14 Aug Setting Up Your Smartphone To Maximize Happiness
For most of us, smartphones have become extensions of our hands. We rely on them for so much: to connect us to friends and family, to check the time, to manage our busy schedules, and if you’re in DBT therapy, to call your therapist for skills coaching. Our phones can be assets to our day, and they can also be distractions, leading us down a path of time-wasting and mindlessness. They can be reminders of all the stress in our lives, all the to-dos, and can be vehicles of jealousy and “FOMO” when on social media.
Regardless of whether they function for us in a negative or positive capacity, they are with us at all times. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure you have some distress tolerance and self-soothing techniques all set up on your phone, so you have easy access! Our smartphones can be powerful tools if used correctly to support us in our journeys to build lives worth living.
Here are my tips for turning your phone into a useful, positive tool:
Notifications: TURN THEM OFF. Too many reminders popping up on your phone can be overwhelming and increase your anxiety. Take the time to turn them off. This allows you to choose when you want to check different applications, rather than having those applications tell you it’s time to look at them.
Instagram: consider creating an account solely to collect and post positive, funny, inspirational quotes and photos. Check out our clinician Instagram accounts @hartsteinpsych @guidancegirlem @jaime_the_therapist @drjenonline for ideas. Are you looking for something specific? Maybe you need a motivational quote, or a funny meme with a puppy to make you laugh? Make sure to use hashtags. For example: #motivationalquote, #quoteoftheday #mindful will bring you to some great material.
Apps: Two apps that I highly recommend to my clients are the DBT app, which can be used to write diary cards and get skills refreshers. The second is the CALM app, which is chock full of mindfulness, relaxation and meditation!
Music: Create some specific playlists for different moods so you have them ready to go when you need some distraction or soothing.
You Tube: Bookmark your favorite funny or calming videos so they are easy to find and access when you need a mood boost.
Notes: The notes app on your iPhone can be an incredible journaling tool. I find myself writing down thoughts, ideas, and feelings when I cannot get to a piece of paper and a pen. Also a great way to remember something that you need to talk to your therapist about ☺
Taking the time to reset your smartphone to best serve you is fun, can be a self soothing project, and can be useful as you go along your day. Just like keeping an emergency snack in your bag, it’s so helpful to have distress tolerance tools right at your fingertips!
Authored by: Jaime Gleicher, LMSW