Internet addiction is on the rise. With more people in front of screens than ever before, being glued to your phone, tablet or laptop is the new normal. But is it healthy to be hooked on your digital devices? Or do we need more of a balance in life to help us live meaningful and happier lives? An internet addiction can interfere with your personal relationships. Especially if you spend more time surfing the web, instead of hanging out with family and friends. But how do you break internet addiction, when you work from home? If your financial livelihood depends on you staying connected, you’ll need to take some extra steps to stop internet addiction. This article will help you break internet addiction in a fun and meaningful way.
How to Stop Internet Addiction for Good
1. Meditate more
Meditation is a great way to stop internet addiction. And fortunately, Declutter The Mind’s meditation app has an offline mode for those trying to break internet addiction. You can listen to all meditations with a paid subscription without having to use your internet. This is great for those who are looking to disconnect for five minutes up to an hour while following along to a soothing voice that’ll help relax you when you need a bit of a break from the internet. You can choose from various meditations, such as loving kindness meditation to help you show compassion to yourself and others, an anxiety meditation if you’re feeling a bit stressed, or hundreds of other types of guided meditation. Listen to an example below:
2. Master time management
You can stop internet addiction by focusing on a time management plan. For instance, your phone will tell you how many hours you spend on it per day and which apps you spend most of your time on (though you probably know the answer to that already). You can test yourself to reduce your time on the internet and measure your results to see if you ended up decreasing your time spent on your devices. When you’re on the internet, you can focus on being productive instead of checking your social media or popular websites. Then, when you’ve finished your tasks, you can find non-internet based activities to enrich you to give yourself a break from the net.
Let’s face it, most of us with an internet addiction really have a social media addiction. We compulsively check our social media profiles constantly to see if we’ve gotten new messages, likes, or more. Those dopamine spikes make us feel so good. But spending that much time on social media leaves you unproductive towards other important things, like spending time with your family, investing in your personal development, or taking care of yourself. So, maybe it’s time to do a social media detox so you can recharge yourself a bit. You’ll likely find you perform better and feel better about yourself when you reduce the time spent on your social media accounts.
4. Find non-internet activities
There are various non-internet activities and hobbies you can enrich your life with. For example, you can learn how to play an instrument at a music school where you spend an hour or so with an instructor who guides you to learning the new skill. Alternatively, you can read books, go for a mindful walk, hang out with friends, try out a new restaurant in your neighborhood, or build something. You can also focus on home activities, such as cleaning, gardening, or decorating. If you’re feeling a bit artistic, you might draw, paint, or color. The activities you do without the internet can help you reduce your screen time so you can enjoy life. When planning something to do ask yourself, “How can I enrich my life today by doing something new, challenging myself, or living life to the fullest?”
5. Add site blockers
You can use tools like Freedom.to to block various sites on your devices. You can block social media sites, shopping sites, news sites, forums, and basically anything on the internet too. You can choose which devices have the sites blocked, so if you check Instagram on your phone a lot, you might block it on your phone. Alternatively, you can stop your internet addiction by setting specific hours to be able to check certain websites. For instance, if you want to be productive during the work day or set time for family after hours, you can set the exact times you want to be unable to check those websites.
6. Unsubscribe from emails
You can help reduce your internet addiction by taking some time to unsubscribe from emails. For example, if you find you have a shopping addiction, you might unsubscribe from marketing emails from your favorite brands. Maybe you notice you end up impulse buying clothes when you get an email, so unsubscribing will not only help curb your spending but you’ll also end up spending less time in your email inbox with fewer emails coming in. Aiming for an empty email box by deleting unimportant emails for good can help you feel fresh and recharged. No one needs an inbox with 1,000s of emails in it. Start an email cleanse.
7. Get outside
If you want to stop your internet addiction, spend some time outdoors. If you spend some time out in nature, you can witness so many wonderful moments. One time, I went for a walk at a nearby park and witnessed a turtle laying eggs. Miracle of life. You can find joy from watching insects, birds, rabbits, and other animals out and about living life on the same planet as you. Go for walks with your spouse or a friend. If the weather is cold, you can do outdoor activities like skiing with friends or thermal spas if you’d prefer the heat.
8. Spend time with friends and family
People are meant to be around other people, even introverts. Spending time with people who cheer you on, educate you, and make you laugh is an easy way to stop internet addiction. If the people closest to you aren’t positive to be around, choose to spend time with friends who you genuinely enjoy spending time with. You can also choose activities to do with them that are fun, such as going to comedy shows, concerts, or amusement parks. Choose to lean conversations in a positive direction too. You can talk about things that inspire you, excite you, and help you make the most of life.
9. Seek therapy
You can find a therapist online or via a referral from your doctor to help you manage your internet addiction. For example, some types of addiction are harder to break than others. If you have a gambling addiction, you’ll need to stop that so you don’t continue to risk losing money. If you have a shopping addiction, your bank account suffers too. Without money, our ability to enjoy life becomes more challenging, especially as debts rise. A therapist can help you break the cycle that causes you to be hooked on your online addiction so that you can go back to enjoying things offline. It’s not as simple as blocking websites for some types of addictions, but that can help too.
10. Read books
You can read books or ebooks on your Kindle in offline mode to help you learn and grow instead of doomscrolling on social media. There are millions of books out there in various genres that can uplift you, teach you, or entertain you. Maybe you’re into a futuristic sci-fi disaster book like Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir or something deeply philosophical like Symposium by Plato. You could also read popular chick lit books by Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Weiner, Emily Griffin, and more. You can challenge yourself by buying textbooks to learn a new skill, such as computer science or calculus. Choose the books that’ll actually get you off the internet and get your mind thinking differently or exploring a new path. Let your curiosity inspire you.
11. Monitor your screen time
You can use apps or built-in features on your phone, computer, or tablet to monitor your screen time. If you’re a parent of young children, you might install apps on their devices to help ensure they don’t stay up all night on their phone texting and actually get some sleep. You might also block certain websites, especially if they don’t have credit cards as they might use yours to make purchases for games, clothes, subscriptions, or other products they’re interested in. Having access to these apps while still giving your children autonomy and privacy can be helpful in allowing you to ensure screen time is monitored. You can also monitor your own screen time for yourself so that you set a positive example for your family as well.
12. Join support groups
Certain types of internet addiction may have support groups. For example, there may be support groups for watching adult content, gambling, shopping, or even social media. When you join these groups you can share your stories and struggles with overcoming your addiction. You can hear people’s stories in what helps them manage their internet addiction and use their examples to jump start your own journey. Alternatively, you can build connections with people in your community. Eventually, you might find yourself hanging out with these people in your spare time allowing you to unplug from the internet. Finding people who are sharing the same experiences with you reminds you that you’re not alone. With billions of people on the internet around the world, there’s someone else out there who struggles to go offline.
13. Go to networking events
To stop internet addiction, you can meet new people at networking events. Instead of talking to people online you can meet and chat with them in-person. Being social offline will allow you to develop more social skills so that you can feel more confident meeting new people and building relationships. You might find new clients, friends, romantic partners, and more simply through socializing at events instead of hiding behind your computer screen. Being confident enough to strike up a conversation with people when you’re out and about will help prevent you from checking your phone every time you go out.
14. Write in a journal
Having a journal that you pour your heart into can be a great way to disconnect from the internet. You can stop your internet addiction by writing down how you feel about your life, relationships, or yourself. Having a locked book or an offline and locked document that you type into to share your innermost thoughts can be a therapeutic exercise. You can use journal prompts to guide your thinking or you can just jot down all the wild ideas that flow through your mind. Release them from your head and freely let go of everything. Whether you’re trapped in a gambling addiction or shopping addiction, know that the unhappiness that forces you to get your rush from these activities is curable. You can find happiness outside of these things, and sooner or later you’ll have everything you’ve ever wanted because you treated the addiction and solved your problems.
15. Change your nightly routine
If you have a hard time falling asleep at night, you might need to switch up your nightly routine. Spending time on the internet before bed, such as scrolling through social media, watching adult content, or shopping online can keep us stimulated. As a result, we fall asleep later and instead of waking up early we end up feeling groggy. At night, after you wash yourself and brush your teeth, spend some time in bed reading a book. This will help you gently fall to sleep and relax you. As long as you don’t have bright blue light glaring at your face you’ll be able to unwind naturally.
It’s true that in today’s society most of us can’t live without the internet. We need it for our jobs, to connect with people, and to learn cool new things. However, finding time to disconnect and stop internet addiction can help you experience life on a more positive level. You’ll feel more connected with the people you care about. And you’ll be able to live life the way it was intended. If you’re looking for a meditation app that works offline, sign up for Declutter The Mind today.