What Is Nomophobia And How Do you Know If You Have It

Ever rummaged through your pockets or bags trying desperately to find your phone?

Well, it turns out you might actually have what’s called Nomophobia.

It's an actual phobia, coined by British researchers in the pre-iPhone days of 2008. The term is an abbreviation for "no-mobile-phone phobia."

What is it you ask? Well, it’s the fear of being without access to a working mobile phone. It’s an actual phobia, although not technically recognised as a mental disorder.

More than a quarter of Australians suffer from Nomophobia, according to smartphone manufacturer Huawei. In a survey of more than 1000 Australians, a massive 96 percent carry their phones on them at all times.

Our phones have become an extension of ourselves. We check them first thing in the morning and last thing at night, take them into the bathroom, and panic at the sight of a low battery warning. And when we're not on them it feels as though we have missed out on so much.

We scroll for hours through apps like Instagram and Twitter, or else rely on our phones so much for mundane tasks like banking and directions that we'd flounder without them.

So, have smartphones taken over our lives? Some believe they have.

While some may live in the moment, some of us are so consumed with our mobile phones we don’t stop to enjoy the moments in life, like having dinner with company or holding actual conversations with neighbours.

Not only can it cause anxiety or stress, but dependence on mobile phones can affect your relationships.

But don't worry: there's a cure -- kinda.

According to one wellness doctor and chiropractor, Dr. Josh Axe, there are certain steps you can take to lessen your dependence on phones.

To enjoy a life that’s complemented and not ruled by your smartphone, you have to "stop shacking up with your phone", he writes.

Get an alarm clock, turn your phone off at least an hour before bed, and work on engaging in real human contact. Liking someone's Instagram selfie doesn't count.

To find out if you have Nomophobia, watch the video above.