Digital wellness: 6 practices to use social networks in a healthy way

It is advisable to stay away from the cell phone at times when we are likely to spend more time on the network, for example in bed (illustrative image Infobae)

Social networks are a fundamental part of our lives because they allow us to connect with others based on common interests or values, quickly and without any physical limitations. Additionally, they may also be the source of Entertainment and information,

“Conscious and mindful use of social networks can make us feel positive emotions and also reduce stress and anxiety symptoms. However, when use is passive and/or excessive, it can be accompanied by discomfort and have a negative impact on quality of life,” Bachelor explained. delfina alanMember of the Cognitive Psychotherapy Department of INECO.

Understanding and improving given usage Social Networks (RRSS), the INECO professional identified a series of steps or links that start with a trigger and lead to the use of the tool:

  1. Internal and external triggers.
  2. Automatic thoughts and beliefs.
  3. The impulse to use RRSS.
  4. Enabling cognition.
  5. Use of RRSS.

Next, Ms. Alain provided a series of exercises related to the above model.

Are related to internal triggers psychological or emotional state Which may include, for example, feelings of boredom, loneliness, need for validation, stress, insomnia, sadness, or anxiety when faced with a challenging task or decision. In this sense, using RRSS becomes a maladaptive way of regulating these uncomfortable or unpleasant emotions. For this reason, it is useful to ask How does one feel before using a social network?

External triggers are elements of each person’s environment, such as receiving notification, seeing others around you using their phones, or being in a place where you usually access your social networks (such as the bedroom). Other examples of external triggers might be your proximity to a mobile device, reaching for it as soon as you wake up (for example because you use it as an alarm clock), or watching icon of the social network on the main screen.

One way to identify external triggers for social media use might be to ask yourself where you are when you use social media, who you are with, and what is happening around you at that time.

Another exercise to detect them could be to set a goal, asking yourself the following questions:

  • Why are you entering this social network? The answers are many and may differ each time. Some reasons for this could be: getting distracted, having fun, learning a skill, chatting with friends, or publishing some content.
  • When? It is important to define at what time of the day and for how long you are going to use them. It is advisable to avoid times when you are likely to spend more time online, for example before going to bed.
  • For how long? Define how much time you are going to spend on social networks. Many smartphones have application timers that limit the amount of time on screen.

Finally, you can also try end of session, deleting the application from the main screen, or logging in from the computer. These strategies give rise to the fact of a desire to return to the social network to engage in an additional voluntary work.

Automatic thoughts are cognitions, images, interpretations, and self-instructions that appear in a given situation and influence our emotions and behaviors. Most of the time we don’t have much record of them, but with a little training we can identify them. In the context of social networks, beliefs may appear as follows: “I have to check the networks so as not to be worried” or “If this photo does not get many likes, it means it is not beautiful enough.”

A Exercise The greatest help that can be had with regard to this issue is to work on identifying automatic thoughts And how they present themselves when using social networks.

At the same time, it is important to remember that social networks show reality in a biased and partial way. Users often select, edit and finally show their best moments. It may help to keep this in mind so that, if you compare yourself to other people discomfort Don’t be so intense. At the same time, recognizing that what you see and show on the network is only a fragment of reality gives you the possibility to choose to reconnect with other things that are valuable to you.

When we talk about impulse, we refer to the urge or “desire” to use social networks. Impulses can appear as physical sensationsSuch as increased heart rate or motor restlessness.

In that sense, recognizing how impulses appear in your body is the first step to being able to control them. Once you have identified them, the ideal is to resist the urge to check social networks. Stop, put the phone aside, take a deep breath and ask yourself why you’re going in. It may be helpful to display this question on your phone’s lock screen.

Other strategy This is distracting you with any activity that helps you shift your cell phone’s attention, such as putting the phone aside and leaving the room, talking to someone, listening to music, or doing other activities.

enabling cognition They are thoughts that enable or “allow” us to act impulsively, such as: “I worked all day, I deserve a distraction,” “It’ll only be five minutes,” or “I’m thinking of something.” Used to be.” , Along these lines, the exercise is to identify whether you have any capable cognition of that type, in order to work on it.

Even if you decide to enter the social network, there are strategies that can be implemented, such as reviewing which accounts you currently follow and analyzing which How they make you feel. Some examples of emotions The following may be experienced when using social networks: Happiness, love, jealousy, shame, sadness, anger and jealousy. Remember that all emotions are valid and communicate important information about the situation you are experiencing, which is why it is important to recognize and accept them. Then, if you discover that there are accounts that consistently evoke negative and intense emotions in you, you can decide to mute them or stop following them. Also, identify if there is any other content you would be interested in starting to follow.

It is important to understand that, although you may decide to take time off from social networks or deactivate them, the key is Find balance, balance and seek professional help If the discomfort increases, it becomes very intense and/or persistent.

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