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3 Ways Taking a Social Media Break Can Help Anxiety

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I see both the advantages and disadvantages that social media brings. I work in the field of communications so it’s part of what I do. Apart from work, I enjoy social media at times because it can be a form of entertainment. It’s fun to consume different posts from our social feed. It’s fun to catch up with friends and see how they’re doing, or just watch funny videos from our feed. But I know I get anxious about my life, my dreams, goals, future — you name it. My nerves act up on me and I’ve noticed that social media heightens those anxieties. I can go from feeling calm to stressing over what I see on my feed.

Our social feed can lead us to comparisons. We feel we don’t measure up in comparison to someone else. We assume we immediately need to get to the place someone else is. The rosy crafted images we consume can increase our anxieties that life is not good enough.

That is why I highly recommend taking a break every once in a while. How long that break will be is up to you. I constantly take social media breaks from the platforms I know make me question my self-esteem. My break is as easy as taking one to three days off from checking my Instagram feed. Sometimes, I’ll make it longer and go a week or two. Here are the benefits of how it helps to ease my anxiety.

1. I focus on what is right in front of me.

When I’m scrolling through my feed, I’m distracted by other people’s seemingly perfect lives and adventures. This can get me feeling worried that I’m not living my life enough. It can make me feel there’s something wrong with me if I’m not part of what I see being displayed on my screen.

But on the days I take a break, I realize how good things are. I simply focus on what is in front of me. It makes me less anxious about my future or social life. I enjoy the little pleasures of making time to write and read. The contentment I get from that drives the anxiety away.

2. You’re at peace when you’re not always comparing yourself.

Comparison is a negative habit and the use of social media makes it all too easy to get overwhelmed in that. When you’re on social media, scrolling through countless images of people you’re not even close to, you start comparing. You compare everything about someone else journey and feel you might not measure up. This leads you to stressing and agitating about your place in the world.

But when you take the break off social media — when you take the little break from your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feed — you give yourself the opportunity to be free. You free yourself from constant comparisons. You let yourself be at peace with your life as it is.

3. You enjoy the little things.

Anyone who has had those moments of anxiety knows it takes away your joy. You feel caged. The world is closing in on you. Too much time on social media is time away from the real world. It’s time on the screen and not reality. Put the phone down. Don’t bother to check the notifications of the likes and comments. You’ll realize you have time for other things. You have time to enjoy the little things. You have time for actual face-to-face conversation. You have time for a call. You have time for a walk or run. You have time to enjoy the little things.

Photo by Oluwakemi Solaja on Unsplash

Originally published: July 3, 2019
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