How To Cope With Notification Anxiety?
Have you ever experienced notification anxiety? This is when you can see those big red badges across your apps, taunting you, or when you can hear your phone pinging and you are too worried to look at it. The anxiety can come with feelings of overwhelm, stress and can even result in panic attacks. We spoke to Amrit-Sadhana Boyd, Licensed Holistic Health & Anxiety Coach and Founder of Body Bliss Life to help us cope with those worries.
1. “I get very anxious when I get a text from my boss outside working hours. I think the reason I am scared is because I worry about if I have done something wrong at work…”
Amrit-Sadhana: First off, I think that most of us have that reaction. If you’re getting a text from your boss outside work, it’s only natural that you think something is up. When it comes to anxiety, it’s about connecting with the reality that you don’t have any control over what your boss says to you, but you do have control over how you react. Here is what I would recommend:
- Stop and taking 3 deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Close your eyes and reminding yourself that there is no current threat or danger. Try not to react over something you don’t know yet
- Once you feel grounded, check the text and handle the scenario from that space rather than from fear and anxiety.
2. “I get stressed out every time I see an email notification from my work inbox. It makes me wonder if I should reply now? Or later? What if it’s urgent? How can I cope with this?”
Amrit-Sadhana: Depending on the nature of your job, I think it’s really healthy to set boundaries around when you answer work emails outside of work hours. So if you have the ability to, just say “I’m done with work for today, this can wait until tomorrow.” And then truly let it go. If it is going to ruin your evening because it’s all you are thinking about, take the 5 minutes to answer the email. But the optimal scenario it just being like “this can wait until the morning.” Take a deep breath and on the exhale, let it go.
3. “I feel like I can’t breathe when I see so many notifications from WhatsApp, Instagram & email on my phone. It just makes me feel so overwhelmed and sometimes I want to switch to airplane mode, so I can ignore everything.”
Amrit-Sadhana: I would highly recommend turning off your notifications for all of these apps and having boundaries around when you check them. I don’t have any notifications on my phone for that exact reason. We live in a world where we think we need to be accessible and reachable at all times and reality is that we don’t! Most things can wait until the next morning or a few hours to be answered. So do yourself a favour, turn off the notifications and then have times when you check them throughout the day planned out.
4. “Most of my texts are coming from my group chats – I have huge FOMO, and I don’t want to miss out on anything. But also, I want to stay focused at work. What should I do?”
Amrit-Sadhana: I too used to have crazy FOMO. What I would recommend is turning off the notification for group chats during your work day so that you can focus on what you need to do. Yes, it is a challenge, but you will feel less anxious and more grounded when you establish boundaries around this. Those messages will be there when you are done. This is a huge practice in self-care.
Do you have notification anxiety – Do you find this useful?