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Challenge 5: Fix something that's bothering you about your phone

A small change can mean a peaceful mind.

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IT’S WEEK TWO of our Live A Better Life series, and it’s all about challenging yourself.

On the 10th day of the series, we’re looking at what’s bothering us about our phone, and whether that can lead to unnecessary stress.

This can be something big, or something tiny. But it’s something that’s niggling at you.

  • Is your screen a bit cracked? Does the cover need a bit of love? Are your apps arranged badly? Does your phone need a bit of TLC?

Sometimes, we have small things that bother us that hover in the background, causing us minute but still noticeable stress.

A 2014 study shows that ‘hassles’, or small stresses, can actually affect mortality in men. It found that people with ‘medium hassles’ that increased in late life had a 63% higher mortality risk, while those with consistently high hassles “had independent effects on mortality”.

Should your phone be a hassle? No.

(Here’s a longer read about studies on the affect of stress on our health.)

That’s why we should try and curb the amount of little stresses something like a phone brings to our lives.

So today:

  • If your phone is broken, look up a qualified repair centre and arrange a repair date
  • If you have a tech question about your phone, google the question or ask a tech-minded friend. Or browse our Q-Tip series which has lots of little tech hints and tips.
  • Need a new cover, or one that helps prevent breaks? Go shopping for one or look online. Places like Society6 are great if you want a cover that has a print designed by an independent artist.
  • Want to change something about how your phone is laid out, what apps you prioritise, or set a new home screen? Take the time to do that.
  • Do you need new headphones or a new charger? Shop around.

Here are some examples our writers shared:

I had a spot on my camera lens for months that drove me to distraction. I even left it into a repair place to get it fixed. It eventually went away but it was stressful.
Anytime a permission gets enabled unexpectedly and things don’t work the way they should will have me stressed until I’ve fixed it.
I hate not getting notifications from some apps. You have to change about a hundred settings on my phone to always get them.
I had an old phone that was stressing me out by freaking out and hitting random buttons whenever it was on an Edge connection. I fixed this by… getting a new phone. But seriously that was driving me insane. I forgot that it was actually nice sometimes to use a smartphone.
Memory really stressed me out. Now I have Google photos, so all my photos are automatically saved to it whenever I connect to wifi (so if I lose my phone I still have my pictures). When that filled up I just bought more Google Photos storage, which wasn’t expensive. Cheaper than buying a harddrive. It’s great cos I don’t have to stress all the time about clearing my memory.
The phone I have now is slow to open apps, open the camera, the keyboard freezes frequently etc. It’s an old phone and it used to drive me absolutely mad. I switched back to after dropping my new one in the loo (three weeks after I got it) and I actually find all of that less annoying. I think it’s because I’m generally more zen about my phone anyway, so I put it away from me more frequently at home and the keyboard issue forces me to take breaks from texting and just call people.

Don’t have an issue with your phone? Then happy days. Enjoy the break.

Join us next week when we’ll be looking at the major tech stressors that can bother you, from questions about your bill to how to make sure your phone privacy is secure.

Let us know how the second week of Live A Better Life has been going for you in the comments. 

Live A Better Life: The series so far>

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