Hi everyone! I know it has been a couple of days since my last post. I was feeling a little sick (I know I know what you’re thinking…boohoo Jeff everyone gets sick. Get back to writing), and I also think you will all do better if you give cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT Part 1) a few days of practice before moving on. But I’m back and ready to dive into the second part of the series! Unlike Part 1, this tool/tip is about a huge concept. One that inhabits our lives every single day. There is no definitive answer as to how to battle this growing problem, and the answers could vary on your individuality and preferences…and of course how much will power you have. We are not all The Rock. With that said, I firmly believe any change in your behavior regarding this topic, no matter how small, will greatly reduce your overall anxiety. So without further ado let’s get to it kids!
…is a beautiful thing. It has given us so many options that were beyond our reach, even our comprehension just 10 years ago. It has given us countless amounts of ways to access content (News…keeping up with friends lives) and continues to develop diverse ways of interacting with one another. It is constantly evolving and everyone is at its mercy…even decades old business empires.
Now I’m sure you are all familiar with the idea that “everything is good in moderation.” I firmly believe this statement and think your body and mind can overdose from anything in excess. Even good hobbies and habits. Well, social media has finally crossed the threshold from helpful to outright debilitating. We all know it deep down. The question is…what are we going to do about it?
Imagine yourself going to a bar…now a Taylor Swift concert…now the mall. All of those activities are COMPLETELY different from each other right? If this was 20 years ago, I would agree with you. But what is one common aspect that ties all three of these different activities together? YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE ARE GLUED TO YOUR SMARTPHONES DURING ALL THESE ACTIVITIES! No one is in the present anymore. It has become more fashionable to Snapchat the dish you’re eating at a restaurant than it is to actively engage those around you. Social media was created for the purpose of expanding the possibilities of relationships and communication. Ironically, it is doing the exact opposite. Most statuses on Facebook, Twitter, etc are immensely negative. People see unrealistic, filtered photos of their friends and they feel low because they start comparing their lives to theirs. It doesn’t matter if you know that Facebook profiles are all advertisement, I still find myself feeling shitty after being on it for just a couple of days. That’s why I constantly delete my account and eventually I will never be tempted to go on it again. Depression rates domestically are consistently rising with each passing year and you think that is some coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidences.
Do you want to stop feeling shitty during the day? Do you want to lose the anxiety you get whenever someone snaps or texts you because you believe you might miss out on something? Do you want to improve your conversation skills? Do you want to improve your relationships? Do you want to sleep better? All these improvements can happen if you follow a few simple rules. No, I’m not suggesting you burn your smartphone and go rogue. Isolation would bring you the same anxiety and depression. These rules are simple and easy to follow and I dare you to message me and claim they didn’t help you. And away we go (in the Joker’s voice from the dark knight)……
Rule 1: Turn off your cellphone when you’re in a public place with company (get your friends to follow the same rule when you’re with them).
This will be immensely difficult the first time you try it, but the rewards out way the initial pain. Just think about it… you’re at the bar or meeting your friend for lunch to catch up and enjoy yourself. How can you do either if you’re constantly distracted. The answer is you can’t. And no, there is no such thing as multitasking…do a quick google search on the research about this. By doing this you will immediately improve your relationships and feel more connected with them. Fully listening to someone is one of the greatest things you can do for someone. We all want to be heard, but we also know when someone is halfass listening and we feel angry and low because of it. This is turn will also reduce your anxiety because anxiety is simply being future oriented. Well, how can you think about the future if you’re fully focused on your conversation? Psst….the answer is YOU CAN’T.
Rule 2: Get off Facebook and Instagram.
Why am I picking on these two apps in particular? Because they involve profiles full of pictures that ONLY show people at their absolute best. We all know life is not like this, but like I said before, just knowing this won’t help you. These social media outlets are causing your depression and down feelings. Don’t believe me? Take JUST 1 WEEK off of them and see how great you feel. It will be like you took MDMA, but you didn’t (I have never tried MDMA just so you know…ANYWAY)
Rule 3: No Social Media or Bright Screens 1-2 hours before bed.
While depression rates consistently rise with each passing year, sleep rates have consistently gone the opposite direction. This isn’t rocket science. It’s because we’re snapping/binge watching Netflix in our beds right before we attempt to sleep. Normal lights automatically put us in an alert and wakeful state…now let’s consider that effect with LED blulight screens shall we? I’m not great at estimates but I think a fair estimate would be that these lights we see on our phone screens are at least 3 times worse! This is going to be tough to do, but if you pull through..your sleep quality will SKYROCKET! And what contributes greatly to state anxiety rates class? That’s right! Poor quality sleep.
Once again, thank you for reading! I really appreciate it. My only hope is that it helps you and if it does you pass on the word to those you love take care =)