Is Social Media Destroying Your Health And Happiness?
I’m almost certain the majority of the people reading this would agree with me if I said that this world can feel incredibly fast, frantic, and very overwhelming.
I say this with a sense of conviction as over this past decade as a personal trainer, I’ve noticed a dramatic rise in the unhappiness and anxiety in the people who I communicate with.
What saddens me is most is that although we’re living in one of the most health conscious periods the world has ever seen, we’re also living in an era of rising mental illness, with over 3 million Australians suffering from depression and anxiety.
So, what’s the problem?
It would be easy to point the finger at the exponential rise in the use of social media that constantly bombards us with the filtered feeds of people shouting to be seen and heard.
However, there’s a painfully bitter pill that needs to be swallowed here – it’s not social media.
Because as easy as it would be to blame social media for the lack of fulfilment that often comes with trying to follow in other people’s footsteps, the truth of the matter is, we’re the ones who decide what we consume.
So maybe rather than pointing the finger, we instead empower ourselves to look within for the answers.
Here are a few ways to begin to process.
Change what you consume.
It’s of paramount importance to your health and happiness that you take full responsibility for the careful curation of what you’re allowing into your world.
Because if all you’re doing is consuming negatively skewed news, trashy reality TV, and getting lost in scrolling and trolling other people’s social media feeds, then there’s not much (if any) space left for you to cultivate, feed, and grow your own mind.
Maybe it’s time you stopped listening to the news, stopped watching hours of TV, stopped following the people who make you feel angry or upset, and stopped scrolling other people’s lives so you can start making room for your own again?
By curating what you’re allowing into your mind, you’ll be able to clear the much-needed space that you need to be able to find your own path again.
Pay more attention to your filter(s)
Due to the massive influx of ‘information’ that comes into our minds every second, we’ve had to develop filtering methods that allow us to better handle it.
Our mind filters the information coming in by generalising, deleting, or distorting things to make them more manageable (and hopefully less painful) to consume.
Now, the interesting thing about these filters is that they’re completely subjective in that two people could share the exact same experience, yet feel and respond completely different – it all comes down to how we perceive the experience, and the meaning we give to it.
However, there’s a fine line between making things more manageable and putting a sugar-coating on your own bulls**t trying to make it more palatable. It’s all comes down to having the ability to be painfully honest with yourself and how you’re viewing the world.
I truly believe that if you’re not where you want to be in your life, then maybe it’s time to challenge the way in which you view things – because when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Start producing and doing things that matter (to you).
I heard a simple quote recently that resonated powerfully with me.
“Life’s better when you make stuff”
Although it’s such a simple saying, it makes so much sense to me as I feel that creating, producing, or just doing things that matter (to us personally) can have the most profound effect on our sense of fulfillment and happiness.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not entirely sold on the idea of “finding your purpose” as it has always tended to push me towards your purpose having to be a very specific thing that you must find, then do, forever.
Well, I’ve searched high and low – I haven’t found my purpose yet. However, what I did stumble upon was that in trying to find that “one thing” that was supposed to bring me all the health, wealth and happiness, I had never been more miserable.
It wasn’t until I let go of this desperate need to search for “my purpose” and instead just tried to live each day “purposefully” that I found the greatest sense of happiness. It all just clicked into place, no longer was I searching for fulfilment, I achieved it each and every day in the purposeful actions I took.
James Anderson has combined over 10 years’ experience as a personal trainer with a background in NLP coaching and a couple of near-death experiences to develop a very unique outlook on life. As a result he speaks, presents and writes no-BS content in the hope that he can help others find their long-term personal health and happiness solution. He is the founder of Sydney-based female group training program PHAT Fit. Find him on Instagram or Facebook.