Tips for Mindful Social Media Consumption

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The month of May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. This is an important time to assess and consider the habits and routines in our lives that can either negatively or positively affect our mental health. While social media is a great opportunity to connect with our favorite creators, friends, and family members, it can contribute to toxic stress. Do you feel as though your phone is negatively impacting your mental wellbeing? If so, try some of these mindful social media consumption tips to help us develop a healthy relationship with social media.

What can social media do to our minds?

Social media can be addictive! Similarly to other substances and activities, social media can ignite our brain’s reward system. When we get notifications about ourselves and our content, it can trigger a dopamine release. After repeated exposure, our minds will associate notifications with feeling good. However, this can lead to an overuse of social media.

Tips for Social Media Wellbeing:

Set a Timer!

Scrolling can feel like a great release, but it’s important to do so in moderation. Setting a timer is a great way to scroll through apps and get updates while limiting the time we’re online.

Carefully Craft Your Following List

If we’re constantly viewing content that makes us feel bad about ourselves or triggers us to compare ourselves to others, it’s time to unfollow! Try to curate your following so your socials present you with media that inspires and uplifts you, not the opposite.

Stopping the Comparisons Train in its Tracks!

Social media can feel like a real rendering of how people live their lives, but in the same way, we pick and choose who to follow. Creators pick and choose what they show on the internet. Typically, the bad is left out.

Managing your notifications

The amount of notifications can be overwhelming with all the apps we use to connect, talk, and shop.

In our settings, we can customize our notifications for each app we use. Many notifications from apps aren’t even applicable to us. We can receive notifications about sales promotions, news updates, and subscription emails that can interrupt our daily lives.

Limiting the amount of content that comes across our screens can help us keep our screen time more manageable and help us stop checking our phones so often.

Taking a Break from Social Media

Sometimes, the best action we can take is to unplug from the internet completely. Taking time away from social media is a way to reset and reconnect with other aspects of our lives.

In moderation, social media can be an excellent tool and a way to stay connected. Checking in with ourselves often about social media use can help keep us balanced and prevent negative effects. For additional mental health awareness and wellbeing resources, please visit NYS TINRC online at traumainformedny.org. 

Sources: https://www.nivati.com/blog/social-media-affects-us-and-how-to-use-it-mindfully

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