An Anxiety Buster You Want to Know

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Ok, lets be honest here, how many times has your heart started to race and your palms sweat as you instantly find yourself spun into a mini (or not) anxiety attack over technology? Perhaps it’s your phone: can’t find it, dropped it in the toilet, it goes black, you  jump out of a cab or Uber and your entire body starts to go numb as you frantically look for your cell phone…any of these moments sound familiar? Well according to recent studies, you are not alone. Approximately 60-70% of the population particularly ages 17-25 suffer from what’s now referred to as “nomophobia” that’s right: No Mobile Device Uncorks Mild to Severe Anxiety. Finally, our animal planet anxiety spins that flip us out of executive thinking and problem solving abilities have a name: nomophobia. It’s wonderful how creative we are as human beings, perhaps we feel more in control of a situation if we label it. Either way it’s a serious situation worth our attention.


Let’s dismantle what’s really going on here. We have misplaced our sense of safety and connection from the intrinsic space of knowing our ultimate sense of safety comes from within to the external which renders us extremely vulnerable to anxiety attacks. Basically when we are spun by a nomophobia episode we have farmed out our sense of safety and connection (which are two of our basic needs for survival next to food, water, shelter) to an external object which we have given power to define our sense of well being.


Recently on a business trip I rolled my bag into my hotel room and began to unpack only to quickly realize that the clothes were not mine. Instantly I felt the serpent of anxiety slither throughout my entire body rendering me into an instant state of panic with one thought dominating my mental screensaver: my cell phone and computer are in my bag that someone else has. Ever been there? How often have you heard, “my entire life is on my computer and phone, if I lose that I’m …..” Let’s slow this down a bit for reflection. This is all an opportunity to explore and perhaps readjust our sources of security as we travel through this earth school experience.


What are your sources of safety (security) and connection? Are you giving more power to the almighty cell phone for your sense of value, worth and connection? Has your computer become your mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me if I am good enough, smart enough and if people like me, source of identity? No judgement here, this is simply an invitation to reflect on the power we give to inanimate objects that hold within themselves (because of the power we give them) the ability to spin us out of our God given inner peace, confidence, value and worth. Stress and anxiety is our body’s response to the power we give to thought forms which conclude we are not safe, connected or capable of successfully handling a situation. Basically we conclude we are not ok. Whether it be a nomophobic experience or an opinion of another person we have the God given ability to choose our source of reference for our sense of security, value and OKness.


3 Tips to Remember in the Midst of a Mobile Device Anxiety Attack:


  • It’s the contact information, not the people that you value most, they are not in the toilet with your phone.
  • Believe it or not society existed very successfully without these devices for a very long time and actually, people in that ancient culture had more time to be present to the task at hand without interruptions…as well as experience more face to face, voice to voice interactions, can you imagine what that was like?
  • You are not your cell phone, computer, email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social media outlet or the messages they contain. The more we farm out our identity to those things, the more vulnerable we become to unhealthy attachments. An attachment is an emotional state of clinging due to the belief that without that certain thing you can not be happy and secure. You know you have formed an attachment when in its absence you are flipped into a negative emotional spin.


I remember looking in the mirror when I was bald and breastless and the realization sunk into my soul, “Wow I’m not my hair, breasts or anything I give power to define me outside of my beautiful soul, God is with me, I lack nothing in this space.” As my 10 year old son said to me when he walked in on me crying because of my hair loss: “Mommy don’t cry, your soul still has hair.” I share this as a reminder to all of us, we are not all of the shiny objects and sources of success and connection we surround ourselves with, who we are flows from the inside out, not the outside in. Bookend your day, morning and night with the practice of unplugging from the electronic world and plugging into prayer and gratitude, focusing on those things you get to take with you beyond the “pine box.”


I remember before my friend transitioned out of her “earthsuit” she said, “Wow can you imagine how much time you would free up to do those things that bring lasting inner peace and happiness or seek out more moments to simply be in the moment, the gift of life, if you stepped away from all the electronic distractions?”  Truly, a worthy statement worth our reflection.


Click Here to Watch a 3 Min. Mini-Retreat: Perspective + Core Values = Purpose


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