National Mental Health Awareness Week
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s an annual event when there is opportunity for the whole country to focus on good mental health. Mental Health Awareness Week is open to everyone; it is all about starting conversations about mental health and the things in our daily lives that can affect it.
One thing that can majorly affect mental health is social media and this can be in both positive and negative ways.
First of all, after the past 12 months, many of us will have used social media more than before. Whether this be down to working from home, keeping in touch with friends or any other reason, they are just a couple of ways that social media can have a positive effect on our lives.
Social media platforms are designed to grab your attention, keep you online, and have you repeatedly checking your screen for updates. But much like any addiction, social media use can create psychological cravings. When you receive a like, a share, or a favourable reaction to a post, it can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. The more you’re rewarded, the more time you want to spend on social media, even if it becomes detrimental to other aspects of your life.
Signs That Social Media is Impacting Your Mental Health:
Spending more time on social media than with real world friends.
Comparing yourself unfavourably with others on social media.
Being distracted at school or work.
Suffering with sleep problems.
There are many ways to modify social media to help improve your mental health. The main one being simply reducing the amount of time you spend online. Like any other addiction though, this is not easy, so there are things to help, such as software that tracks how much time you spend on certain apps.
If you feel like you need more help in terms of mental health, there are people who can help: