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Feeling Stressed or Overwhelmed after Social Media? What I learned during a Social Media Detox

Pictures, thoughts, opinions, news, updates … ALL at our fingertips. With one touch of a button and some scrolling we can see what our friends are up to, what they had for dinner or even read about their thoughts or opinions through Social Media. It's so quick and it doesn't take much to get caught up in this Utopian idea of having information quick and in an instant.

While social media can be a wonderful place to share happy moments in our lives or see our friends in their happy moments as well, it can also be an opportunity for negativity and anger to seep into your brain.

There is a saying that often pops up in the social media world "If you don't like it, just keep scrolling". Great concept but unfortunately it falls short on many, as just scrolling doesn't make somethings just go away and you end up in more of a suppressing mode. In times where hate and negativity have found a place to live on our cell phones, computers and our televisions; living in our modern technology. Our brains are being constantly bombarded with negativity, idealization, and at times overstimulation of our endorphins (our happy hormones). This overflow can cause us to feel stressed and overwhelmed.

If after a visit to social media you find yourself easily irritated, angry or stressed, you may be experiencing a "social media overdose". Social media is a technology drug meant to produce the same dopamine effects as alcohol, marijuana, sex, etc. Anything that brings you pleasure can produce a dopamine effect on the brain. Often times that pleasure button on social media is a like, a post, a reply or even constantly scrolling for something that brings you slight happiness. Some of the negative effects of "social media overdose" are depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation and even cyber bullying.

Side Note: Over 60% of youth experience cyber bullying via social media and are two times more likely to commit suicide, which has nearly double since 2008.

Everything in moderation ! Using these platforms does not make you a bad person or automatically addicted to them, but when you know what too much of something can do to you .. this knowledge can prevent you from overdoing. Taking time away from social media and going back in moderation can really do your brain some good.

Just a few things I have learned after my own Social Media Detox -

TIME - Often one of the biggest things I hear from clients is I do not have time. A social media detox is a great way to open more of that time. After two days of my detox I caught myself sitting in a chair staring .. no phone in hand and I realized "Holy crap I have 5 free minutes!" - In 5 minutes you can cuddle with your kid, ask him about his day, in 5 minutes you can walk around your yard and feel the sun on your back .. Time opens up for you.

MOOD - I felt an overwhelming feeling of positivity that grew over two weeks. My outlook was brighter and happier. I smiled more, I took in the sun more, my thoughts filled with positive affirmations daily and I was excited to wake up everyday.

MOMENTS - My time spent with those I love has gained new meaning. Being in the moment, of the moment. I learned to love the littler imperfections around me with no judgment.

Even though my social media detox was for two weeks, I gained new perspective and I have even found myself on it less even after those two weeks. My phone hasn't been the first thing I grab in the morning anymore .. the first thing I've been looking to in the morning is gratefulness - Grateful that God gave me one more day to be the best version of myself.

Do you think maybe it's time for you to take a break and remember who you really are?

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