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  • Katherine Elder, PhD, Licensed Psychologist

Benefits of Taking a Break from Social Media

Take a moment to consider how we are surrounded by or the impact of social media. It has become woven into the fabric of all of our lives. We are perpetually inundated with information and interactions from others. This can be a wonderful thing but also an overwhelmingly taxing part of our lives. Too often I am meeting with people who are disturbed and upset about their perception of content on social media. Today's blog is about the benefits of taking a break from social media:

1.) Increase your mindfulness to your surroundings. Have you seen the person texting and walking...well trying to walk?!? Imagine all they are missing in the world. We are less mindful of our surroundings when our faces are in our phones. Practicing mindfulness can help heal the brain from so many aliments. If we are constantly in our phones we are not allowing our brains to heal through the practice of mindfulness.

2.) Free yourself from Social Comparison. This is a huge concern, especially among the teenage populations. People have the propensity to socially compare when feeling insecure about ourselves. Social media is the perfect platform to socially compare. This is also a good reminder that things are not always as they appear. Social media posts portray what they want, they often edit or skip the ugly, undesirable, hardships people experience.

3.) Be Present with Others. I keep a pretty strict no phones at the table rule. Dinner time is the one time of the day our family sits down with one another, hopefully, undistracted by the hustle and bustle of the day. Adding a phone to the dinner table would interfere with us engaging in meaningful conversations. Staying constantly connected keeps you from being present with others. Disconnect and discover those in your world.

4.) You will Sleep Better! Our cell phones, tablets, and TV's emit a blue light which increases serotonin. This activates our brains to stay "on". Taking a break from not only social media but also from your screens can help you sleep better. Finally, avoiding social media at night can help you focus on other more productive things like gratitude from your day, preparing for the next day, or being present with yourself in a relaxed state of mind.

In ALL things, remain balanced. Social media does exist in our lives but it doesn't need to rule our lives. I encourage each of you to keep it right sized.

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