YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY vs YOUR HEALTH

There is that sound again… the indication of another notification from one of your Social Media platforms. Question is: what do you do?

Are you one of the 60+% of people in the world who immediately and impulsively grab your mobile and check that notification? If so, your dependency on automatically looking what the notification is about, may be an indication that you are suffering from what is called Social Media Addiction.

It is always easy to slap a label onto something, so even though it may seems straight forward, let’s dive deep into the what and why of this human matter.

WHAT IS ADDICTION

To kick start this article, let’s see how dictionary.com explains the word, or symptom (as it is often called): “Addiction is the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity”. 

Take note, that the word activity is included in the explanation. After all, attending to your social feeds is an activity - something that are done fairly regular. 

WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS 

Being spurred on by a post I read on It’s Time To Log Off it is clear that an overwhelming amount of people in the world are suffering from SMA (social media addiction). You may read this and think “oh well, this is not me”, but please take note: if you find it (rather) difficult not to respond to notifications by checking your feeds immediately or constantly recording/typing content for your sites, then it is time to wake up and smell the coffee. It is very possible that you are one of the 60+% in the world.

Let’s look at such a scenario from a different angle: how do you feel when you discover you have no signal to receive incoming alerts on your mobile device? That anxious feeling, together with not being able to post any content, can have a negative effect on your wellbeing. For instance, you may end up feeling down in the dumps, frustrated (to say the least) and/or even get really angry. These emotions, due to the lack of not being able to connect as such, spells danger. 

HOW TO COMBAT YOUR HABIT

There is a possibility one can argue that the existence of social sites are created to get you hooked. Albeit this being a very strong suggestion, take a minute and think clearly about it. One could easily find some truth in that statement. Going back to the explanation of addiction, hooked is exactly how people end up if they can’t leave their devices alone.  

Time, within the technology world, luckily moves at a speed almost as fast as light. Nowadays applications (Apps) are created to help people curb the time they spend on electronic devices. Assisted by those within the medical environments, these helpers are there to do exactly that. The crux lies within ones own decision to turn them on

The mere fact that institutions are making decisions to create electronic help, can be a clear indication that the statement about sites vs deliberate, obsessive behaviour may not be as far fetched as we want to believe. 

Changing the screen time  applications’ settings to on is one way to minimise your activities online. Another very simple, and effective, solution is to take a firm stand and cancel all notification alerts. Of course this can be seen by many as a drastic measure, but let’s keep our eyes on the longterm effects. There are clear indications that your health will improve when one exercise less negative emotions in life. Specially when it comes to the dependency on feedback such as likes from followers. 

Obviously, when one cancels a certain daily ritual, a gap is created and therefore the need to fill it is inevitable. Why not get back to good, ol’ natural remedies such as go outside and breathe in fresh air? Pick up a book, read and turn pages with your fingers (instead of swiping) and better still… talk to someone face to face. Let’s be honest, the possibilities are endless. It is only a matter of looking around and not focussing on a small screen in front of you. 

CONCLUSION

“I am going to take a hiatus from social media” is a line very often used in social media posts. However, are many of those really sticking to their words?

But that is exactly what you want them to do, you may say pointing your finger at me. Yes, that is what I’m on about - however, my questions still remains: Do They Really Do That?

My believe is that many online influencers/activists, etc. are confused by the words taking a break. Time and time again I witness regulars on social sites claiming the proverbial gone fishing scenario only to discover a few minutes/hours later they are in full glory, camera front facing and happily chatting away live to the world. And where do I see this happening? On various social media platforms that offers a stories or live function, where else! 

That  hiatus didn’t last long, right? “No, no, no, Evan, I am taking a break from publishing any work related content. I am away with my family at a beach resort. I am teasing your taste buds with the delicious food we’re eating?” Or the other classic: “I am building my personal brand on social platforms! Presence is what it is all about”.

I am afraid such individuals need to stop kidding themselves. That kind of behaviour is not leaving social media alone for a period of time. Purely because you change your content does not make it less of a habit.  Publishing your absence loud and clear is exactly what it should be. Stick to your guns - most importantly, show your audience you’re a sincere human focussed on many other opportunities than the matter in your hand

Content on platforms are important, don’t get me wrong. However, the content  is not what causes the addiction. The inability to see the wrong doing, is the underlining cause for concern, in my opinion. The bottom line is to first realise the habit and how damaging it is - and only then serious change can take place. 

I will leave you with some honest advice: Take A Well Deserved Break from Social Media and do Your Future Self a favour. Ultimately, enjoy the sunset views… taste the delicious food… have a great, fun time away from normality. It will do you the world of good. 

And finally a cheeky suggestion: share those taking-a-break-memories with us all by creating and publishing a digital album on your return. 

As always, please feel free to share, comment or send me a message if you have any questions and/or can relate to this post. 

You can reach me here, on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

And most of all… Thank You for reading.

BECOME A MENTAL NINJA

How would you describe the phrase being successful? So many times, from the top of our heads, we go with having no financial worries or being famous or living in a mansion, etc. etc... Funny thing is, those connotations may not always be exact. What is exact though, is the by-product of success which all successful people have – and that is: a mental toughness. 

TOUGHIN’ UP

The one thing that drives a person to reach a level that refers to be a success, is their minds. At the end of the day, it’s truly about what is going on in their minds that make them reach levels others can only admire from afar.

That said, you may ask… "are you saying I should adjust my mind and then I can reach a level of success?". Great question, and here’s a great answer for you: YES! That is what I, and many others, are saying. Basically, get tough with your mind.

START SWEATING

It’s rather common knowledge that working our bodies is good for our health. Adding to that eating right and we are on our way to build a physique that not only is admired by others but cause great satisfaction to ourselves when we look in the mirror. Hence the reason so many of us take to working up a sweat at home or in the gym.

Guess what? The same goes for your mind. To give your mind a vigorous workout on a regular basis will contribute to you being happy with yourself as a person inside as well. You can become a ninja of your own mental world. The amazing thing about it all is that it’s not at all that difficult to do.

Being an avid believer in the power of the mind, I have been working out my mind for many years. Actually, for far more years than working on my body. I honestly believe I am where I am today because of the attention I constantly give to my thought process every day.

CONQUER FROM WITHIN.001.jpeg

CREATE A ROUTINE

Like many physical trainers will tell you, a routine is of the essence when it comes to working out. The same goes for mental stimulation. Let’s dive into 4 sets of exercises to get you going:

  • BANISH THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER

How often does it not happen that you find yourself in an unpleasant situation which leads to you feeling inferior and beating yourself up about it? The solution is to get body physical as soon as you feel negativity swamping you. 

Do any kind of physical movements. And I do mean, any kind. However, use your favourite exercise. That could be jumping up and down, running on the spot or even push-ups if that’s your thing. As long as you push your mind to focus on something other than the feeling of self-doubt. More to the point… Get Moving! This will break the cycle of negativity and reinforce stability in your mind. 

  • BULK UP YOUR EYESIGHT

Having the ability to see your future is a fascinating attribute. If you currently think you don’t have this, hang in there. You may be able to surprise yourself when you adopt the following exercise which is: put on glasses. Well, not reading glasses, but Success Glasses. 

Part and parcel of wearing your new-found glasses are to look at experiences through a different lens. For instance, take the issue you had which made you feel upset and unhappy. Embrace your emotions by looking at it from a new perspective and start to learn from your experiences. Realise that what you did or how you managed that opportunity wrongly, is a great step forward to having a strong mental attitude. Remember to take notes so as not to repeat your actions. 

Personally, I see setbacks as motivation to move on. So can you. Work on facing a setback with the mental awareness of solving a problem. 

  • PROTECT WHAT YOU'VE GOT

Now it’s time to get really physical. Yes, I am referring to your body. The link between a healthy body and a healthy mind is a statistic we cannot get away from or ignore. The two goes hand in hand.

I am by now means saying that you should become a gym fanatic. If you’re already regularly working out, then that’s great. My point is to take care of your body by what you put into it. Since we are starting to fill our minds with healthy, nutritious thoughts, the same should go for your body. 

Saturate your body with water and steer away from processed foods. Get to sleep as early as possible and stay in that state for at least 6 hours if not more (whatever works for your body clock). It’s common knowledge that lack of sleep has a terrible effect on your cognitive abilities. 

  • COOL DOWN

After physical exercise, it is recommended that you should perform some sort of exercise (like stretching) to get your muscles to relax after you have given them a bashing. The same goes for a mental workout.

Learn the art of meditation. As per the dictionary, it is "a practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state". The emphasis is on calm.  Basically, you have to slow down your thinking. After all, you have been working hard in your head to move into a positive state of mind so to speak. 

If meditation is unknown territory for you, seek help to get your head around it (no pun intended!). There are many applications (apps) on your mobile device that can teach you various techniques. Also, ask your family, friends or work colleagues for advice. Mediation takes on various forms. It is important that you find a way that works for you. It may be a trial and error situation at the start but persevere. 

CONCLUSION

I mentioned before that I am a very positive person. I find it much easier to be positive than negative in life. Since I live in the real world, it is obvious that I will come across situations in life that create a negative environment. These are the moments I apply the above exercises to keep moving forward. 

You may say that I make it sound so easy. To put you at ease, it took consistent attempts and a lot of determination to get to the level where I find myself nowadays. Remember that saying… Rome wasn’t built in a day? That is true of my mental workouts. As I had to get used to exercising my body, the same is said for mental workouts. Once you have experienced how pumped your mind feels afterwards, you will begin to get into it in a big way. 

One last note of advice: Keep Practising. Remember why you started – to be a Success. Once your mindset is your boss, the rest will fall into place. The Power of Positive Thinking can and will ultimately be a Force To Be Reckon With. Be patient with yourself and soon You will also find it easy to do. 

Feel free to share, comment or send me a message if you can relate to this post. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach me here, on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

And most of all… Thank You for reading.

STOP. BEING NEGATIVE IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU.

What are you thinking right now? Is it what this post will be all about or something more personal? Whatever your answer, thinking is what we do. All the time. 

The important factor is not that we think, but how we think. Very often one finds oneself in a more negative state of thinking than a positive one. Self-defeating thoughts can cause havoc in ones life. So, can we do something about it? And if we can, what or better still, how can we be more positive.

DISTORTED THOUGHTS

Ever heard the saying you are what you eat? Well, the same goes for …what you think. That is definitely true. We tend to believe that what goes on in our minds are the truth. In general many of us sway towards the negative issues and not the positive ones. It’s utterly and completely normal. 

However, such thoughts easily can be fake. So, to put it into relevant context, we believe in Fake News. Shocking revelation, if you ask me.  You may right now sit up and think (!) 'what the hell? How dare he says I believe in fake news!' If you focus on your distorted thoughts then you do trust and believe in such news. 

GET INSIDE YOUR OWN HEAD

General distorted thoughts are called cognitive distortions and are categorised into 3 groups:

  • Filtering

  • Polarized Thinking

  • Overgeneralizing

Each of these 3 convinces us that what we are thinking, at a specific moment, is the truth. However, they are inaccurate and reinforce our mind to think in a negative manner spurred on by negative emotions. 

Don’t feel disappointed right now. Trust me, all is not lost - You can Be Your Own Best Friend.

MAKE A START NOW

To achieve having power over our thought process, we need to start deconstruct our mind. We don’t only need to get control back, we need to be in control all the time.

Let’s take each distortion group one by one.

1. Filtering

Firstly, what is filtering? I am sure that within seconds of me giving you a rundown of it, you will recognise it. 

Have you ever been complimented on a handful of things you were great at? Perhaps in work, by your partner or family member? They praised you for being amazing and then this happens: ‘Pity you didn’t master that so well. Maybe you should  take time out and learn more about it’. Boom. All hell breaks loose in your head. Gone are the heap of things you're good at. They vanished in nano seconds. All that’s left is how bad/horrible/etc. you were at the one thing they told you to learn more about. There you have it: you filtered out all the positives and now only focus on the negative. 

To alter this thought process the focus should stay on your strengths - the things you did well. In return, the one thing you didn’t do that well will improve. The more you use words to emphasise your compliments, the more you will build yourself up. As they say, words matter, so use them well. 

2. Polarized Thinking

Secondly, what do we do when we polarize something? We divide it into two halves - i.e. black & white or right & wrong. 

Basically, we tend to focus only on the utmost opposites. There are no middle ground as far as we are concerned. No grey area at all. We believe we either do something fully or don’t do it at all. Let's say you tried your hand at something new, i.e. a craft - it didn’t work out so you immediately believe you failed and you will never be able to do it. 

To be successful we need to focus on progress and gratitude - not perfection. Reminding yourself consistently of your winnings in life and work will have a far better influence over yourself. It will also give you the incentive to continue striving towards your goals. 

3. Overgeneralization

Lastly, what happens when we overgeneralize situations? We apply one negative result to all other similar instances. 

If a certain activity or experiment disappointed us, all others likewise will disappoint too, we believe. Therefore we don’t attempt it ever again.

When this happens we need to zoom in onto the fact that one bad moment doesn’t apply to every other one out there. Note that one bad egg doesn’t spoil the whole dozen. We need to get back on track and try again. There is a big possibility that if you attack something similar by leaving the bad experience behind and progress with a positive attitude, the outcome will be far more rewarding. You will most likely succeed and start to enjoy whatever it is you’re giving a second chance.

CONCLUSION

Watch out for What You Think. The secret is to investigate your thoughts before you make a decision about it. Best way to accomplish this is to: 

  • analyse into which group that thought falls

  • figure out why you are thinking in a certain way

  • then focus on the positive side of the situation

This way of managing our thought process should become part and parcel of our natural thinking behaviour. If you Think Positive, you will Be Positive. And guess what? If you think negative, you will end up being negative. Fact!

Tackle the Fake News in your head and banish it. Now and Forever. Don’t take any BS from yourself from now on.

Feel free to share, comment or send me a message if you can relate to this post. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach me here, on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

And Thank You for reading.