How Blocking Accounts on Social Media Impacts Your Mental Health
Have you been suffering from body aches, headaches, digestion issues, or fatigue?
While these are all symptoms associated with musculoskeletal conditions that I manage in my office, these are also symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Since this is 2020 and the world has seemingly gotten worse every month, how you’re interacting with social media can have a huge influence on your mental health.
You might think you’re helping your mental health by blocking accounts you don’t agree with, but psychoanalyst and cognitive hypnotherapist Steve McKeown suggests otherwise. When it comes to blocking other accounts, Steve suggests “The issue doesn’t disappear. You are compounding and reinforcing not dealing with your problem.”
Not only are you avoiding a position you don’t agree with, but you’re also creating an echo chamber that will reinforce your current beliefs. This will protect your ego, but also prevent you from listening to what the opposition has to say.
These echo chambers have continued to divide our country by villainizing the opposition and making our own bubbles smaller and smaller.
...so maybe the participation-trophy-millennials aren't the only snowflakes...
The reason a chiropractor is bringing this up is that your aches and pains might not resolve with standard conservative care if your mental health is exacerbating your symptoms. This doesn’t mean you need to turn to opioids to resolve your pain. It just means you need to start with an internal look at how you’re handling your mental health and your social media.
Go to your phone’s setting and take a look at your screen time. Most phones will tell you what apps you’re spending the most time on, and how much time you’re spending on them. Most phones will also allow you to put limits on how much time you can spend on an app per day.
Replace the time you would have been looking at Facebook or Instagram to go on a walk with a friend. The exercise and social interaction will boost your endorphins and release dopamine, while the sunshine will increase your Vitamin D levels. According to Michael Scott, author of Somehow I Manage, that's a win-win-win.
When you are on social media and see a post that bothers you, try not to block that person. Instead take a deep breath or take a lesson from laughter therapist Michele Granberg who I had on my podcast last year, and try some laughing exercises where you practice these laughs over and over until they become real:
Ha Ha Ha Ha
Hee Hee Hee Hee
Ho Ho Ho Ho
Your mental health is too important to your physical health to let social media posts get to you.