Stop Scrolling & Soothe Social Media Anxiety

Stop Scrolling & Soothe Social Media Anxiety

It’s summer and you’re chilling by the pool or in the cool A/C, scrolling through Instagram… when BAM! You’re hit every five seconds with pictures and videos of someone’s perfect life – all meticulously CRAFTED and CURATED. Now, you feel like you’ve fallen into a trap – you can’t HELP but compare yourself to them. That bathing suit no longer feels flattering. Despite watching all the Dove commercials about celebrating your positive body image, your self-esteem has just sunk to the deep end.

Does Instagram cause anxiety? All signs point to yes. (And Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, we’re looking at you too.) Studies show spending too much time on social media worsens body image issues by:

  • Increasing internal negative self-talk and thoughts
  • Intensifying physical comparisons to what we see online
  • Triggering anxiety about how we look

While you’re scrolling through social media, it’s important to remember that these apps are marketed and designed to be “casual & carefree,” and most people only post their best moments. It’s natural to see how stunning people's lives seem online, and to feel like you can only post pictures that you think are equally as “amazing.” 

Comparison Is The Thief of Joy

In fact, a staggering 89% of participants feel unsatisfied with their own lives when comparing themselves to others on social media according to the 2022 Digital Wellbeing survey conducted by the anti-bullying nonprofit Cybersmile Foundation

The US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently called for social media sites to display a warning that they are associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents, but what’s the prescription for adults who have unlimited access to screen time? Here’s my advice:

  1. Shift your view. Keep in mind that people are only posting the best of themselves.
  2. Show yourself some grace. You are your own toughest critic. You notice (and often magnify) all of your perceived flaws because it’s human nature. We are all our own toughest critics. Try to remember that nobody else views you that way!
  3. Find the sweet spot. I encourage you to fill your feed with posts and content that will be positive and empowering!
  4. Get help. Social media anxiety can wreak havoc on your self-esteem, which can filter into your life at home, at work, with friends, and in relationships. Talking with a therapist who uses techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you reframe negative messages and behaviors into positive affirmations and actions.

I specialize in working with adolescents and adults who are experiencing stress and anxiety about self image and major changes in their lives. I bring positive encouragement (and a bit of humor) to the therapy space, where I work with clients to develop effective coping strategies that work in real-life settings. Get to know my approach a little better by calling Lifeologie Counseling Dallas at (214) 357-4001, or clicking the Request An Appointment above to schedule a consultation with me. You don’t have to face your fears and anxieties alone!

About Emma Butler

Emma Butler works with adults and adolescents who may be enduring stress and anxiety or going through major life changes, relationship conflicts, and career issues. She practices therapy at Lifeologie Counseling Dallas through a positive lens and believes that many of the challenges clients face emanate from feelings of discouragement, or coping strategies that are no longer effective. She embraces warmth, kindness, and authenticity as the foundation to a therapeutic relationship.

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