"Nomophobia" is known as the "fear of being without a mobile phone" and supports smartphone addiction in today's society (Putchavayala et al., 2022). Smartphones are significant hand accessories that conveniently access our texts, emails, music, financial transactions, social media, and more. However, instant gratification and overuse, especially during the covid-19 pandemic, have increasingly led to adverse outcomes on biopsychosocial levels. Negative contributions manifest in poor eye health, musculoskeletal pain, insomnia, depression, anxiety, poor academic performance, wrist pain, headaches, and more (Liu et al., 2022). Additionally, smartphone dependency correlates with the lack of real-world presence, with a decline in socialization and experiences (Liu et al., 2022). Social media-validating responses such as comments, likes, and story replies contribute to social anxiety, cognitive functioning, loneliness, and overall psychological well-being (Putchavayala et al., 2022).
The World Health Organization closely reveals subhealth (health quality decline to disease) and smartphone overuse (Liu et al., 2022). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) does not identify smartphone over-usage as a disorder. However, compulsion has similarities comparable to behavioral addictions such as substance usage, gambling, and smoking (Putchavayala et al., 2022).
Now how can yoga help this?
Yoga is a holistic approach with attributes for mental health, physical health, and discipline. You know when you're in chair pose, burning like hell, but you let your mind and body know who is in control. Putchavayala et al. (2022) from the Division of Yoga and Physical Science and Life Science identify various aspects of yoga that can help with smartphone detoxification. I can attest that during my time at the studio, I keep my phone in the locker as that is my time for detoxification and other smartphone practices, such as no phone in the bed, which has been helpful.
This part of yoga controls your mind from pursuing sensual indulgence. In between your eyebrows, holds control in combination with the breathing technique. So essentially, you gain self-control through mastery of the craving and addiction (Putchavayala et al., 2022).
Endurance enhancement and endorphin release through determination on the physical and mental levels help with energy flow, posture, and relaxation. GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) facilitates calmness. Research indicates a 27% increase after a single asana yoga setting. Shavasana also significantly reduces stress (Putchavayala et al., 2022).
Peaceful consciousness and somatosensory enhancement promote psychological and physiological well-being and reduce stress (Putchavayala et al., 2022).
Emotional reactions are facilitated through the brain and central nervous system. Using controlled breathing through slow and steady inhales and exhales can help impulses and reduce negative psychological aspects such as anxiety, stress, and depression (Putchavayala et al., 2022).
Liu, H., Zhang, M., Yu, L., Zhu, E., Huang, L., & Zhou, Z. (2022). Prevalence of smartphone addiction and its effects on subhealth and insomnia: A cross-sectional study among medical students. BMC psychiatry. Retrieved October 19, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35488216/
Putchavayala CK, Singh D, Sashidharan RK. A perspective of yoga on smartphone addiction: a narrative review. J Family Med Prim Care 2022;11:2284-91.