This post may contain affiliate links which means I make a small commission if you click on any external links and make a purchase. For more information, visit my Legal Stuff page. I value your support and always promise to prioritize my honest opinion over any monetary gains..
I’ve always been an anxious person. Prone to panic attacks, mild depression and generalized anxiety. However, I’ve taken some really big strides to take control of my anxiety this year and it feels amazing. It may seem like a daunting task, because anxiety can feel like it is consuming you. However, I’ve come up with three easy ways to use social media to calm your anxiety.
This post is called ‘ways to use social media to calm your anxiety’, but I honestly think that it’s three easy things that everyone should do. Even people without anxiety…. and you’ll see why in a second.
Do I think social media is good for anxiety?
However, I know that about 95% of us have an extreme case of FOMO (‘fear of missing out’ for the older generation like myself that had no idea WTF that meant.)
Social media is basically an adult pacifier.
We get bored, awkward, curious, mad, scared, worried…. and we grab for our phones and go to town!
So of course, my true belief is that we should all tone down our social media use, if not quit it all together.
However, social media is so ingrained in our world that it can seem almost impossible to give up.
Schools, clubs, teams, high school reunions… hell, even employers have taken to social media to keep in touch with their employees. igh school reunions… hell, even employers have taken to social media to keep in touch with their employees.
It seems increasingly difficult to press the ‘deactivate’ button nowadays.
So if you are able to remove yourself, I have deep respect for you.
This is for the people who can’t quite give it up, but also struggle with anxiety.
My Experience With Anxiety & Social Media
I wrote a post about INFJs and social media a while back and I got a surprising response to it. It didn’t only resonate with INFJs…. a lot of people felt the same way about social media.
It had me wondering why social media consumed most of our lives…. but at the same time, most of us really hate it.
Social media can seem like a big scary bear at times. Especially people with anxiety. It’s like one big popularity contest with a bunch of pictures of sad puppies and political anger thrown in.
It can be overwhelming and our need to check in can also be overwhelming.
When my anxiety was at its worst, my feed was also at its worst.
My personal Facebook feed was nothing but politics, people I had lost contact with years back, sad videos about dogs, polarizing content about current events and just general icky stuff.
My business Instagram feed was people from 50 different niches that I had followed from loops or engagement pods. While some of them had interesting content, some of them had a completely fake internet presence.
It made me feel like I didn’t have my shit together and that I needed to change how I was…. (and we all know thats not helpful for anxiety.)
Unfortunately, social media networks reward accounts and content like this, so even if you only follow a few of them, it will feel like they are taking over your feed. And it’s because they are.
But the more you tailor the content you see, the more you will even see the ads and suggested posts change. Social media has algorithms that learn when you’re done seeing bad vibes.
So lets talk about how we can get social media to work for your anxiety instead of against it.
Start With The Easy Stuff: Groups
Go through your groups and pages you follow and give it a good cleaning.
This is easier than going through the individual people one by one. This will be pretty eye opening if you pay attention.
In January, I joined a few fibromyalgia support groups. It was amazing to hear people who were going through the same stuff I was and offering advice. It was a group I thought I needed at the time.
However, they started to really take over my feed… and my mind.
One day, I was reading a post in my feed about someone’s fibro causing them to have to give up their lifelong dream of being a painter….. and my anxiety clung to that post.
Mr. Anxiety chimed in with: “What if I get so bad I can’t write anymore? What if my hands get so bad I can’t walk the dogs? What will I do if I can’t blog?”
Before I knew it, I was in a full blown tailspin. We were being evicted and having to rehome our pets. We had lost everything because I couldn’t write and I was disabled.
But I wasn’t. I’m not disabled. I’m still fully capable of writing 8k word posts in a day. But my anxiety led me to believe that because she had a similar disease, I would end up just like her.
This same thing went for most of my groups and pages I followed. Even our local ‘community’ page was full of posts about crime and anger about people doing petty crap like blowing their lawn clippings in the street.
Either remove yourself or unfollow the groups and pages.
Now that we removed the negative, lets find some positive stuff!
Go find some groups that are welcoming, loving and supportive. (I linked some of my favorites at the bottom of this post.)
Search something you love then allow yourself to fall down the rabbit hole of discovery for new, positive things.
I promise, it will make your whole day brighter just to see a few pictures of a happy puppy or baby rather than angry political banter!
You Control Your Presence
I think we feel like we have to participate to be accepted. We ‘have’ to be present on social media to ‘keep up’ appearances.
But do we?
That is 100% your decision. No one elses’.
So if you’re going through a rough time and don’t have anything you really want to share with your ‘friends’…. don’t!
It’s okay to be absent from social media for a while.
If anyone reaches out to check on you, those are real friends. Share with them. Not the whole wide web!
I know it can be tempting to share a cute photo of your dog or an inspiring quote just to make it seem like you haven’t disappeared off the face of the Earth. Don’t.
But let yourself be still.
Don’t fall into the trap of keeping appearances. It’s freaking exhausting and it’s awful for someone who struggles with anxiety.
Because we know you’re gonna dwell on what people thought about what we posted and why so-and-so didn’t comment…..
Just leave it be.
Allow yourself to take breaks…. and set boundaries.
Remember, social media isn’t real life.
If you don’t share the photo of your awkward family reunion, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen…. or that you didn’t have a great time.
It just means that it’s yours.
And even though the world of social media assumes if you didn’t share, it didn’t happen.
It did happen. It’s just private…. and privacy is beautiful.
What Your Feed Is Feeding You
One of the most important things that I’ve ever read was: “Your diet isn’t just the food you consume. It’s what you watch, what you listen to, what you read, the people you hang around.”
If you are consuming junk food, your body will to reflect that.
If you are consuming mental junk, your mind will reflect that.
And most of what we’re consuming on social media is pure junk.
I dare you to open one of your social media apps and scroll through the first 10 posts.
I bet you are feeling something that resonates with one of those posts.
Posts about lack and scarcity, the world going to hell in a hand basket, ads or friends trying to sell you things to make you skinnier or prettier…..
Now you wonder why your anxiety is through the roof about not being able to afford a gym membership and the newest, coolest hair styling tool….
You are consuming this content by allowing it to be front and center on your feed.
So, you need to take control of it just like you would take control of an unhealthy diet.
Start with removing the bad.
Unfollow or Mute anyone or anything that brings you down.
Just remove them from your feed. They won’t know if you unfollow them!
So stop feeling guilty for putting yourself first. For saying “My mental health is more important than your need to fight about politics.” (Or whatever it is.)
We all have the Debbie Downers, ‘train wrecks’ and drama queens on our feeds.
Don’t let their drama create drama in your own mind.
Change How You Use Social Media
Turn your social media experience on its’ head and start using it as a place that amps you up! (In a good way.)
Instead of opening the app when you’re bored or curious, open it up when you need some good vibes…. or when you’re in the mindset to share good vibes!
Learn to tailor it to become a place where you find daily inspiration, motivation and even some humor!
Use social media with intention and purpose.
To make you happy or feel worthy.
Otherwise, you’re just scrolling down a never-ending feed of grey information that doesn’t add to your life’s power.
Would I love to be politically active and save all the puppies in the world? Of course! Would I love to have the mental capacity to help every single friend with every single struggle? Of course!
But that’s not my place. That’s not my job. And my anxiety had been trying to tell me that, but my heart wasn’t listening.
Just remember that you’re not a cruel or mean person for unfollowing content that makes you feel bad.
You’re protecting yourself and creating an environment where you can heal…. and feel peace.
Below I’ve shared a few of the pages that I follow and enjoy seeing in my feed. Of course, I can’t list every page because this post would take a month to write. But here are a few of my favorites that helped me press the reset button on my social media experience.
My New News Feed
Shameless Plug Warning:
Follow me on all of my social media handles at the bottom of this page. I post inspiring, uplifting content and a few reminders to stay rooted in gratitude and positivity. I also love sharing other peoples’ inspiring content, so if you’re a creator- shoot me a message!
My Favorite People
Aaron Doughty is a person that everyone should follow on all social media platforms. His content is spiritual and a bit ‘out there’ for some peoples’ taste. But he has been an incredible part of my healing from anxiety and spiritual awakening. His meditation videos and little daily reminders are perfect for anyone who needs to exit the anxiety brain.
Tiffany Jenkins from Juggling The Jenkins is my queen! I’ve mentioned her before in my posts, but she is really the bomb.com. She is breaking the stigma about talking about anxiety and depression. She makes hilarious videos, stories, photos and she’s a stellar writer. If you don’t follow anyone else, follow this badass anxiety warrior! You can thank me later.
The Awakening Light is a bit of a hippie-ish page, but they post so many things that remind you to heal and get out of your own brain.
The Highest Dimension is yet another hippie page, but it has incredibly powerful reminders to live your life, not a life for others.
Mindfully Fresh is a page about mindfulness and they have a lot of relatable posts about anxiety.
Conscious Culture Crew is about using your consciousness to heal and move forward with a healthier mindset.
Highly Sensitive Refuse is a page about highly sensitive people (and I’ve found that a lot of people with anxiety are HSPs. If you don’t know what that is, look it up!).
I created a Facebook group for us to connect with each other. I’ve had such an uplifting experience connecting with my readers through the comments that I wanted to join everyone together and create a comforting, loving, happy place where everyone is welcome. Join my Facebook group here.
Chasing Rainbows & Sunsets is a group my friend created to showcase and share gorgeous pictures of the sky. Her group brings a smile to my face every time I see it.
I also follow Georgia Funny Memes group. They post relatable stuff (cause I live in Georgia) and it never fails to give me a good laugh. Sometimes they get a little political, but most of it is hilarious jokes about our darn weather and football teams.
Jack Canfield is the author of all the ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’ so you can only imagine how uplifting his content is. He is a big believer in the Law of Attraction, so he is all good vibes.
I’m not saying you have to flood your social media with spiritual or Law of Attraction stuff, but they do tend to be some of the most consistent positive accounts I’ve found so far.
Twitter was hard for me to detox because a lot of people re-tweet random stuff…. but I’m also probably one of the only ‘Millenials’ that doesn’t ‘get’ Twitter… or Snapchat (sorry Sarah & Alanea hahaha).
The KARMA App
This is something totally brand new and I think it’s going to revolutionize social media.
It’s still new and it has its training wheels on, so I suggest you hop on the KARMA train while it’s still growing and spreading.
KARMA is an app that is created to spread good.
Everyone posts beautiful things they see throughout the day, raw and real selfies and amazing charity work being done across the world.
Also, unlike most social media platforms, you get to see people from every corner of the planet. So my feed is full of people in different countries doing amazing things and sharing it just to brighten other peoples’ days!
KARMA also offers a way to make a couple bucks spare change for your engagement. This shout out isn’t sponsored and I’m not getting anything for sharing this. I just really have faith in this up-and-coming network!
It has really changed the way I see things and I think you’ll enjoy it too!
You can download the iOS Version of KARMA.
Use Social Media To Calm Your Anxiety…. For Good
The Law of Attraction is: like attracts like.
So if you’re shifting your purpose, your intentions and your focus from negative to positive, you’ll be bringing more positive into your life.
The more you allow yourself to dwell on and appreciate the good, the more good you will notice.
This goes for every aspect of anxiety.
Whether you have generalized anxiety disorder like I did or you have social anxiety…. you’ll begin to notice those anxieties begin to quiet themselves down.
You’ll connect with people who make you feel whole. You’ll see more positive things that make you begin to feel comfortable in society again.
Of course this isn’t a cure-all to anxiety, but it’s one small, easy thing you can do to get yourself to a place of healing.
I really hope it helps you. I truly wish you peace.
Please comment your thoughts down below. I can’t wait to hear what y’all have to say.