In the first half of this discussion, we described the harmful relationship between social media and mental health. In this section, we focus on how to take control of those relationships. Here are some tips for stopping and preventing social media addiction.
Recognize the Problem
The signs of social media addiction may be more subtle than other addictions, but they are still present. Do you spend time on your phone when interacting with people in person? Do you check social media in inappropriate situations, like in the car or at work? Is your smartphone the first thing you interact within the morning and/or the last thing you see at night? If so, you most likely have some form of social media addiction.
Reset Your System
If your phone stops working, what do you do? Turn it off and turn it back on. We’re asking you to do that with your mind.
Commit to taking a prolonged break from social media. You don’t have to delete your accounts, but delete the apps from your phone. Tell your loved ones to text or call you if they need anything. Remove yourself from the temptations of social media for a week, a month, three months – however long it takes to change your habits. It will be difficult to transition at first, but soon you’ll realize you don’t need social media to feel happy or entertained.
Put Yourself on a Schedule
Limit your access to social media by only checking it during certain times of the day. For instance, stop checking social media at work. Reserve that for your time off. Avoid social media at least 30 minutes before bed. This will help you fall asleep faster. Find timeframes that work for your lifestyle and still keep you in control of your addiction.
Limit the Number of Devices You’re Signed in on
Right now, you may be signed into social media on your phone, on your computer, on your tablet, on your work computer – all the devices you use throughout the day. An easy way to keep your social media time down is to reduce the number of devices you use for access. Only login on your personal phone or personal computer. No other device. If you want to check social media, you will only be able to do that when using that device. These simple changes will do wonders for your mental health.
Get to the Root of the Issue
Social media is just one factor in depression and anxiety. There may be other issues in your life affecting your mental health. Talk to a therapist to find the source. As you discuss your thoughts and experiences, you can start to see patterns in your life. You can figure out when you first started feeling this way and what continues to trigger these emotions. You can also learn healthy coping strategies that work for you specifically.
At Oakland Psychological Clinic, our experts understand the connection between social media and mental health. We provide counseling and therapy fit for the modern world. If you are interested in depression treatment, anxiety treatment, or other counseling services in Michigan, contact the Oakland Psychological Clinic nearest to you.