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How Can I Create a Healthy Relationship With Social Media?

These days just about everyone has at least one form of social media. Social media is a wonderful tool that can help us stay connected to family and friends. It can prevent feelings of isolation by providing an opportunity to socialize with others, even from many miles away. Still, social media is not without its downfalls; when it is not used properly, it can take a toll on your mental health. 

It is easy to develop unhealthy habits when it comes to social apps. For instance, this can include looking at social media too frequently, comparing yourself to others, or seeking validation from social media. Thus, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of unhealthy social media use. This way, you will know to take a break if necessary. Meanwhile, continuing to engage in unhealthy social media use could lead to increased stress and pose a danger to your recovery journey.

At Sage Recovery, we believe that connecting with others is a very important part of the recovery journey. However, if your social media use is interfering with your happiness, it may be time for a change. 

How Can Unhealthy Social Media Use Lead To Self-Comparison?

Self-comparison is one of the most common unhealthy habits that a lot of people fall into with social apps. It’s incredibly easy to do and it can affect anyone, no matter how old you are or where you’re at in your life. Have you ever been scrolling through social media and found yourself feeling envious of another person’s life? Maybe you compared where someone else was in their life to your own and felt like you were behind in some way. 

It is easy to look at someone’s profile on social media and think, “Wow, they really seem to have it all together.” Maybe they have already accomplished certain things that you are still working toward. This could be getting into a certain college, landing a dream job, getting married, or even having children. Seeing other people accomplish the things you’re dreaming of before you can be very painful. 

Self-comparison, especially when it relates to social media, is a very dangerous habit because it can steal the joy from your own life. Instead of focusing on the great things that you have accomplished, it causes you to feel as if you haven’t done enough. This can lead to a sense of restlessness and dissatisfaction. Further, it can lead to depression and anxiety and may even make it harder to stick to your recovery plan. 

The best way to avoid self-comparison when you are using social media is to remind yourself that it is not reality. Social media is essentially just a highlight reel of other people’s lives. It shows you the best moments like successes and celebrations. Yet, it doesn’t show you the disappointments, the setbacks, or the struggles that are going on behind closed doors. The next time that you find yourself comparing yourself to those on social media, just remind yourself that what you are seeing is not the full picture. 

How Can Unhealthy Social Media Use Lead To a Need for Validation?

There is no denying that seeing that someone showed you validation through social media may make you feel good. Yet, when that need for validation gets out of control or is dependent on unhealthy standards, it could get out of control. Far too many young people associate their self-worth with things like followers or how many likes they may get on a photo. When they don’t get the validation they are hoping for, their self-esteem may begin to suffer.

If you find yourself seeking too much validation from social media, remind yourself whose opinion is most important to you. Prioritize the real-life validation you get from family and friends as opposed to strangers on the internet. 

How Do I Know I Need to Take a Break From Social Media?

Do you often feel drained, stressed, or sad after you have been scrolling through social media for a while? Maybe you find it hard to celebrate your successes because you are constantly comparing them to someone else’s. If this is your situation, it may be time to reconsider how you are using social media. Consider limiting the time you are spending on social media or cutting it out completely. 

It is easy to spend more time scrolling than you intended. To avoid this, you could try only allowing yourself to check social media during certain times of the day and for a set amount of time. When that time is over, be sure to close out of the app completely. You could even set an alarm on your phone to help remind yourself when it is time to log out. 

At Sage Recovery, we can help you prioritize and implement healthier habits in your life – including creating a healthier relationship with technology – to benefit your overall well-being. 

Negative habits can have just as much of an effect on your mental health and joy as positive ones. Make an effort to rid your life of those negative habits starting today. Consider what negative habits in your life may be holding you back. Maybe this could be your relationship with substance misuse. If you are currently struggling with addiction, our team at Sage Recovery can help you take the big first step toward freedom. Reach out to our team by calling (512) 306-1394 today. A member of our team will answer any questions you may have. We can help you to begin living a happier and healthier life right away.