Are you feeling stressed even though you cannot pinpoint the particular source of the stress? Do you feel like if you don’t have your phone or your tablet with you, checking it every minute, something might go terribly wrong? If you answered yes to any of these questions it is probably because you are suffering from what is known as tech stress. We have become so reliant on our devices that many people have began to feel that they cannot do without them. What they don’t realize is this is a source of stress and if you don’t take a step back it may become quite serious. If you feel like the world will stop if you are away from your phone or your computer it is time for you to push the technology away a little and adapt healthy habits. Here are some tips that you can use:

1.    Much of the reason why we want to look at our devices all the time is because we are afraid that we will miss something or someone will need us and we will not be available. The best way to cure yourself of this is to try switching off a little at a time. Give yourself one hour each day. On the first day you will probably feel like you’re going crazy – don’t worry because you are not. It is quite normal and during the next few days you will see that reality doesn’t cease to exist simply because you cannot be reached.

2.    Be precise in your communication and let people know when you will be available. We have already mentioned that tech stress comes from feeling like if you switch off people may not find you when they need you. If this is the case for you then you should be more precise and tell them that you will get back to them at such and such a time. In your emails, for instance, you can attach a small line at the end that says “I will get back to you at…”. This way, expectations are reduced and you are able to relax better.

3.    Keep a “tech time” as much as possible. This means that there are only certain times in a day that you can pay attention to the net. Some people prefer, for instance, to reply all their emails in the morning g rather than as they come in. This way, there is less pressure to keep looking at your devices. Set aside a time for Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Unless you are a journalist these are not things that you need to look at all the time. If you set aside the evening to deal with social media, for instance, you will find your days a lot more settled.

4.    Making a list will go a long way in helping should you be side tracked by your devices during the day. You know how it happens – your phone pings that you have a new notification so you read it and then it has a link so you click on it and then there is another interesting link and so on. By the end, you have been distracted from your work for more than a few minutes. You try to rack your brain to remember what you were doing before you got distracted but you can’t – at least not for a few minutes anyway. If you have a list you will be able to get back to your tasks faster.

5.    Affirm to yourself that you have a choice. You are not a slave to your devices. You don’t have to look at them every time they ping. In fact, think about it: if it is important enough someone will pick the phone and call you rather than send you a message. This means that you are free to control your devices and not the other way around.

6.    Weed out the crap. If you are honest to yourself you know that very little of what you look at on your devices is essential. In most cases, we are chatting with others about p[treaty inconsequential crap or looking up information that in no way will help your life. How does it help you to Tweet all the time? What are you Tweeting about and if you stopped what would happen? True, other will miss you for a split second and then they will move on.

7.    Lastly, learn to stop yourself if you catch yourself looking at your devices when you shouldn’t be. Give yourself a reality check, stop immediately and go on to a more useful task.

These tips will help you get rid of tech stress over time.