Programme: Living a healthier lifestyle

7. Mindfulness and Social Media

In recent years, social media has become a part of everyday life for many of us. But there are pros and cons to our relationship with these platforms. On the one hand, there are many advantages - it makes it easy to stay in touch with people and we can follow people who we find inspiring. Social media is also useful in our professional lives. But there are also many disadvantages.


Many people find social media quite addictive - they are less present in the moment as they are constantly busy posting and liking. Others suffer from ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) as they see other people’s posts showing all the wonderful, perfect moments of their lives. In these cases, social media can lead to negative emotions such as insecurity, sadness or anxiety. We would like to give you some tips to help you to maintain a healthy balance and to use social media in a mindful way. 

Guidelines

  • ‘Clean up’ your social media. Try to become more aware of who and what you are following. Is social media encouraging negative emotions in you? You know what you need to do.
  • Which people and things do you find inspiring? What energises you? Choose to follow these people or profiles.
  • Try to think about what your motivation for using social media is - is it the ‘right’ motivation? If you decide that social media is not encouraging positivity in your life, consider deleting your accounts.
  • Set yourself a time limit.
  • Don’t give too much value to the number of likes or followers you have.
  • Try to be present in the here and now during enjoyable, real-life moments - limit your phone and social media use to a bare minimum at these times.
     

‘If you want better mental health, start by looking at your mental diet. This includes what you watch, what you read, how you think, who you follow and who you’re spending time with. If your goal is to have a healthier mind this year, start by removing the junk from your diet’

- By Steven Bartlett


Reflect & connect

Answer the following questions and share your answers with your online psychologist, your partner and/or a friend:

1. What is motivating you to be active on social media?

2. How much time do you spend each day on social media?

3. What do you think the positives and negatives of social media are?

4. How many hours/minutes would you like to spend on social media this week? What can you use to ensure you stick to this? (An app, a time limit or a challenge with friends, for example.)

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