Ahh, the superficial realm of social media. Don’t you love it? There’s nothing better than scrolling through Instagram and seeing millions of people with perfect lives. Meanwhile, you’re elbow deep in a bag of chips and simultaneously double-tapping a post about the benefits of green juice. I’m guilty of it. We’re all guilty of it. But the question is why. Why do we feel the need to portray such perfect, edited, and curated lives on social media? And what effect could this possibly be having on our mental health?
Here Comes The Self-Doubt
For me personally, I have been there and done that. There are times when I’m scrolling and I instantly feel my mood start to go down. The self-comparison begins to creep up and I start questioning myself.
“Why can’t I travel to cool places?”
“Why am I not engaged yet?”
“Why isn’t my life perfect?”
Self doubt is a tough thing to deal with especially when you see everyone around you doing amazing things in their lives. But the truth is, social media is not real life. And this is something that I’ve had to drill in my head for years.
Stop Negative Thinking In Its Tracks
If you feel yourself beginning to fall into a negative black hole, remind yourself that Instagram and social media are just highlight reels. Sure, some people post depressing stuff, but for the most part, it’s nothing but curated perfection left and right. Remind yourself that people on Instagram have real issues and real problems just like you. They just don’t show it. I’m 10000% percent guilty of it, too. Of course I’m only going to post the good stuff. Why would I want to post about my problems for people who could probably care less about them anyway? The same thing goes for everyone else. Just because their problems aren’t visible, doesn’t mean that they don’t have them.
Here’s What You Can Do
- Cut your screen time. If you have an iPhone, go into your settings and set up downtime. This setting allows you to customize which apps you can use, what time you can use them, and how long you can spend on your phone daily.
- Get some fresh air. If I feel myself getting down, I immediately get outdoors and into the sunshine. Most people spend a lot of time indoors. I do, too. But Vitamin D is so important for our overall health and wellbeing. I also like to throw on some workout clothes and walk my dog for a good 20 or 30 minutes. Doing this allows me to combat any negative feelings that I may be having that day.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise. I know the last thing that you want to do when you’re feeling down is exercise, but I promise it will make you feel 10 times better. I personally have found that working on my own health and fitness has helped me feel more confident in my own body instead of comparing it to others on social media.
- Do something productive. If you’re spending more time focusing on other people’s lives instead of your own, then it’s no wonder why you’re feeling down. Get up and do something productive with your time. I like to blast music and clean my house or go out and run some errands. Perhaps you could work on a project or pick up a new hobby. Do something that will make you feel accomplished and happy with your own life. I can tell you first-hand that productivity always makes me feel a billion times better.
- Focus on real relationships. Don’t get so caught up in the realm of social media that you forget to nurture your real-life relationships. Ask a friend out for lunch or go see a movie together. P.s. put the phones away when you hangout. Live in the moment and enjoy real socialization.
Perfection Isn’t Real
At the end of the day, no one is perfect. Remember to love yourself and love the life that you’re living. If you’re feeling down about where you’re at in life, use it as fuel to project yourself toward a life that you do want. Most importantly, protect your mental health and don’t get too caught up in social media.
What are some ways that you pull yourself out of negative comparison? Let me know in a comment.
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