Your smartphone is a powerful device that has fundamentally changed your life—no doubt improving it in many ways. And while you don’t need to give up your smartphone completely, if your day to day is filled with endless, anxiety-inducing checking, swiping and liking, then you need this helpful, step-by-step workbook to take back control of your life.
Phone addiction is similar to gambling addiction and substance abuse. Its consequences include stress, depression, insomnia, intimacy issues and more. Written by an experienced psychotherapist, couples therapist and former telecommunications industry insider, The Phone Addiction Workbook’s program offers the blueprint for understanding addictive behavior and how it controls you. Weekly charts, practical tips and interactive activities help you stop unhealthy behavior and make lasting change.
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About the Author
Hilda Burke is an integrated psychotherapist, couples counsellor and life coach. She also holds the position of guest lecturer at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London and is a volunteer counsellor at Wormwood Scrubs prison. Hilda trained as a transpersonal psychotherapist at CCPE, London and holds a post-graduate certificate in dream work and couples counselling from the same institution. Hilda practices from her consulting room in West London, occasionally accompanied by the resident cat, or her dog, Madra. Before qualifying as a psychotherapist, Hilda worked in PR, promoting many technology and telecoms companies. She also trained as an actor.
Hilda’s aim in working with clients is to help clear the obstacles to enable them to be able to listen to themselves, to be true to themselves and to become fully authentic. She believes the ultimate goal of therapy is to facilitate clients to become their own therapist. Hilda is regularly called upon to comment on issues relating to well-being, relationships and the challenges of modern life in the media and has been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Psychologies, Women’s Health and interviewed on the BBC, ITV and London Live. In addition, she has contributed to three books: Lonely Planet’s 100 Ways to Live Well and the best selling The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober and The Unexpected Joy of Being Single. She was a spokesperson for National Unplugged Day in 2016 and 2017.
She can be found online at @hbtherapist or hildaburke.co.uk.
Table of Contents
Can We Really Become Addicted to Our Phones? 2
A Bit about Me 3
Mission of This Book 5
How to Use This Book 5
Start Tracking Actual Usage 6
Chapter 1 Mobile for Good: Positive Ways That Smartphone Technology Has Changed the World 8
Raising Consciousness 10
Reaching Out for Support 11
Bringing People Closer 11
Net Neutrality 12
Chapter 2 Why Are We So Hooked On Our Phones? 19
How Addicted Are You? 21
Why Do We Become Addicted? 23
Neuroplasticity and Your Habits 26
Breaking Patterns 26
Wait Training 27
What Can We Learn from Cocaine-Addicted Lab Rats? 28
Chapter 3 The Corrosive Power of Being Always Available 34
Always Working but Not Always Productive 35
Debunking Work Myths 36
Placing Our Relationships On Hold 38
When It Starts to Hit Home 40
Chapter 4 Smarter Phones, Dumber Users: How Your Phone Might Be Changing the Way You Think 48
Four Smart Reasons to Switch Off Your Phone 50
Mind Wandering 57
On Meditation 59
Chapter 5 Tackling Boredom and Emotional Discomfort 69
Boredom and Addiction 71
Suppressed Emotions and Addiction 75
Chapter 6 Procrastination: Why We Really Put Stuff Off! 87
1 Distractibility 88
2 Time to Complete 89
3 Self-Confidence 89
4 Task Value 90
Sneaking Up on Procrastination 93
The Snowball Effect 94
But Remember to Love Thy Procrastinating Self 95
Chapter 7 On Contentment 104
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind 105
No Comparison 108
Be the Change You Want to See 110
Know Thyself 112
Unlock Your Cage 114
Recommended Reading and Resources 135
About the Author 138
What People are Saying About This
"Hilda Burke is my favorite psychological expert because she is whip-smart, an excellent writer and she has an uncanny grasp of how to dismantle our behaviors and rebuild them into new ones. Everyone needs to put down their phones and pick up this book instead."
Catherine Gray, bestselling author of The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober
“This is an entertaining, well-researched and informative read, full of practical tips and resources on how to improve your quality of life by reducing your dependence on digital devices."
Dr. Áine Kelly, Neuroscientist Associate Professor in Physiology, Trinity College Dublin and President of Neuroscience Ireland
Hilda Burke’s book is an intelligent, clear-eyed look at how the digital world has changed communication, relationships, work and more. While acknowledging the many advantages of smartphones, she also illustrates just how fractured, unfocused and anxious they have rendered many of us, including her therapy clients whose stories of insomnia, depression and fear of the future clearly illustrate the problems. One of the best things about it is the workbook element: itemized lists for users to tot up daily usage on texts, Instagram, Facebook, even dating sites or porn. It’s not a call to crush your iPhone, but a wake-up alarm to realizing how you use it.
Louise Chunn, founder of welldoing.org and editor of Planet Mindful
"The Phone Addiction Workbook by Hilda Burke is a no-nonsense guide to help you face up to your smartphone use and offers advice on how to break a potential problem."
Natasha Harding, journalist, The Sun
"Great reading and depth to this workbook."
Irene Feighan, Feelgood editor, The Irish Examiner
"This book is a game-changing read! It's practical, efficient, and actually helps you to realize how much time you spend on your phone (*and what to do about it!)."
Goodzing's "Book of the Week" (June 26, 2019)