Is Social Media Negatively Affecting Your Mental Health?
There’s no denying the benefits of social media. Along with making connections, these platforms can grow your business and be a valuable source of information and inspiration.
While social media gives us access to an abundance of information, how much is too much? When used excessively, social media is scientifically-proven to trigger anxiety, lower self-esteem and damage your mental health.
It’s human nature to compare yourself to others. However, comparison can quickly turn into idealization and lead to feelings of unworthiness. And the worst part? It’s completely unrealistic. All you’re seeing is the highlights, achievements, and everything presented in the best possible light. You aren’t seeing the full picture: the failures, disappointments, and low moments.
Besides causing feelings of insecurity and anxiety, social media is also highly addictive. Many people thrive on the validation that comes with the number of likes and followers they get. They spend hours scrolling, and even if they’re out socially, they are more focused on posting about their lives than living it.
If you have unhealthy habits, taking a social media break is the first step to improve your mental state.
4 Steps to Improve Your Relationship with Social Media
Write down and assess your habits
First, you need to keep track of the amount of time you’re spending on each platform. How often are you checking? Is there a certain time of day when you’re more tempted to look? How long are you online?
Next, ask yourself how you feel during and after. Write down the emotions you experience. It’s important to be as specific as possible. The more detailed your notes, the more you will be able to see patterns and triggers.
Set boundaries and come up with a plan of action
If you browse through your social media first thing in the morning, you could come up with a rule that you won’t go online until after you’ve had breakfast.
The goal is to set a reward system where you earn time on social media. Schedule specific times for browsing. This will improve your self-discipline and help you become less attached to it.
Fill your time with other activities
Spending less time online will not only make you more productive, but you’ll have more time for activities you enjoy. Read, go for a bike ride, meditate and whatever interests you.
Reflect on your new mental state
After taking a break for a week, ask yourself how often you’re tempted to check social media. How are you feeling? Is there an improvement since the beginning?
By taking a social media break, it will help you feel more in control of your emotions.
You can continue with the break until you feel more mentally healthy. Everyone is different, so be patient with yourself! And if you have a weak moment, don’t dwell on it. With enough practice, this will become easier and a healthy habit you’ll want to embrace.
After following this step-by-step approach, please let us know how it worked for you!