Nomophobia: new widespread disease of the digital age

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Do you suffer from withdrawal symptoms when you leave your cell phone? And can’t take it out of your hand even when watching TV? Then maybe you have nomophobia.

Most of us know that we all spend far too much time glued to our digital devices. Especially when we’re working from home, it’s easier to answer a quick e-mail or send a WhatsApp message to a colleague. But this constant stress is not suitable for our bodies. Doctors call nomophobia the new widespread disease of the digital age.

What is nomophobia?
Nomophobia is “no cell phone phobia” and refers to the fear of not being reachable without a cell phone or smartphone. This can cause us stress and even panic attacks. For some, it makes itself felt through symptoms such as insecurity, inner restlessness, trembling, or sweating.

Andreas Hagemann is a specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy in Eschweiler, Germany, and says that the mere thought of being without one’s smartphone for a short time causes the stress level of those affected to skyrocket.

In addition to the fear of missing out, the self-imposed pressure of expectations certainly plays a significant role. I think the other person expects an immediate response, and if I don’t live up to expectations, I disappoint.

Parallel activities overtax our brain”
What helps against nomophobia? It’s simple: turn off your cell phone. Going without the cell phone for a certain amount of time is an essential step in therapy, Hagemann explains. The newly gained free space also promotes stress reduction. The expert also recommends checking your screen time and avoiding multitasking.

These parallel activities overtax our brain. It is simply not capable of concentrating on complex exercises simultaneously.

When digital stress gets out of hand, Hagemann advises taking time out, muting the cell phone, and turning off the laptop. Breathing exercises and yoga or meditation can also contribute to more calm in everyday life.

  • hp/sources: gentside.de/bild.de/picture: pixabay.com
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