The Benefits Of Making Your Morning Routine Phone-Free

We all know that our phones are a source of much debate. While they are helpful tools that we use to keep up with our obligations and tasks, they are also massive distractions. From social media notifications to emails, and text messages, our phones are practically filled with our daily lives. Because we depend so much on our phones to function in society, it's hard to let go of them sometimes. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, 18% of global smartphone owners admitted to checking their phones right as they woke up in the morning. Another 43% admitted to checking their phones within the first five minutes, and 62% checked their phone within 15 minutes. With many worldwide events and constant news, it's only natural for humans to wake up wanting to know what they missed during their sleep.

While it's good to be informed and up-to-date on the latest information, waking up to check your phone presents many dangers to your physical and mental health. As challenging as it might be, going phone-free in the morning can be one of the best things for your overall well-being. By sticking your phone in another room or far away from you, it's possible to receive many health benefits over time.

You are more alert

Waking up in the morning is already challenging, especially if you have a long day ahead. However, if you're constantly waking up to check your phone first thing in the morning, you might be affecting your alertness and awareness for the rest of the day. Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi, a psychiatrist at Doctor On Demand, tells Elite Daily, "The information overload that hits [you] before you're fully awake also interferes with your ability to prioritize tasks." If you are constantly hitting your brain with tons of information before you are fully alert, your brain will be in a state of distraction for the rest of the day. Staying away from your phone as soon as you wake up can help you become more productive.

Thrive Global adds that since the average attention span in humans has significantly reduced at the turn of the century, it's essential to make every second count. Checking your phone in the morning will deprioritize the rest of your tasks, making it much more challenging to get started on them. The constant distraction of checking your phone in the morning tells your brain to be on alert for further notifications and updates. Throughout the day, this will cause your brain to be in a fog, impeding productivity.

Less stress and worry

It's no secret that our phones affect our mental health. Exposing your brain to so much information first thing in the morning can activate your fight or flight response, making you more stressed. Olivia Arezzolo, a sleep expert, explains to Body + Soul, "[It] overwhelms the nervous system and our cognition, making us stressed, anxious, and tense. Biochemically, it skyrockets our cortisol levels, which contributes to feelings of anxiety, depression, and poorer mental health." Avoiding that morning scroll helps you establish a better connection to yourself, instead of what others are doing. A no-phone morning helps you catch up with yourself and your needs.

Even if you aren't checking the news or social media, looking at emails or text messages first thing in the morning is a recipe for stress. Adeola Adelayo, MD, a practicing psychiatrist with Banner Behavioral Health Hospital, tells Banner Health, "Instead of giving power to yourself on how you want to start your day, you are giving that control over to your phone. You start your day checking to see how many likes you've gotten on a photo or responding to a text from the night before from an irritated friend. This is bound to cause unnecessary stress and anxiety in your life." Going with a no-phone morning helps you avoid this stress and gets you back into control over what you choose to expose to your mind.

You get your time back

Many of us have become so accustomed to using our phones in the morning that we don't realize how much free time we could be getting if we put them away in the morning. Not using your phone in the morning can give you more time to focus on other important tasks, such as reading, exercising, or simply enjoying some peace. Lennart Klipp, an emotional wellness coach, tells TZR, "We catch up on the news, emails, texts, and social media posts that we missed. We reconnect to the outer world so immediately that we forget to properly reconnect to ourselves first." This important time in the morning can help you become more aware of what you need to focus on in the day. Take this essential time in the morning and spend it on yourself, instead of spending your time in the digital world.

By not checking your emails, social media, and other notifications, you can take control of your day and use it to do something productive and enjoyable. Health Shots explains that by not checking your phone when you wake up, you're not training your brain to look for more dopamine through phone notifications or checking social media. Not starting your day like this will train your brain to look for other productive and fulfilling tasks for that initial dopamine hit.

You'll start feeling more present

By avoiding the distractions of social media and other apps, you can focus on the moment and create a more meaningful experience. This can have a positive impact on your mental health, as it allows you to take time for yourself before starting the day. According to a study conducted by Psychology Today of UK professionals who were tasked with not checking their phones in the morning, this small change led to an overall increase in happiness and awareness in their present. Those studied reported feeling more present in their lives and more satisfied with how their day went.

Feeling present in the morning carries many benefits that a simple scroll of social media doesn't give. BetterUp explains that feeling present and living in the moment in the morning can help you increase your energy levels and motivation throughout the day. This feeling can help you achieve your tasks quickly and with little distraction. As well, feeling present is key to self-awareness. Having self-awareness is essential if you are looking to start building habits to achieve a goal or milestone. All of this can be achieved by avoiding that initial scroll, which sets up your mind to be in another place throughout the day.

You will develop discipline and self-control

The problem with checking your phone first thing in the morning is that it's so easy, it takes just one quick swipe across the screen. But this seemingly small action has huge consequences when it comes to your willpower and discipline levels throughout the day. Psychologist Dr. Benjamin Hardy tells Anthony J. Yeung, "This lack of consciousness is reflected in all other areas of most people's lives — as we are holistic systems. No one component of your life can be viewed in isolation. If you spend several hours unconsciously using technology, how could you expect to be fully engaged in your work and relationships?"

When we wake up in the morning, most of us reach straight for our phones. And while this activity might seem harmless enough at first, it can make it harder for us to get our work done later on in the day, especially when we're trying to focus on an important task or project. Business Standard highlights that constant phone usage, especially in the morning, can affect our relationship with the device. While there's no doubt that smartphones are useful, constantly waking up to them primes us to become dependent on the phone. This can ultimately affect how you connect with others and yourself. Making your mornings phone-free is one way you can start to prove to yourself that you not only have self-control but that you can keep your promises to yourself.