A Seven-Minute Mindful Phone Practice

Follow this guided meditation to become more aware of emotions and body sensations when you use your phone.

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The beeps and buzzes of our devices can also be reminders to take a breath or check in with ourselves. Mark Epstein, a psychiatrist and writer, suggests sometimes not shutting off the cell phone when you meditate. Instead, just sit in meditation and notice the body’s and the mind’s reactions to each beep and buzz of the phone, the stories and urges and emotions as they arise.

As you become more aware of the emotions and body sensations you’re actually inviting into your day when you use your phone, you’ll be able to make better decisions about how to use it wisely.

As you become more aware of the emotions and body sensations you’re actually inviting into your day when you use your phone, you’ll be able to make better decisions about how to use it wisely.

Explore This Mindful Phone Practice

Seven-Minute Mindful Phone Practice

  • 6:51
  1. Hold your phone and power it down. You’re probably already listening to this meditation on your phone. Let’s begin this practice by powering down the screen on your phone, and then picking it up and holding it in your hands. You can allow your eyes to close. 
  2. Observe the object in your hand. Feel the smooth texture of the glass, metal, and plastic. Feel its weight. Become aware of how its size and shape is meant to fit precisely in the palm of your hand. You can allow your eyes to open, or your gaze to fall back on your phone, lifting it and maybe even turning on the screen. Just notice what’s there. 
  3. Notice any thoughts, any associations, or any feelings. Notice any urges or any ambivalence. 
  4. Open your phone. Go ahead and swipe your phone open or type in your code, coming to the home screen. Take a breath in, and a breath out. 
  5. Identify one of your habitual apps. Find the app you use the most and just look at it, again, being aware of sensations, urges, thoughts, and feelings. Go ahead and open the app. Look at all the colors and notifications reaching out to you, asking you to take action in some way. Close your eyes once more. 
  6. Name the sensations you feel in your body.  Again, notice sensations or urges in your body with your eyes closed while knowing that the app is open. Allow your eyes to open and fall on the first headline, the first picture, the first status update that you see. Notice your response; what happens in your body, your mind, with your emotions, and associations. 
  7. Name the emotions you feel. Name the emotions in your mind as you read that first status update or see that first news headline. Stay with that emotion, or that sensation. Take another breath in, close your eyes, feel it, inhale, and exhale. Open your eyes again to the next headline or the next status update. Take a look and notice your first reaction, labeling that first emotion or sensation. 
  8. Stay with your emotions and sensations. Close your eyes once more while still feeling the sensations and noticing the emotions, or the ripple of thoughts, questions, and associations. Take a few more mindful breaths in and feel the breath go in, then feel the breath going back out. Notice the ripple of your thoughts. 
  9. Return to the breath. Take a few more breaths in and a few more breaths out. Feel all the sensations of the “in” breath and sensations of the “out” breath. 
  10. Set your phone or your device back down. Notice any lingering urges, emotional residue, or lingering physical sensations. Allow your eyes to open and bring your awareness to the rest of your senses. Bring your awareness to the entire room or space around you, larger than just your phone and device. If you have time, write about the things that came up for you during this practice.  

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