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This one thing you are doing every day is killing your happiness
We do it so frequently, it almost becomes automatic; but how is it really affecting you? - photo by Amberlee Lovell
You and I check something about 150 times each dayalmost mechanicallythat steals little bits of our happiness away each time we do it.

Its responsible for unsatisfactory relationships, bad sleep, a disappointing sex-life and the inability to focus when we most want to focus.

This one thing sits in our pockets, carrying all the information the world has to offer: our cell phones. A 2015 study found cell phone use was tied to higher stress and anxiety levels as well as depression.

I'm not telling you to get rid of your phone, but if happiness is what you are looking for, these tips can help you balance your phone use while combatting the negative side effects that can sneak in.

Maximize your sleep quality

Your cell phone emits what is called blue light, which suppresses melatonin, the chemical that makes you sleepy. The Atlantic reported those who used an electronic device (even just a reader like a kindle) up to two hours before bed had significantly less REM sleepthe quality sleep your body really needs.

Cut electronics time down, especially as you get closer to bedtime. If you like reading before bed, try an old-fashioned paper book rather than your phone. This will cut out your exposure to blue light, which in turn will help you sleep better. Its much easier to be happy when you arent exhausted every day.

Stop looking at pornography

Those who view pornography 3 to 5 times a week experience more depression than the general population, according to Psychology Today. In addition to this depression, studies by Fight the New Drug show that both men and women are less happy with their partner after being exposed to "softcore" porn.

Put necessary filters on your phone, and develop the self-control to look away from porn. Actual, healthy relationships have a better chance at surviving as you pull away from this filth.

Find a better sex life

Using your cell phone in the evening is a mood killer. Its hard for your spouse to connect intimately with you physically if they cant connect with you intimately in face-to-face conversation.

Make your bedroom a no-phone zone, and take time to have important talks with your sweetheart where youre not distracted by the buzz of an incoming email.

Cope with life

According to this 2015 study, people who are sad use cell phones similarly to how addicts of substances use their addiction: to escape reality. This same study showed college students with chronic stress and emotional instability had problems with mobile use.

Discipline yourself to turn to healthier forms of coping. Sure, scrolling through Facebook or texting your ex isnt as harmful as taking drugs, but its not helping you either.

Develop healthier ways to cope with sad times. Have a friend help you get in the mode of working out, learning a new hobby or doing something nice for someone when those low times make you want to hop on Instagram.

Kill loneliness by disconnecting

Ironically, this device that should make us less lonely can actually prevent us from sincerely connecting with people when we are face-to-face with them. This leaves us with an unsatisfied, empty feeling.

Phubbing (an awkward word that describes when youre with someone in real life and chose to respond to your phone) puts up a wall between you and those you are with because it subtly indicates to them they are not a priority. Phones are the ultimate feeder of FOMO (fear of missing out) by constantly keeping you in the loop of "better" activities going on. This makes us incapable of fully enjoying the present moment.

Make your interpersonal connections more satisfying by putting your phone in your pocket and leaving it there when youre with someone. Whoever needs to get a hold of you can wait.

Check out this video for simple ways you can prioritize the people in your life over your phone.
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