Cannot believe how much of a difference it made in my life to turn down the ringer volume! Wow! I don't answer the phone anyway if I don't know the caller. There's so many robo-calls that seem to happen, even though I'm on the Do Not Call list. But even getting the calls and ignoring them seems utterly exhausting with the ringer turned up. It just adds an extra layer of stress in my life that honestly, NO-ONE needs. So I turned down the ringer to the lowest volume that was still a ring tone (not just vibrate or silent) and it made all the difference!
My phone rang just a few minutes ago, and it didn't sound so strident and demanding anymore! And I'm not really worried about missing legitimate calls: I figure that if it's anyone who actually knows me they'll leave a voice message, or just text me. Mostly my phone is with me so I hear it. And if I'm the middle of something busy outdoors and I don't hear my phone, is that the end of the world? It most certainly should not be. If I'm that worried about missing something I can always decide to check my phone every 15 minutes or so to see if I've missed any calls. In most instances 15 mins or so is easily within an acceptable time to call back the other person.
I've in the past also turned off my phone entirely for an hour at a time and just turned it on every hour to check calls and texts. The only problem with doing that is that sometimes I forget to turn it back on. So a low ringer volume is preferable if I don't really want to miss calls altogether. I still like to turn my phone off periodically when I'm trying to get a lot done, because then I definitely notice my productivity increase. But other times, I like for calls to be able to get through.
Anyway, turning down the ringer volume turned out to be so helpful to me that I thought I'd post this in my diary here in case it helped anyone else that might happen to read it. I realize it's not going to work for everyone, a lot of people need to be much more easily reachable than a low ringer volume will allow. But at least at times when you wouldn't be able to go anywhere or do anything because you're already doing something, then having a low ringtone can make life so much more enjoyable.