Before I get into it, I would say that this was the question that I asked myself today. Just like any other person nowadays I started my Sunday morning scrolling mindlessly through Instagram. I stayed there for almost an hour. When I finally put my phone down, I was left with a feeling of anxiousness which I couldn’t explain. I didn’t know why I was feeling like this but I knew that I felt uncomfortable. Seeing the nice views and the breathtaking vacation pictures, I felt so bland and dull. It made me a bit sad and also gave me anxiety.
But that was also a Eureka moment for me and I found the topic for my next article to write. When I began researching, I was hit with a lot of stats which weren’t surprising.
Young adults and adolescents who use social media reported an increase in psychological distress and suicidal thoughts. The study conducted in 2017 also says that the child suicide rates have also increased by 150%. While 32% of kids aged 12-17 report anxiety.
While social media can make a great way to meet new people, socialize and build your network, it also becomes very easy to get sucked into it. It’s very addictive and even when we know it is harming our mental health, we cannot seem to let it go.
So, these are some tips that I like to try when I feel social media is fueling my anxiety-
1. Connect the invisible anxiety with reality-
If you feel anxious and tense for no apparent reason and you might feel that something is wrong but you cannot put a pin on it. Then look at the reality. Look around you, feel things, talk to someone. Slowly try to comprehend the reality and understand that it was a haze.
2. Detach from social media from time to time-
We all talk about but only some of us can do it. In this age and time, when knowledge is power, we cannot handle the thought that we might be the last person to know things. You can also call it FOMO (fear of missing out). Taking breaks from social media helps us in acknowledging that there is an actual world behind that screen.
3. Don’t feel compelled to portray a seemingly perfect life-
This is for those who feel that portraying a good life on socials will make them feel better about their life. It is an excellent source of instant gratification indeed but it turns harmful when a person becomes too fixated on creating those picture-perfect moments that they forget to live them. You will be anxious about creating the next fab picture.
4. Detach from those who harm your mental health-
Some people just seem to fuel our anxiety and make us feel tensed. Yet out of societal compulsions we choose to be in touch with them. Though if it gets to a point where you feel it is harming your mental health then choose yourself and do the needful. You don’t have to feel guilty about it.
5. Prioritize self on those extra stressful days-
Some days you can tell yourself that what you see on social media is not entirely real but on the other day, the bad ones you will feel anxious and sad even after knowing this. In those bad days, put more emphasis on self-care. Pamper yourself by doing the things that you love and make you feel good.
Life functions even when you don’t know about every update of your favorite celeb or without watching the vacation pictures of your friend. Life goes on and find what makes you peaceful outside the screen and explore it. Hope it helps.
image source: www.pixabay.com