Social media can inflict a range of emotions on everyone and can often be a negative trigger, putting a strain on your mental health. What you see on the internet only reflects a small part of reality or may even be completely false and can influence your perception of real life. Nonetheless, social media is beginning to take over, and most people are being exposed to an overwhelming amount of information. With this in mind, self-preservation is very important to maintain your mental wellbeing, so here are a few ways in which you can stop social media in affecting your mental health.
Be mindful of your feeds
Filtering through your social media by blocking and muting any unwanted content can be an easy place to start. Whilst scrolling through mindlessly, some things you come cross can give rise to feelings of jealousy, sadness, frustration or even anger. The effects of these emotions may seem minimal, but since issues like low self-esteem, anxiety and depression have all shown to be linked with social media use, it is clear they have the ability to build up and grow to be very harmful.
Acknowledging that not everything you see is reality and removing anything that may alter your perception of it can be helpful in diminishing those negative emotions. It is also important to accept that your reaction to certain things may be valid – but since you cannot control what other people post, the best way to deal with these feelings is by controlling what you are exposed to.
Take a break to reflect
For those who find filtering difficult at first, or are feeling extremely overwhelmed, logging off completely may help ease this. It can also give you time to reflect on how you use social media and how it affects your wellbeing. Do you spend too much time online? Do you tend to compare yourself to others? How much do you benefit from your social media interactions?
Take some time to determine how you can change the way you approach the internet and how you can implement other hobbies or interests into your everyday life. Browsing the internet for hours can feel like a split second sometimes, so try to dedicate a set amount of time to a different and more stimulating task every day to slowly reduce your social media usage.
Connect with others
Using social media as a distraction and outlet is very common for individuals who may not experience as much social interaction. Communicating with people in real life can help you build new relationships with those who may have common interests and can also strengthen your existing relationships. It can also bring you away from the “perfect” yet false world of social media and help you connect back with reality.
The current state of the modern world means it is almost impossible to live without a phone or laptop which naturally means we are exposed to things that may not be the best for our mental wellbeing. By making an effort to filter and reduce your time spent on social media you may find that your mental health may be affected a lot less. In fact, there are endless resources online that can help you improve it!