There are lots of articles about how bad social media is for your mental health.
I wanted to offer a different perspective.
I think there are actually a lot of positive effects of social media on mental health and we can actually use them as a tool to learn coping skills and improve our well being.
I created a podcast full of tough love social media advice to help you learn how to use social media to improve your mental health.
You can give it a listen below and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes.
Take Radical Responsibility
I know this is going to upset people but I mean this as a way to empower people.
The media wants to tell you that social media is bad for your mental health and makes people upset or depressed.
I believe that no social media platform can make me feel an emotion. I believe that my emotions come from my thoughts.
It’s the stories that you tell about the pictures you see on Instagram that create your feelings, not the images themselves.
That’s why some people can look at an image and tell themselves “wow, that looks amazing I’m so happy for them” and feel happy while another person can look at the same image and think “I’m such a loser I’ve never even been on a vacation and I’m thirty years old” and feel like crap.
It’s not the images causing the feelings.
Its the thoughts or narratives that you’re attaching to the images that are provoking the emotions.
Use The Information
Instead of complaining and blaming Instagram for your unhappiness you can notice when you get triggered and use that information to further your personal growth.
Notice what narratives are you telling about the images that are provoking the negative emotions.
This is a great indication of where you still have work to do and where you need to raise your self-worth.
Instead of getting upset at the platform for making you feel less-than you can use it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself.
Knowing where you still have inner work to do is great information to have and is necessary if you want to transform your life.
Sit down with your journal and ask yourself some of these questions:
- Why did this image upset me or make me feel inadequate?
- What story or narrative was I telling myself about this image?
- Is that story an indisputable scientific fact?
- What is a more empowering story I can tell myself instead?
Don’t Make It Mean Anything About You
So often we have emotional reactions to social media because we make other people’s images and posts mean something about US.
The truth is, other people’s lives and social media posts don’t have anything to do with you.
If you’re in the habit of making other people’s posts mean something about you start becoming more intentional when you consume social media.
When you start to tell stories about your life based on what other people are doing or talking about stop yourself.
Being aware of when you’re attaching meaning to someone else experiences gives you the opportunity to choose a different thought and can help you redirect your thoughts.
If you’re not in a place where you’re able to consume social media in a healthy way it might be necessary for you to take a break.
I’ve taken breaks off social media during times of my life when I really needed to focus on myself and my mindset.
If you’re at a place in your life where you’re not able to redirect your thoughts while you’re on social media it might be time to delete the apps for a little while.
I do think working through the emotions that social media brings up can be useful but I also recognize sometimes taking time away can help you anchor back into yourself and give you a new perspective.
Follow Uplifting Accounts
I love my social media because it is all curated with lots of travel, fitness, personal development, and creative people.
When I scroll Instagram I get really inspired and excited about life.
I would suggest that you follow more accounts that excite you so hanging out on social media becomes inspiring and positive.
The reality is most of us spend a lot of time on social media and if you can follow people that empower you it will have a positive impact on your mindset.
Find accounts to follow that focus on your hobbies or things that you’re passionate about.
If there are books you like to read or podcasts you like to listen to most of the hosts and authors will have accounts on social media where they create content.
You can also follow my account @radicaltransformationproject where I share my personal transformation journey as well as stories featuring my sweet rescue dog Charlie.
Want more positive social media accounts to follow? Check out this post of the ten happiest Instagram accounts to follow.
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