frustrating for me because I work with clients on building healthy habits, why couldn’t I do this for myself. I would go three or four days and then the habit would come back. It wasn’t until I had to build a plan for another person, for a client, that I finally was able to put my phone away at night.

Healthy little tip: if you really want to help yourself, teach  someone else to do it. While trying to help her through the process I told her I had the same issue and thought through what would work best for me? I said as soon as she gets into her room, put the phone on a dresser instead of on the nightstand. This is a simple new habit, a new action. One of the most important steps is to replace it with something else, making sure to keep a book or favorite magazine on the nightstand. (This is also a double positive because when her alarm goes off she gets right up, instead of snoozing three times, which ends up making us more tired.)

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I didn’t grow up with this phone; in fact, my friends teased me after college for still having the oldest brick of a phone. I was not a constant-cell-phone-updater. I just got my smart phone a couple years ago. I couldn’t help but wonder how this addiction happened!? How do I feel like I have no control over the use of this little device?

 

I really wanted to figure it out and break the habit so I decided the next time I went to click through my phone, to listen to what emotions were behind the habit. So often it’s our emotions that tie us to our habits. What was it doing for me?

 As I went to grab my phone the next night I thought about how I would feel if I just put it down, and there it was. FOMO. Fear of Missing Out. I felt like I would miss something. Some joke, news event, new adorable cake I’ll never make or new way to make your own candles (really!?). I would miss something that was going on out there, with no concern with what was going on in here. I often tell my clients just becoming aware of it is a huge step. I don’t think I really even acknowledged the FOMO until I just wrote it right now, even though I thought it the other night. This is one reason why I love being a coach, being there for someone to voice something they’ve never really fully acknowledged before.

  

How I Broke the Habit:

I started the action that I had advised to my client that night.  I set the alarm, set my phone on airplane mode, and put it on the dresser. (An even better habit would be to get a regular alarm clock and just leave the phone out of the room, but I haven’t gotten there yet.)

I picked up a book and started to keep track of how I felt the next couple of nights. I was nourishing my own brain with a fiction novel, tiring my eyes in a good way, making me fall asleep earlier and wake up earlier. It’s a little painful at first, breaking the habit, but only after a couple of days I felt so proactive instead of reactive. Focusing on bettering my life. I started being more proactive in other areas of my life too, writing or working out first thing in the morning instead of checking email, etc.

It’s not that I never look at my phone now, trust me, I love all the amazing things these phones do, I’ve just become really conscious of the emotional addiction to it.

I started to pay attention to how often I looked at my phone during the day as well. Not so bad, but still not good. For example, I found myself bringing it into the bath tub. WHAT!? When did that start? I also went pumpkin picking with my husband and as he walked to return the cart I automatically (really without thinking at all) grabbed my phone and turned it on. I thought, wait, it will take him less than a minute to get back, just be here for a second. Just breathe. I looked up and noticed the stunning CT fall trees, all the different colors, the beautiful view. I would have missed that. I would have been so focused on what everyone else was doing or my to-do list on my phone that I would have missed that beauty in my own life. It pretty much slapped me in the face.

Almost as literally as my cell phone has…droponface

 

Dangers of Smart Phones:

(and what to do about it)

Eye Sight Since using my phone less, I’ve noticed that when I look at my phone for a minute my eyes start to hurt. They tighten. Giving your body a break from something allows it to start healing and go back to normal. My eyes are telling me, No thank you! This is a strain, these words are too small, this is too close to my face! And for once I can hear what my eyes are saying. I have to keep the brightness on the very lowest setting. Maybe I have super sensitive eyes, but that doesn’t mean our phones are slowly ruining our eyesight to only see what is tiny and right in front of us. In fact, many eye strengthening techniques have you look out into the horizon. A friend told me of a group of tribal men who, when making tools, every minute or so look up and focus on the horizon and then look back down at their tools to keep their eyes healthy and keep from straining them. 

EMF Waves The EMFs (electro-magnetic frequencies) that travel through our phones are another thing.  There are entire books devoted to the dangers of cell phone radiation. Are you sleeping with it right underneath your pillow? Put it at least 6 feet away from you. As I mentioned with the eye sight, I can no longer hold my smart phone to my head, my head immediately starts hurting. Am I the canary in the coal mine? Probably, which means even if you can’t feel it, it’s probably hurting you as well. Buy a headset or use a landline.

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I just bought a cell phone case called Pong which is supposed to push the radiation away from your head. Who knows if it actually works but it feels really good having it. At the website they show the technology, studies and testimonials if you want more information on it. 

 

 

Fast Fact: Smart phones have completely changed the way we live. Giving us the world at our fingertips. Pay attention to how your life has changed around your smart phone. Are you enjoying the present moment? What is your emotional attachment to it? Question the radiation coming from that little computer (developed a mere 21 years ago) that is attached to your side. Can you go one full day without looking at your phone? Do you have a healthy relationship with it? I am still working on mine. 

Action: If you want to use your phone less, find a friend who will do it with you and keep each other accountable. Move it away from your body at night and put a limit or a time curfew on your browsing. Buy a headset or a case that keeps radiation and EMF waves away from your body. Want more information on the cell phones? Check out Cell Phones and The Dark Deception or Zapped.

 

Love & brussels sprouts,

  

 

 

  1. Hi, Brenna,
    I just found you…so first…Congratulations on becoming a Mom, having a new daughter…
    I have been following your husband’s work for some time…as I know Tapping is a very powerful tool and I use it…not as much as I probably need to……
    I totally agree with your Personal Essay on your Cell Phone …and would like to include it in my Newsletter….which I send out from time to time…You’ve given a real reality to cell phones and how to disconnect from them ….very vital info these days…My work is all about ATTENTION, so I am thrilled with what you’ve written….I am more than concerned about our kids using them…and lack of interaction, ETC…. I want to ask your permission … asap…Many thanks…Of course, I will include you info…

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