I haven’t published a Trigger Tuesday in a while so, I thought it was time for one. This one may relate more to the younger crowd, but social media has become so big that all ages use them so I don’t eliminate anyone from this information.
One of the biggest triggers for me in the past and still sometimes is social media.
Scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc. sets me up for comparing myself to others whether physically, through their accomplishments or what they have materialistically and what amazing things they get to experience.
I do not like the fact that I engage in these behaviors, but I have done it for so long that I can’t remember a time I didn’t do it. It has become a habit and social media just added fuel to the fire. I just sit for hours scrolling through all of my social media outlets looking at “how good she looked in a bathing suit and wishing I had her body”, “the fact that she was in the Bahamas while I was sitting on the couch watching Netflix” and it just went on like this. After I finally decided to put my phone down, I felt horrible not just about myself but my all around well being was tarnished.
It took a long time, but I was finally able to mostly break this habit leaving me a healthier and happier person.
If you too struggle with being triggered by social media, I have a few tips that helped me move towards a goal of decreasing triggers without eliminating social media as a whole because surprisingly social media can be just as positive as it can be negative.
1. Unfollow/Unfriend any Pro-Ana/Mia/Thinspiration accounts.
Why? Is that even a question. All these accounts do is serve to trigger you into acting upon eating disorder behaviors. And if you follow these accounts and don’t suffer from an eating disorder, it will make it more likely for you to develop one so, just don’t. If You don’t know what Pro-Ana/Mia is click here and thinspiration is a similar concept but here is a definition.
2. Unfollow/Unfriend recovery accounts that share their daily intake and/or are in a relapse.
This one can be tricky but for most sufferers of eating disorders, these types of recovery accounts can be immensely triggering. They usually post everything they eat sometimes that may include calories which is a “no no” for many with eating disorders. Also, if the person behind recovery account that you are following is experiencing a relapse this may cause you to want to engage behaviors as well.
3. Unfollow/Unfriend people that you often compare yourself too.
This can also be hard because it may be a celebrity that you really love and support or even one of your friends, but if it’s negatively impacting your social media experience and you find yourself comparing to often you may have to do this.
4. Follow positive accounts.
This can be a daily inspiration account, a daily quote account, a body positive person, a peaceful account or whatever makes you feel good inside when you scroll past it. Since doing this, scrolling through my social media feeds has become a helpful experience instead of a detrimental one. The more positive accounts you follow and the less negative/triggering accounts you follow, the better your social media experience will be.
5. Try to make your account as positive as possible.
This doesn’t mean be fake or don’t be yourself, but try not to focus on the negative. I encourage you to put something positive in every post. Generally, the more positive pots you have on your account, the more positive the people will be who follow you. That can lead to an inspirational feed, some sweet comments, and a lot of likes.
6. If all else fails take a social media break.
Sometimes it’s necessary.
As I said earlier in this post, social media can be negative or positive depending on how you use it. I encourage you to use my tips because they really helped me make social media a more positive outlet.
I hope this helps you change your relationship with social media.