Do you suffer from social media anxiety?
If so, you’re not alone!
I noticed recently that my social media and mobile phone use in general was getting out of hand. I’d be sitting with my phone when I could have been spending quality time with my partner and I found I was logging on to social media way more than I liked.
One reason that we’re constantly glued to our phones is that it’s actually addictive. Whenever we get a hit of information (a new Tweet, Instagram heart or Facebook message) we get a release of dopamine which gives us a sense of ‘reward’. It’s the same pathway that is involved with heroin users and smokers. The struggle is REAL people.
Another big reason that we get social media anxiety is FOMO and comparison. We’re repeatedly exposed to everyone’s fabulous lives – from what they eat for breakfast to who they party with on Saturday night. Meanwhile there we are, in our jim-jams, feeling bloated and eating ice-cream on the couch.
We see their highlight reel and our everyday and the comparison can feel unbearable. There’s a recipe for feeling crap about yourself if ever I heard one!
Last week I decided to make a change and got serious about limiting my phone and social media use.
I know from the messages I’ve been receiving on Instagram (I recognise the irony) that you feel the same way too and that social media anxiety is a big, BIG deal for many of you.
Read on for tips and strategies for reducing your social media anxiety and feeling calmer and happier as a result.
Just think about…
- The amount of time wasted scrolling mindlessly…Ugh!
- The fact that on average we check our phones 80 x a day
- Not to mention the temptation to check work emails…even on the weekend!
- The struggle of comparison – How does it make you feel seeing everyone’s highlight reel while you sit at home in your pyjamas? And, not just comparison with super-models and Kardashians – but ‘ordinary’ people, bloggers, friends from school, people in our industry who seem to ‘have it all’ and look perfect all the time. It’s no wonder we never feel good enough!
My tried and tested tips to overcome social media anxiety
- Turn off notifications on your phone – Head to settings > Notifications to do this
- Leave your phone in another room so you won’t be distracted or tempted to check. I leave mine downstairs.
- Put it on airplane mode – no distractions!
- Remind yourself of all the ways that you are one-of-a-kind-beyond-compare-wonderful-and-uniquely-valuable. Make a list. Review it daily.
- Delete apps from your phone for things like Twitter and Facebook – you’ll be less likely to log in without the ease of an app.
- Use an alarm clock not your phone to wake up in the mornings – you’ll be less likely to scroll social media while in bed and will sleep better.
- Let other people know you’re trying to use your phone less to get their support and encouragement.
- Fill your feed with people that lift you up – nature, animals, people being honest about their struggles so your feed is a positive place to be.
- Unfollow people on Facebook that trigger anxiety – they’ll never know you unfollowed them!
What tips do you have for reducing social media anxiety? Let us know in the comments!