Social Media Depression – 3 Tips To Help You Overcome Comparison.
We spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to others.
We do it as we walk down the street and as we go to work in our jobs, we do it with our friends and even our families. We seem to have become convinced that life is a competition, and that there is always someone who has an edge over us.
Social media in particular is a breeding ground for this kind of thinking. Facebook and Instagram are the perfect place for our ego to get a hold and plunge us into fear and self-loathing, by encouraging us to compare ourselves to people we deem as prettier, smarter or richer than us.
Although social media depression is only used as a colloquial term, it’s meaning can be understood by simply recognizing that we all have a tendency to feel bad after scrolling through our phones and seeing what everyone else is doing with their lives.
So how do we combat feeling down in the dumps after spending time checking our social media?
1- Watch your thoughts.
The first step to breaking the cycle of comparison is to become mindful of the thoughts as they happen. When you find yourself scrolling through photos of other people’s lives, be aware if there are thoughts coming into your mind that are negative, either towards them or towards yourself. Often we will shame these people in our minds and tell negative (and untruthful) stories in our minds, perhaps about how they got to where they are, in order to squash the feeling of inadequacy we have inside.
2- Speak to others about the way you are feeling.
Open up to your friends and family about how you are feeling. This can seem silly, but that’s all the more reason to say it out loud. Often in our minds, we make things out to be a lot worse than they are in reality. So if you can mention to a friend about feeling a bit crappy after seeing someone else’s tropical holiday online, you might find they understand. Or even better they might remind you of the holiday you went on not so long ago that you’d forgotten all about.
3- Focus on what you have.
Starting a gratitude practice is a wonderful way to remind yourself of the fantastic things you have in your life NOW. Even if you don’t have a lot, there is always something to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude does not need to be deep or involved, you can be grateful for something as simple as the breath that flows in and out of your body.
A great way to do this is to start a gratitude journal. Using a simple notebook, you can add 3 things a day that you are grateful for. This helps us to start to notice all of the greatness we have already achieved in life and be thankful for the blessings that exist in our current reality.
What are some other ways you help yourself avoid social media depression? Share them below in the comments.