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The effects of social media on mental health

With mental health awareness week approaching from 10th-16th May, we thought we’d touch on what role social media plays towards mental health.

 

Mental Health and Nature

It is no coincidence that this year’s mental health awareness week theme is nature. We are constantly encouraged to step away from our screens, spend time outdoors and #ConnectWithNature. Find out why Mental Health Foundation chose Nature as this year’s theme.

“There is something to be wondered at in all of Nature.” – Aristotle

Social media – the negatives

Social media is everywhere. You can’t even go out for dinner without someone taking their phone out to take the perfect Instagram-worthy selfie! With every imperfection filtered out of that photo to get the “perfect picture”. What does this strive for perfection do to people’s self-esteem and mental health?

People constantly check their phones and there appears to be an entire generation of self-confessed “smart phone addicts.” Instagram is now home to photo after photo of seemingly “perfect” looking people, creating unrealistic ideals. And we’re all guilty of mindlessly scrolling through Twitter, when we should be getting some much-needed sleep! In some studies, social media is the reason for unhappiness and development of mental health issues including anxiety or depression.

Social media – the benefits

Social media has many great benefits, including keeping in touch with friends, promoting businesses and events and looking back on old memories.

Connecting online can be a lifeline for some people, because social media provides “communities” for many people. They now use social media to share content such as health, fitness, medical advice and alternative therapies with like-minded individuals.

Take a break from social media and connect with nature

Social media can be both a help and a hinderance for people. It depends on the individual as to how they utilise social media. For some, social media can be a really positive resource, whereas for others, it can be detrimental on their mental health.

As adults, we consciously limit our children’s screen time and ensure they get outside for “fresh air”. Why not consider limiting your screen time so that you can make the most of connecting with nature instead?

If you are struggling with your mental health, there is support out there. Find out more here.

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