posted by Dr. Sheri   | 3 Comment(s)

heart in stethoscope

heart in stethoscopeDr. Sheri’s Tips for Cutting Down the Clicks

Recovering from an Internet addiction is just like recovering from any other addiction. In addition to committing to Internet “rehab”, you’ll need to address the underlying problems that led to your becoming susceptible to it in the first place, such as boredom, anxiety and depression.

Tip #1: Build up your “real life” social network. Quality real life relationships can lessen your need for online relationships.  Set aside time daily to spend totally UNPLUGGED with friends and family. 

Tip #2: Set use goals and stick to them. Limit the amount of time you spend online with the help of a timer. Commit to turning off your computer, tablet or smartphone after a certain hour in the evenings and spend that time with your family instead.

Tip #3: Treat the Internet as a tool, not as a best friend.  Technology has become an indispensible pipeline of information  and interaction and thus, is hard, if not impossible to give it up entirely. Be mindful of the exact reason you’re getting online and stick to that reason. Don’t let a check of the weekend weather turn into a two-hour stint following threads on Facebook.

Tip #4: Alter your routine, break your usage patterns.  Take note of the times of day you’re most vulnerable to mindlessly surfing the Internet and then take action to disrupt those habits with alternative behavior: take a walk, call a friend, play with your kids or pets, or run an errand. 

Just like any other addiction, there will be withdrawal symptoms when you take away the drug of choice—in this case, the dopamine hit you get from Internet use. You’ll look for ways to justify going back to it, and you’ll have slip ups every now and then. The key is to not let small setbacks lead to a major failure. Be compassionate with yourself and ask for help when you need it. Take it one day at a time. Eventually, you’ll find yourself able to enjoy the Internet and social media for what it was intended to be—a tool that adds fun and interest to everyday life—and not something that it was never intended to be—an escape from everyday life.

Do you have any advice for overcoming addiction?

This article was written by Dr. Sheri Meyers, America’s leading love and intimacy expert, and published on the Katie Show.  To see the ORIGINAL post please click here.

 



3 Responses to INTERNET REHAB: How To Break Your Addictive Patterns

  1. Erica says:

    What a great list! Between online dating, working from home, shopping online, and keeping up with friends on Facebook, it seems that everything that I do lately is online. I grew up camping and hiking and I couldn’t tell you for the life of me that last time I had on a good pair of boots and was away from the internet for an entire weekend. It’s a tough habit to break.

    • queenbee says:

      I grew up exactly the same way and so did my husband. About a year ago we decided to put an end to it and picked up mountain biking. It has seriously changed our entire lives. Not only how we spend our time but also how we interact with each other. Before we would just spend hours on the computer every night before limping off to bed. Needless to say it’s a lot better now =)

  2. becky says:

    its crazy how much of an issue this has become lately. it used to be that people would just go outside or go to their neighbors house for updates on the neighborhood gossip, now everyone just looks online for everything. I wish we could return to the days before the internet when everyone actually talked to each other! wouldn’t that be strange? I would miss being able to check my facebook though.

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posted by Dr. Sheri   | 2 Comment(s)

Are you addicted to the internet?

When does being constantly connected and forming cyber relationships cross the line between one of life’s little pleasures into a full-blown and dangerous cyber- addiction? Take this quiz to find out…

Ah…the allure of the Internet and social media.  Nowadays, our computers, smart phones, gaming devices and tablets have become the virtual gateway and convenient one-stop wonderland for many of our personal, social, professional and recreational needs.  Logging on can bring instant relief to feelings of loneliness, stress and boredom, supplying an unlimited source of entertainment and stimulation anytime, anyplace 24/7.

DrSheri.com_Internet addiction (2) With every notification, tweet, comment or “like”, you get a little thrill in the form of a shot of dopamine, a feel-good brain chemical that is released during pleasurable experiences, such as falling in love or riding a roller coaster.  That cocktail of brain chemistry can easily lead to a dangerous addiction, hazardous to your relationship as any substance abuse.   Part stimulant, part emotional tranquilizer, it’s easy to get hooked.     

GOING ONLINE IS LIKE GETTING HIGH ON A DRUG

You find yourself  spending time more and more time  online, triggering the click that will get that you that next “hit.” The time you spend online seems to fly.  You tell yourself (and your family) that you’re just going to check your status, do some research, get some work done and hours later, you realize you’ve spent the entire evening online—AGAIN.

Meanwhile, you find yourself zoning out with your kids or spouse, thinking about the last thing you posted and whether anyone has read it. You can’t seem to tolerate boredom, and lately, your days feel more and more boring when you’re not online.


ARE YOU ADDICTED?  

Take the Quiz and Find Out…

Answer one of three ways:  Always    Sometimes     Never

Are you addicted to the internet?

1. How often do you check your e-mail, send a text, or make a post before doing something else that you really need to do?

2. How often do you choose the stimulation of the Internet to intimacy with your partner or spending quality time with your kids?

3. How often do you put aside other work, chores and responsibilities to spend more time online?

Are you addicted to the internet?4. How often do your kids, partner or family complain about the amount of time you spend online?

5. How often do you get angry or annoyed when a family member talks to you while you’re online? 

6. How often do you feel anxious, unhappy, restless or moody when you are off-line, which disappears once you are back on-line?

7. How often do you turn to the Internet for soothing or distraction when you are upset, bored or lonely?

8. How often do you lose sleep or feel exhausted the next day because of late night log-ins or texting?

9. How often does your real life seem dull in comparison with how you feel when you are online?

10. How often do you stay online longer than you planned and keep telling yourself “just a few more minutes”?

11. How often have you promised to cut back on the time you spend online, texting, or emailing and failed?

12. How often do you minimize or deny the amount of time you spend online when asked by your partner, family or friends?

Scoring

Tally up how many times you answered “always”, “sometimes” and “never.”

If you answered “never”, CONGRATULATIONS, you are NOT addicted to the Internet.

If you answered “always”  to 2 or more  OR “sometimes” to 4 or more of the above questions, it’s time to consider some Internet Rehab.   Click HERE to read my recommendations to help you break your addiction and get your life back on track. 

Part 2Relationship Rehab:  Dr Sheri’s Tips for Reducing the Clicks

This article was written by Dr. Sheri Meyers, America’s leading love and intimacy expert, and published on the Katie Show.  To see the ORIGINAL post please click here.

 

 



2 Responses to QUIZ: Is the Internet Your Drug of Choice? Find out here.

  1. JenA. says:

    Well this was certainly a surprise! It’s amazing how you can think something is just a guilty pleasure, like spending hours stalking old friends on facebook, but it turns out that I’m spending waaaaay too much time online. Thanks for letting me know!

  2. Love this article. Very insightful and a great read!

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