Staying in touch with loved ones has become very important during the pandemic as that’s the only way we can stay connected. Such being the case, voice calls become a very important tool given perhaps your data pack might’ve been exhausted, Wi-fi not up to par or you’re done with your average screen time for the day.

However, for some people, making or receiving calls can be quite a stressful experience. Phone anxiety is the fear and avoidance of phone conversations and is common among those with social anxiety disorder.

Having a hatred for your phone doesn’t necessarily mean that you have phone anxiety, although the two go hand-in-hand. There are many people who dislike making or receiving calls. However, if this dislike causes you to experience certain symptoms such as nausea, increased heart rate or muscular tension, you may have phone anxiety.

According to a 2019 survey of UK office workers, 76% of millennials and 40% of boomers have anxious thoughts when their phone rings. And of which 61% of millennials completely avoid calls, compared with 42% of baby boomers.

Read more: Demystified: Do You Ever Feel That ‘You Don’t Belong Here’, Be It Amongst Friends, At Work, Or In Class?

Perhaps You (Too) Have Phone Anxiety

It might not be a surprising thing in case you do diagnose yourself with phone anxiety, however, that might not be the case as well. 

For instance, a quick Google search diagnoses me with early-stage phone anxiety. Although, I don’t manifest the majority of the symptoms of phone anxiety except for my inability to focus and getting distracted around the two-minute mark.

There is also the case of being filled with unfathomable rage when the person on the other end refuses to come to the point of the conversation and tries to keep me on the phone even after my seventh “Anyway, I gotta go now” phrase. I also get the same symptoms when my smartphone indicator won’t stop blinking due to new messages.

However, that doesn’t fall under the category of phone anxiety at all. On the other hand, if you happen to experience some emotional symptoms such as delaying or avoiding making calls because of heightened anxiety, feeling extremely nervous or anxious before, during and after the call and obsessing or worrying about what you’ll say along with the physical symptoms mentioned earlier, then that might be a completely different story.

How Can You Cope-Up With Phone Anxiety

It’s easy to avoid calls when you’re feeling anxious, but the more you procrastinate, the worse the anxiety is likely to get. One of the most effective ways to overcome phone anxiety is to do the deed. That’s right, pick up the calls when they come. 

It’s as if the more you expose yourself to phone calls, the less overwhelming it becomes. It’s also a probability that your phone anxiety might be linked to a lack of experience than the anxiety per se. The more practice you have, the less anxious and more confident you’ll feel.

If that too doesn’t help then seek professional help. Counselling is a great option and there are a number of talking therapies available. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a very effective treatment for social anxiety. You can also search and opt for an online option as an alternative if you feel a bit nervous about speaking to someone in person.

However, if you are going through the symptoms such as mine then you don’t have phone anxiety rather because of your manager’s constant calls for updates, HR coerces you into attending Video Zoom calls for morale-boosting and family members checking in on you every few hours to the point that you feel a cold sense of dread creeping up on self as your phone screen lights up with a call.

Image credits: Google images, Unsplash

Sources: Elle, The Cut, The Print

Find the blogger at @sejalsejals38

This post is tagged under: Phone anxiety, What is phone anxiety, Social anxiety, Do I have phone anxiety, nausea, increased heart rate, muscular tension, What are the symptoms of phone anxiety, Who are prone to phone anxiety, Is phone anxiety really harmful, Mental health, Mental wellness

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