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How much time do you spend on social media each day? Chances are, more than you think! It can be easy to get in the habit of mindlessly scrolling through our Facebook feed or opening up Instagram every time you receive a notification. Did you know, though, that all that time on social media could be wreaking havoc on your spiritual life?
Defining spirituality can be difficult, but generally, our spirituality is whatever makes us feel at peace with the world around us and provides us with a sense of calm. There are many different ways people stay spiritually well. For some people, praying and believing in God helps their spiritual health. For others, practicing yoga and mindfulness helps them feel connected with themselves and at peace with the world.
No matter how you define your spirituality and keep yourself well, you might want to consider the impact social media is having on your spiritual health.
Engaging and sharing
Many people use social media as a way to engage and share with others. However, many people become trapped in a cycle where they share something to receive validation. They might not reveal their true self, instead only showing the parts that they think others will like and appreciate. Embrace yourself and allow yourself to show all what matters most to you, not just what you think others will like to see. This can help you foster deeper relationships with others, as well as practice self-expression.
Not enough doing
Another trap people fall into is focusing too much on posting perfect content — this can take away valuable time that could be spent on your spiritual health instead. For example, if you find yoga enjoyable, there’s nothing wrong with sharing a few photos of yourself practicing poses. But don’t allow yourself to spend more time trying to get a good photo than actually practicing yoga. Take the photo, upload it, and then unplug and spend time doing what you love to stay connected with yourself.
It can also be easy to start comparing yourself to others while pursuing social media, resulting in you starting to develop negative self-confidence that can hurt your spiritual well-being. For example, take into consideration social media and body image. If working out helps you feel happy (therefore boosting your spiritual wellness), don’t allow yourself to negatively compare your body to those you see in photos. This negative comparison can hurt your self-confidence and could start making you view exercise as a bad thing instead of a good thing.
Struggles with mental health
And for others, the constant comparison to others or the constant need to present only their best self online can result in them struggling with feelings of anxiety and depression. When social media starts feeling like a job and starts stressing you out, take a step back, and examine where these feelings are coming from. If social media negatively impacts your mental health, it is also negatively impacting your spiritual health. Remember, activities that make you feel positive are what boost your spiritual health.
Finding a balance
If done correctly, there is a way to balance social media and spiritual health. It’s all about finding a way to spend time on social media but also finding time to unplug and spend time focusing on your spiritual health. For example, if meditation makes you feel spiritually well, you might spend time drawing inspiration from social media and seeing how others are practicing meditation. Appreciate how they’re taking care of themselves. Then, turn off your screens, and focus on your own meditation and spiritual well-being.
Connect with the right people
You’ll also want to make sure you’re following the right people on social media. Unfollow people that create tension in your life or that you don’t enjoy seeing updates from. Fill your feeds with people that inspire you to continue along your spiritual journey. And, don’t forget to chat with them! Social media can deepen our connection with others. However, this connection requires actual communication and not just mindless likes. Tell them in words what you enjoy about their posts or how they inspire you.
Your spiritual health matters. While there’s nothing wrong with using social media, find ways that encourage you to feel positively connected to yourself and the world around you. Avoid the trap of feeling like you need to present a perfect image on social media. Instead, embrace your true self, show the world who you are — and also make sure to take the time to unplug!