If you’ve done some research on phone addiction, then you probably came across dopamine.
Neurons that release dopamine are activated when we expect to receive a reward.
The reason why we grab our phones quickly, is that the chemical dopamine is released, a key neurotransmitter for regulating our sense of craving.
This pleasure related receptor in the brain makes you excited and as a result, you want to get more of it.
So when your phone demands your attention, dopamine is triggered and you get feelings of excitement.
Unexpected rewards activate the dopamine system.
You want to keep experiencing this, thus you keep reinforcing this habit of grabbing your phone when you hear or see a notification.
This reaction teaches us to associate the action/behavior with rewards.
That’s how we unwittingly program ourselves to go for our phone instantaneously once we hear a notification coming in.
This is how your phone is making you its slave.
It’s because of this very reason why you want to disable the push notifications.
You want to prevent these dopamine hits to occur so you won’t grab your phone like you’re some sort of robot or zombie.
You can focus on changing the action aka routine itself after the cue happens which is the notification, but that takes time and training.
The quick fix is to disable the notifications.
When a notification does come in, notice yourself feeling that urge to find out what’s going on.
That anticipation of what could be.
Notice the craving and witness yourself experiencing all sorts of emotions.
Then you can consciously decide to check your phone.
Know what you’re doing.
Unchain yourself from that powerful spell your phone has put on you.
Be aware of all your actions and why you’re doing them.