How To Replace Toxic Thoughts When Scrolling Through Social Media

Stop comparing your life to someone's feed.
by Ysabel Y. Yuzon   |  Jul 17, 2020
Art: Hannah Villafuerte
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Social relationships can be tricky to maneuver, especially since social media makes you feel closer to people you barely know IRL. Seeing too many good things on your feed can also sometimes lead to negative feelings of self-doubt, especially when you don't see the real score behind-the-scenes.

We begin to idealize other people's lives if we perceive them as "happier" or "more successful" than we are, when in reality, each person has their own worries and problems to battle. 

People are complex creatures, and we could all use a little understanding from one another--including ourselves. When scrolling through social media, here are a few things to keep in mind when you start to become too critical of others or feel bad about your current situation:

"They're not THAT pretty."

TRY: Her being beautiful doesn't take away from my beauty.

Ah yes, I used to be a mean girl, too. And I thought bringing other people down would make me feel better about myself. But as many body positive advocates have stressed, we're all beautiful in our own way. Beauty is subjective, yes, but who wins if you judge so harshly?

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"If only I had the money..."

TRY: How can I recreate this with my budget?

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Yes, it's okay to want things. But if your happiness hinges on what you can afford, then you'll spend your life chasing your "wants." What's important is you enjoy the journey. Does fashion make you happy? Try sewing and flipping your old clothes if you can't afford designer pieces. If you want to try yoga, look for free, beginner-friendly videos if you can't sign up for paid classes. Start with your day one, and don't compare it to someone's day 360.

"I hate my body."

TRY: My body lets me live my life and experience the world I know.

Now more than ever, health is the number one priority. Not to say body insecurities carry less weight, because these are very real, gender-based issues, but embracing a body-positive outlook can also help put things into perspective as you get to the root of your issues.

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Take a second to pause and listen to your body, and try to find out what it really needs, not what your habits are telling you to do. Pay attention to how it makes you feel, instead of letting other people's bodies be your metric.

"Why am I not as accomplished?"

TRY: What can I learn from this person's journey?

Success is earned, but it also requires a bit of luck and being at the right place at the right time. Some people "peak" in high school, others in college, and there are those who simply excel at less competitive fields where awards and recognitions are hard to come by. When you see someone doing better than you, try to see what you can take from their experience, and adopt it to your own journey to make it uniquely your own.

H/t: Psychology Today

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Ysabel Y. Yuzon
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