Does your social media feed feel like a car wreck you can’t look away from? Are you finding it stressful to scroll through social media—yet still compelled to check in constantly? If you’re nodding along to any of that, then you are probably experiencing a stress response to what’s happening on social media.
With everything going on in the world, most of us are dealing with some level of stress or anxiety. Because social media has become such an integral part of our daily life, it’s no surprise that our stress and anxiety spills over to the online world.
Want to watch my video on this topic? Check it out here.
How Your Stress Response Shows Up in Social Media
Here are some ways your stress response might be showing up in your social media habits:
You feel a constant need to check your social media. It’s pulling you in and you can’t look away!
You feel like you MUST respond to posts you disagree with. What they said is totally inaccurate and you’ve got to tell them they’re wrong!
You just want to run away from it all. You’re embarrassed or annoyed by what your family and friends are doing online, and you just want to hide from it all!
The Consequences of Social Media Stress
If you are constantly engaging with social media and experiencing a stress response, your body can become chronically stressed. This can lead to all kinds of problems, from chronically dysregulated blood sugar and insulin resistance, to digestive problems and hormonal imbalances. Of course, chronic stress also takes a toll on you mentally, and can lead to anxiety or depression.
I know that all sounds scary, but there’s good news. You don’t HAVE to live this way. You always have a choice when it comes to how you will allow social media to affect your life.
5 Tips for Limiting Social Media Stress
Here are some ways you can mitigate your social media stress response:
Put limits on your social media usage. Decide how much time you’re going to spend scrolling, and then stick to that. Set a timer for that amount of time, and when your time is up, put it away.
Don’t check social media first thing in the morning. What you do first thing in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you roll over, open up Facebook, and immediately read something that enrages you, that is going to impact you (both mentally and physically) for the whole day.
Turn off notifications. If you’re being buzzed and dinged every time someone makes a comment on social media, you’re just bombarding yourself with stress all day long. Turn off those notifications and stick to checking during your designated times throughout the day.
Use the block, unfollow and mute buttons. These options allow you to set boundaries when certain people’s posts are causing you stress and anxiety. Remember, setting boundaries is your way to advocate for yourself and your health. This isn’t about the other person, and you don’t have to be mean about it at all! Just silently mute or unfollow, and nobody’s feelings get hurt.
Be gentle with yourself. This is the most important tip I can offer you! Do not spend another minute beating yourself up. We are all dealing with uncertainty, anxiety and stress during this tumultuous time. Be kind to yourself, and do what you can to advocate for your own health and well-being.
Following these tips should help you reduce the stress you’re feeling from social media. But if you’re having a hard time implementing these habits or sticking to them, or if you’re continuing to experience a lot of stress and anxiety, then it is probably a good idea to get some one-on-one help. I’d be honored to help you work through your stress and become more healthy in mind and body. Schedule your consultation here.
The content found on Integrative Counseling and Nutrition Consulting platform is not intended to be a substitute for professional therapeutic advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your psychiatrist, therapist or other qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding a mental health condition.