Updated: Feb 4, 2021
Wow a I'm writing this, the first week of 2021 is done already and let’s face it things are a bit crazy right now. I don’t want to get into any of that but it does bring up something I think we all need to keep in mind. Yesterday in one of our training sessions we were talking about how much all the crap that’s going on around us is affecting us. We’re all a bit stressed (and many eating more because of it), we feel tired, if not outright exhausted and just aren’t loving life. As one person said… “I just want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and forget the world exists” Honestly I kinda feel that way too. We’re all constantly bombarded with the negativity that surrounds us. It’s overwhelming to say the least. But here’s the thing and it’s something I’ve talked about before but I think now more than ever its imperative we not just revisit it but really take it to heart. The thing is this. We may not be able to control what’s going on around us. But we most certainly CAN control our reaction to it. Let me give you an example probably the biggest one I see causing issues for people these days… Social Media. Frankly it’s become a monster that controls our lives. The average person spends HOURS per day on social media. Not just occasionally but day after day after day. Think about it… when was the last time you DIDN’T go on social media for an entire day? And that monster is in my opinion THE key thing creating the stress and negativity we’re all dealing with. Not politics, not the news,not even Covid-19… Social Media. Why? Because where do most of us get all the politics and news from? Social media! And the way it’s designed causes people to spend hours upon hours reading and raging on say Facebook and to what end? I remember when I first got on Facebook in 2008 or 9. I thought it was awesome. I could see what my friends were doing and was able to reconnect with people I hadn’t seen or talked to in decades. How cool was that right? I remember spending hours playing Farmville (Remember that game?) and looking at the pictures of what people were having to eat for lunch on a given day.
At the time the rowing team I was on was actively competing against other teams from all over the world and it was great to be able to go up to someone from another country and say hey let’s be friends on Facebook. Some of whom I’m still in contact with today! But alas things have changed. Now I don’t spend much time on Facebook, Instagram or any of the other social media platforms anymore. Why? Because while I can’t control the events going on around me in this world I CAN control how much it affects me by staying OFF social media. The days of planting crops on some silly virtual farm or seeing what your friend is having for dinner are no more. Instead it’s basically a sea of negativity and the powers that be that run these platforms know the more negativitiy there is the more likely you are to stay on the platform and keep using it. It’s kinda like the old axiom for news… “IF it BLEEDS IT LEADS”. Note: That’s why 99% of the news is so negative and what the one “feel good” story they do run is always at the end of the newscast. And it’s destroying our health. All that negativity creates stress on our body.
It causes us to dump tons of cortisol into our blood stream.
It causes our heart to race often for hours on end.
It causes us to feel depressed, angry and overwhelmed.
Take a moment and just think about it.. When was the last time you felt GOOD after spending an hour or more on social media? And despite all of that we go back each and every day for more. We’re addicted. In some cases it consumes people’s entire lives. I know of more than a few people who literally spend their entire day on various social media platforms arguing with other people they’ve never met and never will. These same people often tell me they don’t have the time or energy to exercise or make healthy meals. Honestly it breaks my heart. What to do? In an ideal world (whatever that is) I would say get off social media forever. Something I’ve thought about doing myself. But the reality is especially for me as a small business owner I can’t. I have to have at least some presence on social media in order to run my business. But if you’re like me & can’t get off it completely, you CAN control how much time you spend on it. If any of what I’ve talked about resonates with you try this… Something I did a couple weekends ago and have strived to do regularly in 2021. Simply turn off social media for a few days. Not just Facebook or Twitter or TikTok or whatever one you tend to use most… ALL OF IT! I tend to do it on weekends. I’ll turn it off on a Friday morning and not look at it again till Monday. And when I do I notice I feel not just a little bit better… a LOT better. And by turn off I mean don’t go on it at all… period because if you do you know you’ll get sucked right back in. That’s why they design the algorithms the way they do. To suck you in.
That quick check will likely lead you to cave in completely and you’ll spend hours wasting your time again. I even go so far as to delete the apps right off my phone…. That way I’m not tempted to “just check things for a few minutes”
And here’s the thing if you do delete them you might find you never put them back on your phone again! I used to love Twitter, I was a Twitterholic. But if you’ve been on it anytime in the past 5 years or so you know it’s become a cesspool with people just using it to attack others they disagree with. One weekend a few months back, I took the app off my phone and I’ve never gone back on it since! And I don’t miss it at all. Better yet all the stress I felt after going on it.. GONE. 2021 is upon us. A fresh start, a blank slate if you will. Why not give this a try? Pick a day or weekend and just walk away form social media. And then see how you feel. Yes you might feel the pull to get back on or that you’re “lost” but I’m betting you’ll feel a lot less stress and a little bit happier.
In fact I’d say you can bank on it.
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