How Your Phone Can Teach You Mindfulness

Every time you feel the urge to check your phone is an opportunity to pause, get curious about your experience, and practice present-moment awareness.

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Believe it or not, we are checking our phones an average 344 times every day. This might seem almost unfathomable until you bring mindful attention to how often you’re eyeballing your email, Twitter, TikTok, finances—the list goes on and on. One moment we’re scrolling our Instagram feed, then the next we’re buying something online. Before you know it, you’ve distracted yourself from your life’s purpose hundreds of times during the day (and perhaps even spent a lot of money). Moreover, that frequency of distraction can’t be good for cultivating a balanced mind.

There might be a healthy number of times to divert attention to our phones, but clearly we’ve moved beyond what serves us. James Clear, author of the bestseller Atomic Habits, says that our autopilot checking of technology is an example of a “system of habits” that leads to less health and happiness. The checking also activates our comparing mind and that can lead to more stress, anxiety, and emotionally charged actions. For example, if you see photos of friends on a luxury vacation in Tahiti, you might spend more than you budget for your next family…