“I have a flip phone,” Pine told Michael Strahan when he was asked about his biggest quirk. “The flip world is a whole world you gotta get into.” Pine explained that he’s trying to unplug and relax more, and his flip phone decreases the amount of anxiety he feels. “I recently got a record player and a flip phone. I kind of like the simplifying down,” he said. “I just like the simple, I just like the noncomplicated. I don’t want to be connected so much.”
Pine took some teasing from his co-stars, including Gal Gadot, who said, “I was literally asking him a few days ago, ‘What is this?’” But experts say he’s onto something. “Stimuli from any source puts stress on our emotional state,” clinical psychologist John Mayer, author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, tells Yahoo Beauty. And smartphones are full of them: They constantly ding with incoming texts and social media and email alerts. They also have Internet and email access, which can make people feel the need to be constantly available — and that can contribute to anxiety too, Miami-area licensed clinical psychologist Erika Martinez tells Yahoo Beauty.
“Anxiety is always anticipatory of the future,” she explains. “When you’ve got a smartphone that’s always dinging at you, you’re always in that expectant mode of ‘When is the phone going to ding?’ That in and of itself creates a certain stress response in the body.” And if someone suffers from anxiety and their phone regularly contributes to it, a constant state of heightened anxiety can just become their status quo. “If you’re constantly having that stress response and that’s how you go about every day, all day, it will have adverse effects on your body,” she says.
That’s why a flip phone can be handy — and, as Mayer points out, less intrusive too. “We don’t get the same level of aggressive and intrusive stimuli from the flip phones, and we don’t hear the buzzes and rings as much,” he says.
Of course, not everyone feels anxious because of their smartphone. Anxiety can be spurred by a slew of different things. If you feel like you’re more anxious than you should be, experts say it’s important to recognize what it is about your daily life that could be contributing to your stress. Mayer recommends taking stock of your environment at home, work, and life, and thinking about the stimuli you’re exposed to, like a TV always being on, music constantly playing, and work email alerts regularly pinging. Then do what you can to minimize those intrusions.
For example, if work stresses you out, Martinez recommends trying to cut down on the number of times you check your email when you’re out of the office. “Limit it to once or twice a day and know that you’ve done your best,” she says. If social media is making you frazzled, turn off the alerts on your phone and only allow yourself a certain time every day to check your accounts.
“Realizing how things are affecting you and taking back control is important,” Martinez says. Obviously, certain anxiety-provokers like work are difficult to avoid for a prolonged period of time. But if you can, Mayer recommends attempting to avoid or severely cut back on them where you can and seeing if it makes a difference in your stress level. Then slowly reintroduce the ones you can’t do without, and try to stop at a level you feel comfortable with. You may not need to go the flip phone route, but you may decide push notifications just aren’t for you.
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