This month we are going back to the foundations of what it means to be healthy and well. While we aim to live a life where we care for our bodies through movement and feeding our cells with life-giving foods, our attempts at making progress in these areas can quickly be sabotaged by our mindset.
Last week I talked about being aware of and adjusting thought patterns, moving them from negative to positive thoughts. Did you get a chance to practice being more aware of your mindset throughout the day and if necessary, changing your thoughts from negative to positive?
Ironically, these are the same exercises I helped athletes with who were seeking my help to be more mentally tough in their sport. Just like you and I, these athletes also found themselves doubting their abilities and using what I call “stinkin thinkin.’ Isn’t it ironic how a negative mindset doesn’t discriminate between a high-caliber athlete and those of us (like you and I) who simply want to be more healthy and well?
This week the discussion around mindset revolves around the role of social media. You may have seen the research that is coming out about how social media can take a toll on our emotions. Specifically, research is finding that frequent users of Facebook are more likely to be anxious, stressed, and display narcissistic behaviors where excessive self-love is the norm. Furthermore, frequent users of Facebook are more likely to be unhappy and less content with life. The American Academy of Pediatrics has even coined a term called “Facebook Depression.” Take these findings in light of the number of users of social media. Facebook, for example, has over 1.86 billion active users. This accounts for 68% of all Americans, with women represent the majority of this percentage.
How does this relate to health and wellness? Let me demonstrate how my own love-hate relationship with social media plays out in my health and wellbeing.
When I browse through Facebook, I’m looking at everyone’s highlight reel of themselves, their families, and their business success. Before I know it, my unconscious mind starts to compare my life, my family, and my success with these highlight reels.
Thoughts such as, “Why can’t I go on that awesome vacation?” or “Why can’t I see the same progress as them?” to “Why can’t my business be as successful?” filtrates through my thoughts. These negative thoughts then result in me being irritated, frustrated, and less compassionate towards not only those I love the most, but myself as well. Ultimately, I develop a mindset of “I don’t care.”
When this becomes my way of thinking, I start to sabotage my health goals by drinking Coke (I love the taste of Coke!), eating way too many sweets, and sitting on my tuff for days on end. Why? Because I chose to let someone else’s highlight reel affect me, to the point that it affects how I care for my body!
Did you notice I used the word chose? It is a choice that I browse Facebook. Because it is a choice, I have made it a point to go on a social media detox.
Here is how I implement this social media detox:
- Rather than checking Facebook first thing in the morning, I choose to pray for what I have been given and blessed with. I also read and meditate on God’s Word every single morning.
- I close out of my Facebook browser when I’m not using it for work.
- I silence my Facebook notifications.
- I moved my Facebook icon on my phone to another screen so I don’t see it when I open my phone.
- I “unfollow” friends that trigger negative thoughts and emotions, and
- I take multiple social media breaks throughout the day and, at times, for several days.
Taking these steps is helping me guard my eyes and filling my thoughts with positive, life-giving messages, which allow me to stay positive throughout the day. This positive mindset then translates into how I speak and care to others and myself.
How about you? Does social media affect your health? If so, are you ready to take the social media detox challenge? Join me in being intentional about guarding what you see with your eyes so that you can fully embrace your health goals.
Want help in changing your mindset? Don’t hesitate to contact me. Together, we can make you a healthier version of yourself!
Yours in Health and Wellness,