I have a little secret trick that works as an excellent detox from the harmful things we fill our minds and bodies with on a daily basis. It works in just one day and instantly makes me feel much better. I feel refreshed, I feel happier and I feel way less stressed and anxious.
So what’s my one day detox? I stop using social media.
We are all so helplessly and pathetically addicted to social media. I’m not shunning any of you or pointing the finger, I’m standing right there with you. We wake up and instantly check Twitter, stalk Instagram and skim Snapchat before we even get out of bed. Our first thoughts in the morning are “I wonder what I missed while I was sleeping.” We immediately fill our brains with images and thoughts pushed out by other people, most of whom we don’t know. We don’t even allow ourselves a solid 10 minutes within waking up for our own personal opinions. A huge percentage of us will have no idea what’s going on in the world according to the news, but we’ll know what Miley Cyrus had for dinner last night and where Kim Kardashian is currently vacationing.
Seriously, how many times a day do you find yourself looking at Instagram? Scrolling through your newsfeed of toned beach bodies, gorgeous scenic views and luxurious goods that cost more than your measly salary. Wasting minutes or even hours “catching up” on what you missed today because you didn’t have a second to check. We find ourselves stalking some random person we don’t know, that we stumbled upon because someone else we follow liked their photo, and now we’re 400 pictures deep into their amazing, picture-perfect life according to Instagram. We find ourselves scrutinizing their profiles to find one tiny flaw, one love handle, one outfit mishap, one bad hair day to make us feel better about ourselves, to make them look more normal and more like us. Less perfect versions of who their Instagram accounts claim them to be.
Now imagine your day without social media. Imagine how you would feel about yourself if you didn’t have celebrities and celebrity wannabes to compare yourself to. By latching on to these fictional worlds that media makes us believe people actually live in, we’re creating a void in our minds and preventing ourselves from being truly happy with who we are.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Dwight Edwards
We are products of our environment, and that includes what we choose to expose ourselves to. But understand that it’s okay to disconnect every once in a while… give your mind a break from the constant scrutinizing, comparing, judging, obsessing. Eliminate the negative feelings you force onto yourself (whether you realize it or not) by detaching from the sources.
Maybe it means you keep your phone in your pocket through all your meals. Or you log out after your morning stalk session. Maybe you go on hiatus from one of the 18 networks (exaggerated, it’s probably closer to 8) you have an account with. Fill your time with other outlets… like human to human conversation, a magazine, a book, a phone call.
As much as we might need a detox of the food and substance kind, consider a mental detox to reap some of the same benefits. Mental and emotional health are just as important, if not more important, than your physical health. Thinking clearly, confidently and positively about yourself will in fact make you feel good.