Are You Addicted to the Internet?

social media addictionIf you think you may have a problem with internet addiction then please read on… Most people have Internet access these days and we’re used to hopping online at touch of a button when we need information about something or want to buy something, for example. This convenience has made life simpler in a lot of ways but it has also opened the door to a relatively new form of addiction.

As with social media addiction, Internet addiction is affecting a growing number of people. It can become a form of compulsive behaviour, rather than something practical or enjoyable.
Worryingly, this includes children, many of whom know how to use the Internet from an early age.
Here’s how to spot the signs of Internet addiction and how hypnotherapy can be used to successfully overcome the problem.

Why Do People Get Addicted to the Internet?

For some people, going online can be a distraction or a way to escape feelings such as loneliness, depression and anxiety.
Research from the University of Iowa has found that it’s quite common for depressed young males aged between 20 and 30 to be addicted to the Internet, for example.

Signs of an Internet Addiction

Here are some signs that you may be addicted to the Internet:
  • Frequently or constantly thinking about your online activities and what you’ll do when you next get online
  • Reaching for your phone or logging onto your tablet or smartphone whenever you have time to kill rather than finding other ways to pass the time
  • Feeling guilty about the amount of time you spend online but not being successful in cutting down your Internet usage
  • Spending lots of time online and losing track of the amount of time you’re really online for
  • Not being able to get work or household tasks completed because you’ve spent so much time online
  • Creating “another world” in which you interact with online friends on message boards, dating sites, chat rooms etc  – often instead of forming social bonds in real life. This may include creating a completely new persona for yourself due to self-esteem issues
  • Feeling depressed, anxious, moody, lonely, angry and restless if you can’t be online as much as you wanted or if you’re deliberately trying to cut back on your Internet usage
  • Experiencing physical side effects from your Internet usage such as neck, back and shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, and vision problems
An Internet addiction can potentially have some serious consequences. Addictions, in general, tend to have a detrimental effect on work life, school life, relationships and family, and Internet addiction is no exception to this.
If you’re spending a lot of time online, it’s likely that your social relationships will suffer, especially if you find yourself focusing on virtual connections online instead. Excessive Internet usage tends to happen in seclusion and isolation and often replaces real life social interactions.
Some Internet addicts also see their finances affected, particularly if online shopping or online gambling is a key part of your online activities.
Mental health and wellbeing are often strongly impacted too. Internet addiction can increase anxiety and stress levels, encourage loneliness and depression and disrupt your ability to sleep well.

How Hypnotherapy Can Help With Internet Addiction

As with any type of addiction, the key is to break the hold that the Internet has over you and regain control of your online activities.
If there are underlying issues triggering your Internet usage, these will need to be looked at first before you’ll be a good position for hypnotherapy to be successful.
One of the big plus points that hypnotherapy has for treating Internet addiction is the ability to tap into your unconscious mind and suggest alternative ways to deal with negative emotions, for example.
If you always look to use the Internet as an escape for feeling bored, lonely or anxious, hypnotherapy can cut your Internet usage quite significantly as your mind can “see” other options besides going online.
In short, hypnotherapy can give you the platform you need to break your dependency on the Internet and form a healthier relationship with it that isn’t compulsive or out of control.