The boom of technology in recent decades has without a doubt, lead to a more interconnected world. The rise of methods to communicate and interact with other people on a global scale has never been easier before, with the introduction of social media and hand held devices. We can now access and share our lives on this incomprehensibly large network, all with the click of a button. And yet, despite such an interconnected world, many individuals have been left experiencing loneliness and some form of depression when using social media.
As we currently inhabit a thriving digital age where social media constantly presents to us, idealized images of people who appear to live in perpetual success and happiness. It can easily lead us to have feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt when we compare ourselves with them. These negative emotions result in an increase in the prevalence of depression and the potential for other mental health afflictions to arise.
This devastating issue has left many struggling with the question of how best to cope with this feeling.
So what do we do?
Firstly, it is important to understand that we must not succumb to this siren call of defeat and depression, as it will take a grave toll on our long term psychological health. We must cultivate and implement strategies to address depression in this newfound era of social media. Here are some ways that can help us fight this issue:
1. Put down the phone and limit your usage
By setting our distinct boundaries for our digital consumption, we free up more time to interact with the outside world. A heartfelt face to face conversation with family or friends can genuinely feel a lot better than just staying indoors and scrolling through social media! It also feels more intimate and can provide a significant amount of emotional support. Which is amazing for your mental health!
While this does work, it also doesn't have to mean you have to go and conversate with someone, even something as simple as taking a walk in the park or taking part in a hobby is execellent for relaxation. This helps reduce stress as well as the feeling of loneliness!
2. Choose the right content
It is imperative that you explore content that uplifts and inspires you, rather than consume content that tears you down. There are so many accounts out that that post encouraging messages, or content like cute animals, which are a great boost to your serotonine levels and dopamine! It doesn't take much to find them, and they can really help you relieve stress with funny videos, and inspiring content. You also must keep in mind that a lot of content you see from influencers are edited, or photoshopped, and mostly only show the good stuff! There's a lot of screening and you only see what they want you to see. So be mindful that social media is not the same as real life. Because real life is not perfect. It has it's ups and downs and we must understand that. The sooner we do, the sooner we'll come to wake up from this social media dream of constant glamour, fame and success.
Be present and enjoy the moment! Afterall, the present doesn't stay around forever! If you constantly go through social media, you may end up missing the beauty around you that is the moment. This can also help you to collect your thoughts and feelings, and help you cultivate an awareness of your mental state, as well as your triggers for negative thought patterns. Which will help you respond in a more constructive manner in the long run.
4. Self care
It is incredibly important that you look after yourself. You only get one body in your lifetime, so make the most of it! Make sure to eat, sleep and hydrate sufficiently. Engage in activities that bring you joy! Whether that's things such as: yoga, reading, meditation, sports, etc. These all help your emotional well being, and it also builds healthy habits!
5. Don't be afraid to seek professional help
In circumstances of severe depression, it is important to seek out professional help. Ensure that you consult with a trained and licensed therapist, counselor, or mental health specialist as they can provide invaluable guidance and support! There are also plenty of resources such as mental health apps and online counseling services that can give you advice!
Navigating depression in a world that is increasingly interconnected can be a daunting task, but it is not an insurmountable one. We must carefully choose our content intake, be mindfull, take care of ourselves and not be afraid to seek out professional help if we need it. Because by doing so we begin to help fix our mental health and that helps us thrive in a society that is constantly testing our emotional fortitude.