SOCIALS, APPS & HAPPINESS
By PW Nutritionist Grace Scott
BSc Nutrition & Psychology
We’ve been there, you’ve been there and all your friends have been too, even the ones that seem to ooze confidence definitely feel society’s pressure for perfection. We shouldn’t compare ourselves, especially when it comes to Instagram. I mean how did she get her stomach so flat? Where's the cellulite? How am I meant to compete when there are men and women sculpted like Gods walking this earth? The truth is, the majority of the images we see have had a little tweak here and there, or the person posting the content dedicates their life to their cause, not to mention professional lighting and camera equipment.
We all know how hard it can be to celebrate yourself and your own achievements and merits. We all celebrate our friends’, family members', colleagues' and partners’ achievements at the drop of a hat, but our own? A whole different story. While trying to portray the perfect happy life on Instagram and Facebook the reality is that behind this mask is slipping. The rates of mental health diagnosis in relation to social media has dramatically increased which is no surprise when compared to the rise in popularity of selfies, hashtags and all things Instagram.
It has been claimed that social media may lead us to believe that that other’s people’s lives are better through social comparison, and we definitely did not need science to tell us this. With endless thoughts of ‘they look happier than me’, ‘she is thinner than I am’, ‘he has the perfect lifestyle’ social media can become addictive. Studies have shown a significant link between social media exposure and depression in individuals. It’s a growing problem in our society which we need to address to help tackle low self-esteem, poorer mental health and growing body shame.
Ideally we’d all have a January deep cleanse and delete all these apps and go back to the old days of SMS text messages, but it’s just not going to happen. Instead, take control over your feed, don’t be afraid to unfollow those accounts that bring negative thoughts into your life. Follow more inspirational accounts of REAL people who don’t paint a falsified perfect picture of their life. Your aura is a sacred space and should be filled with positive vibes only. There is strong research out there to suggest the positive impact mindfulness can have on well-being and since we’re in the 21st century, of course mindfulness has been moved to apps and smart phones.
It’s hard to change the way you view and admire others but you should definitely change how you see and admire your own fine self! A great account we would recommend you give a follow is @nude_nutritionist. Lyndi’s posts will bring positivity and realness into your life. She promotes a healthy lifestyle and shatters the myths of social media “fantasy land” with frequent Instagram vs Reality posts. By withdrawing your energies from social media, you can use the time more wisely to enrich your life. Even the NHS claims “Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can not only help improve mental wellbeing … but can help you enjoy life and understand yourself better.” Multiple apps are out there with the intent to be used for good, providing guided meditations and mindfulness practice exercises which remind you to take time to breathe and reset every day.
Here are our top app suggestions to help you rewind and let go:
Receive daily motivational texts and self-improvement audio. Helps to de-stress, lower anxiety levels and promote a better overall feeling of positivity.
Breathe: (exclusive to Apple Watch)
If you're feeling stressed, annoyed, or uncomfortable, slow down and take a deep breath. You'll be amazed at the results. The Breathe app guides you through a series of deep breaths, and it reminds you to take time to breathe every day. Choose how long you want to breathe, then let the animation and gentle taps help you focus.
If you’re not a fan of the meditation apps and find the voices more irritating than calming, then 10% happier is made for you. Designed for the “fidgety skeptics” who are looking for “no-b*******” approach to mindfulness and methods of reducing stress that fits into everyday life. As an Apple “Best of 2018” award winner, it’s definitely worth a try.