5 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health from Social Media

Trending 6 months ago

⌄ Scroll down to proceed ⌄

Social media is simply a awesome instrumentality for relationship and opening our hearts and minds; it’s besides a awesome outlet for creativity, gathering information, learning, and doing business. However, if we don’t negociate it well, it tin also be highly detrimental to our intelligence wellness and well-being.

We each cognize that mindlessly scrolling done YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, aliases Facebook tin time off america emotion drained and discarded hours of our week and, ultimately, immeasurable amounts of clip successful our lives.

We besides cognize that nan challenges astir societal media are prevalent and proceed to increase, pinch countless studies emphasizing nan drastic antagonistic impact.

One study showed that 58% of Americans opportunity societal media negatively affects their intelligence health. The astir communal antagonistic intelligence wellness effect of societal media usage is worry (64%), followed by slump (56%), dissatisfaction pinch life (52%), fearfulness of missing retired (52%), and assemblage image issues (51%).

In a study commissioned by ExpressVPN, 86% of Generation Z revealed that societal media negatively impacted their happiness and importantly impacted different areas of their intelligence health, including self-esteem, self-image, anxiety, loneliness, and depression.

Stars for illustration Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello, and Ed Sheeran person each taken social media breaks complete nan years to protect their intelligence wellness and wellness. Most recently, Tom Holland announced connected Instagram that he was taking a break from societal media for his intelligence health:

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

“I find Instagram and Twitter to beryllium overstimulating, to beryllium overwhelming. I get caught up and I spiral erstwhile I publication things astir maine online and ultimately, it’s very detrimental to my intelligence state.”

So really do you get each nan benefits without each nan harm?

Here are 5 communal problems pinch societal media, alongside strategies to protect your intelligence wellness and well-being.

Problem #1: You’re Comparing Yourself to Others.

This seems to beryllium nan astir common, yet unconscious, problem pinch societal media. You scroll through, often emotion envious of what others are doing and what you’re not doing. We’ve each been there. You spot a friend group up her kid’s first time of schoolhouse – complete pinch nan chalkboard, a cleanable breakfast, and each their tiny schoolhouse supplies connected nan room table. Meanwhile, you’re struggling to get your kids retired nan door.

Or you spot a friend decorativeness that 5K you’ve wanted to tally for ages – and while you’re proud of him, you’re besides emotion bad that you haven’t moreover started training. Maybe you spot stories from a workfellow connected picnic and consciousness resentment that you haven’t had 1 successful years.


First, retrieve this. You are comparing your full life to their item reel. You’ve apt heard this before, but it bears repeating. Keep successful mind that what you spot isn’t nan whole picture.

I retrieve erstwhile I was retired connected nan stream for nan time pinch a friend and our families, and her kids were having a awesome meltdown. Everyone was disappointment and it was a mess. What pops up a fewer hours later connected her Instagram feed? A gorgeous photograph of her and her family having nan BEST time. Big smiles, a gorgeous day, and tons of fun. Social media is afloat of picturesque moments that don’t ever correspond nan full reality.

I’m not saying we can’t beryllium happy for our friends and their astonishing experiences – we conscionable request to retrieve that we’re seeing 1 nanosecond of a bigger picture. Zoom that retired crossed our lives. We each person ups and downs, bully moments and bad, and nan problem pinch societal media is that it often only captures a small, carefully curated snapshot.

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

Thomas Edison erstwhile said,

“Comparison is nan thief of joy.”

When we compare ourselves to others, location will ever beryllium personification greater aliases lesser than ourselves. There will ever beryllium personification doing much aliases less.

In bid to extremity comparing yourself, and yet emotion bad, envious, judgmental, righteous aliases critical, you must get very clear connected what is important to you. The only measurement to guidelines beardown successful yourself and not get rattled by those astir you is to guidelines beardown successful your values, your ideals, your dreams. If you don’t already cognize your values, I highly urge you walk immoderate clip to self-reflect connected what’s astir important to you and what you want for your life.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson is different awesome spot to start. Because what matters astir is that you are connected way pinch your life, your goals, your plans and what is astir important to you. When you are grounded successful that, nan things that everyone other is doing won’t fuss you truthful much.

However, if they still do, there’s a reason. Sometimes nan envy aliases disappointment you consciousness erstwhile comparing yourself is really a reddish ray flashing connected thing that you want aliases need. If you’re noticing that you’re envious of friends enjoying caller adventures – possibly it’s a awesome that you request a caller adventure, too. If you’re envious of nan lovey-dovey photos your friend is posting pinch her wife, possibly it’s your cue to activity much profoundly connected your relationship.

Use those feelings arsenic information to meet your ain needs – not arsenic a motion to lucifer their happiness, but to place what whitethorn beryllium missing successful your life. Think critically astir what you’d for illustration to execute and spell retired and get it!

Problem #2: You’re Wasting Time.

You prime up your telephone to cheque a matter and, adjacent point you know, you’ve been sucked down nan societal media rabbit hole. You’re now mindlessly scrolling done societal media. And clip goes by…how overmuch time?

According to 1 survey, nan mean magnitude of clip spent connected societal media worldwide is group to deed 2 hours and 27 minutes a time this year. This is nan highest number ever recorded.

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

Got kids? On average, tweens (ages 8 to 12) walk 5 hours and 33 minutes and teens (ages 13 to 18) walk 8 hours and 39 minutes connected societal media. That is virtually much than a full-time job!

In addition, nan mean American checks their telephone 96 times per day, aliases erstwhile each 10 to 12 minutes. We touch our phones up to 2,617 times per time and unlock our phones 150 times connected average. For dense users, that number tin scope complete 5,000.


Let’s beryllium clear: it’s normal – moreover beneficial – to surf nan web aliases usage societal media. But beryllium selective and strategical astir really to usage your time.

Set a clip limit. Findings from a study by nan University of Pennsylvania powerfully propose that:

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

“Limiting societal media usage to astir 30 minutes per time whitethorn lead to important betterment successful well-being.”

While you whitethorn not beryllium capable to limit your – aliases your kids’ – societal media to 30 minutes a day, you whitethorn beryllium capable to trim it conscionable done awareness. The aforesaid study showed that conscionable being much mindful of your societal media usage tin person beneficial results connected your temper and focus.

Do you cognize really overmuch clip you’re spending connected societal media? I deliberation you’ll beryllium surprised. You tin way your societal media connected your phone. Just usage a third-party app aliases spell to your phone’s Settings > Screen Time > See All Activity and scroll down until you spot nan number of pickups.

I promote you – correct now – to cheque retired your mean regular use. What could you execute successful nan two, three, aliases 4 hours you are spending a time connected your phone? Consider really often you are saying, “I don’t person clip for that,” erstwhile successful truth you could prosecute those goals alternatively of choosing societal media.

Imagine if you consciously take to dedicate immoderate of your societal media clip to reference a book, taking a class, spending clip pinch family, hitting nan gym, aliases mounting up that caller business you’ve been reasoning about. What effect would that person connected your life, your success, your relationships, wellness and well-being if you dedicated conscionable half of your social media clip to your real life?

What astir your much-needed rest? How overmuch clip do you walk mindlessly scrolling while successful furniture erstwhile you should beryllium sleeping? In fact, nan bluish ray keeps america up and nan stimulation makes your encephalon enactment awake erstwhile it should beryllium getting remainder and recovering.

Your kids person a bedtime; your telephone needs one, too. Leave it successful different room to complaint while you recharge. If you can’t scope it, you can’t beryllium connected it. At our house, we person a charging position wherever each nan phones spell each night.

Problem #3: You Feel Isolated and Alone.

Funny really you tin walk truthful overmuch clip connected and yet consciousness truthful disconnected simultaneously. Why? It’s not usually real connection.

Studies show that group coming consciousness much isolated and alone. We consciousness near out, disconnected, and person FOMO. During Covid, utilizing our phones for relationship was captious – but moreover then, studies show that it had a antagonistic impact.

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄


Allow yourself to make and foster existent connections. Use that clip we talked astir reclaiming to group up a friend day erstwhile a week.

Attend a section networking event, manufacture luncheon, aliases continuing ed class. Next clip you scope for your telephone to commencement scrolling, instead, nonstop a matter to a friend you haven’t talked to successful a while aliases telephone a loved one. You’ll soon spot affirmative results.

Problem #4: You’re Mindlessly Scrolling.

How often person you gone to your telephone to look for thing – a text, a telephone number, a image – and past it’s 20 minutes later? Often, nan problem is not that we are simply utilizing societal media; nan problem is that we are utilizing it pinch small to nary intention. It’s filling clip – and very smart algorithms are taking you connected their ain journey.


Be mindful. What is mindfulness exactly? No, I’m not asking you to meditate (although that’s not a bad thought either). Mindfulness is “the value aliases authorities of being conscious aliases alert of something.” Each clip you prime up your phone, deliberation astir what you want to do and why. Are you saturated aliases do you person thing to achieve?

Maybe it’s go a wont to move to your telephone immoderate clip you person a spare moment? Break nan Habit Loop. In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg shares nan wont loop.

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

There are 3 parts to nan Habit Loop:

  1. The Cue: this is nan trigger for nan behaviour to start. This could beryllium a location, clip of day, affectional state, person, aliases successful nan lawsuit of your phone, apt a notification aliases buzz.
  2. The Routine: this is nan behaviour itself. Getting connected your phone, checking nan text, aliases logging onto societal media and starting to scroll.
  3. The Reward: This is what your encephalon gets retired of it. In nan lawsuit of societal media, it’s apt nan dopamine hit. But it could besides beryllium a emotion of connection, flight from nan existent world, aliases laughter. Only you tin place nan reward you get – what do you consciousness from scrolling done societal media?

5 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health from Social Media

If you tin diagnose your habits, you tin alteration them. Think astir what your “cue” is. If it’s a notification, move disconnected notifications connected your telephone for thing that isn’t essential. Maybe your cue is emotion stressed retired – and societal media is simply a measurement to escape. Perhaps erstwhile you consciousness stressed, you tin return a speedy locomotion aliases usage your telephone for a little meditation – past you get nan reward – a simplification successful accent and a infinitesimal of relaxation.

Habits tin beryllium difficult to break, but if you’re alert of them, you tin break immoderate habit by utilizing this process.

Problem #5: You’re Doomscrolling.

Doomscrolling is mindlessly scrolling done antagonistic news articles, societal media posts, aliases different content-sharing platforms. Essentially, it’s reference 1 antagonistic communicative aft another. While nan word has been astir since 2018, it became much of a communal believe complete nan past fewer years and done nan pandemic.

Clinical scientist Dr. Amelia Aldao warns that doomscrolling traps america successful a “vicious rhythm of negativity” that fuels our anxiety.

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

“Our minds are wired to look retired for threats,” she says. “The much clip we walk scrolling, nan much we find those dangers, nan much we get sucked into them, nan much anxious we get.”

That grim contented tin past propulsion a acheronian select connected really you spot nan world, says Aldao.

“Now you look astir yourself, and everything feels gloomy; everything makes you anxious. So you spell backmost to look for much information.”

Think astir this: Our minds were not designed to cognize each nan bad things that are happening successful nan full world astatine immoderate fixed constituent successful time. Even 100 years ago, group sewage their news from newspapers aliases organization members. Two 100 years ago, group only knew what was happening successful their contiguous circle of influence.

Our minds were designed to protect america from contiguous threats and dangers – and earlier societal media, we only knew astir those things that straight affected us.

Now, we cognize astir EVERYTHING. We are exposed to each types of traumatic and disturbing contented daily. And nan worst portion is, astir group can’t discern betwixt what is clone aliases real, sensationalized aliases embellished for likes, views, and engagement. No wonderment we are experiencing much accent and anxiety!


Consciously curate what you are consuming.

When you scroll, salary attraction to really you feel. Pause and announcement your energy. What makes you consciousness joy, connection, love, and spark awe aliases wonder? What makes you consciousness envious, judgmental, sad, angry aliases little than? Then, return action by removing aliases unfollowing accounts that make you consciousness horrible, envious aliases worried.

Now, adhd immoderate positivity to your societal media feed; activity retired things that make you consciousness happy and secure, and travel group pinch an optimistic worldview. Love puppies? Into bully food? Flowers make you happy? Need a bully laugh? Follow accounts that bring you joyousness aliases springiness you a consciousness of bid and positivity astir nan world.

Bottom line

The cardinal is not to extremity utilizing societal media altogether. The cardinal is to return power of really you usage it.

Think critically astir really you tin usage nan powerfulness of societal media to expand and improve your life. Identify nan problems you are facing from misuse and overuse and instrumentality strategies specified arsenic these to trim their antagonistic effect and thief you reclaim your intelligence health, well-being, and joy.

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

⌄ Scroll down to proceed reference article ⌄

Featured photograph credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

⌄ Scroll down to proceed ⌄