Instagram and Mental Health
Someone recently asked me if I was lonely. I asked him why he thought this? He replied that he thought that most people that posted a lot on IG were lonely. Actually I beg differ, in my experience if I stop posting on IG, this is when you know I am at my loneliest and lowest.
There has been a barrage of articles in the press recently about how social media can be bad for your mental health, but used well I believe it can actually help lift your spirits. I suffered from M.E very badly for many years and often was unable to leave the house, for me social media was (and still is) a great way to be ‘be social’ and feel part of a community.
Here are some ways I use social media to get myself feeling more positive.
Look for things you love!
Whether this is beautiful scenery, painting or cute cats, spend some time looking through hashtags for photos of things you love and enjoy doing. If you are suffering from anxiety I really recommend watching videos of art and if you can believe it, slime! They are really relaxing!
Search for positive affirmations and write down your favourites in your journal. Read them when you are feeling a bit down or anxious. In a world where there is so much negativity it is good to fill your mind with positivity.
An Instagram colour walk is a great way to practice mindfulness, immerse yourself in nature and be creative. When I was going through a really bad time I used to pick a colour each day and go on a walk and take pictures of everything I saw featuring that colour, it really helped to focus my mind on what was around me. It was then fun to get home and edit my photos to share on IG!
Search out some projects to get you inspired and crafty. Seeing a picture of someone making a beautiful crocheted blanket is what inspired me to pick up this blanket and try to finish it!
Clean up your feed
Unfollow any accounts that make you unhappy or fill your feed with negativity. Remember your feed is your space, curate it to be full of things that make you happy or inspired. Don’t feel bad about unfollowing accounts that leave you feeling ‘meh’ about yourself, I recently unfollowed a bunch of accounts that posted pictures of pretty bikini clad women on far flung beaches, it just wasn’t making me feel good about myself!
Respond to people that comment on your posts, build relationships, become part of communities that are full of people that share similar interests to you, or even set one up yourself!
Finally if you think someone else is having a hard time, reach out to them. Don’t underestimate the power of a kind comment or a friendly message even if you aren’t friends in ‘real-life’, for some people online friendships may be just as important.