BY: Janine Mitchell
Change consultant / Changing habits / Remove anxiety
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I caught up with my friend recently. As we chatted about what we had been up to, and he told me he had decided to take himself off all social media. Having had a very large following on Instagram, he decided to remove his account from his phone and restrict his checking in to 15 minutes a week.
This happened around four months ago. It has already changed his life beyond recognition. Before, he may have reported anxiety anywhere from up to 8/10. Since he came off all social media, this has reduced his anxiety right down to a 2/10! How amazing is that in only four months?!
My friend told me before he would be constantly comparing himself to others. Thinking others had a better life than him, or a better standard or quality of life. (Bearing in mind, my friend has one awesome life! – He’s got an amazing family, job and social circle, to name but a few). Whereas now he isn’t doing. He feels this area of his life has changed so much. He finds he cares much less about other people, and their lives, and their possible ‘perfect’ portrayal of them on social media.
He has also found he is more present. He is more in the now, and is less into anxiety, stress or worry.
People can often provide inaccurate portrayals of life on social media. It can then be easy to fall into the thought cycle of ‘my life isn’t so good, others lives are perfect, why can’t I have what they’ve got’. So on and so forth. We often obsess ourselves with other peoples lives and what they are perceived to have, rather than focus on the successes, happinesses and achievements in our own lives. The old adage, ‘Keeping up with the Jones’.
So, how is your current social media usage looking, how does it affect you, what can you do differently, and what difference will it make to your life?
Do you resonate with any of the following anxieties? –
- Other peoples lives look better than mine
- I’ve not got enough ‘likes’
- Other people are having so much more fun than me
- Other people are so much more attractive, better looking then me
You get the picture. What we are doing is comparing ourselves to others, rather than being in the moment and enjoying what our life has to offer. There is also often a very inaccurate portrayal of peoples ‘real’ lives on social media. Any posts will be more likely to focus on amazing parts of peoples lives, rather than the actual reality.
So have a think about how social media is affecting you and what you can do differently. Can you spend less time on there? Can you restrict the times you go on to certain points in the day? Can you have a trial where you go off completely, and see how life looks as a result?
Do let me know how you get on, I’d be really interested to hear the results!