Is social media giving you anxiety? Here’s how to take control

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At best social media is a powerful tool that promotes connection. At worst, it can be damaging and self-destructive. It can cause anxiety - and we know anxiety is one of the biggest barriers to sleep.

Why are so many choosing a ‘social media detox’ and how do you know if you too are addicted?

Amanda Lambros, Clinical Fellow in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University said recently in an article in the Huffington Post:
"Social media can become extremely addictive in our lives, and also can be damaging depending on how you use it. It's one of those things that has the power to benefit you, or have really negative effects, depending on how it's used."

Here are the most common symptoms related to social media anxiety:
• You fear checking your social media sites
• You feel worried if you don’t get a chance to check your social media feeds
• Your palms become sweaty when you go on social media sites
• Your gut feels tingly in anticipation after posting on social media
• You have a good day if you get many likes and a bad day if you get few likes or comments
• You find it difficult to finish tasks without checking social media feeds
• You find yourself making negative self-comparisons that harm your self-esteem and satisfaction.

Answered yes to most of those? Here are some solutions:

1. Limit the time you spend on social media.
This is easier said than done, but here are some helpful ideas:

• Remove social media apps from your phone so that you have to intentionally log onto a computer to check feeds.
• Use a nanny app so that you are cut-off at a specified time.
• Have a ‘smart phone bed’ in your home where all family members put their phones for the night. This prevents phones landing up at the dinner table or in bedrooms.

2. Limit what you see on social media
• Stop following feeds that have disturbing content.
• Un-friend people who don’t bring joy to your social media life. If this feels too confrontational then you can choose that their posts do not show up in your feed.
If you would like to find out more about how social media impacts your mental health here is a great article: Social media can cause loneliness and anxiety in young people

We have rounded up a few articles on the Sealy blog, with tips on how to feel less anxious and so get better sleep:

Gadgets that help you calm down

Why less is more

Do you have an anxiety problem?

Written by Roxanne Atkinson

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