It’s 2:30 am. You should probably be asleep but you find yourself scrolling down your Instagram feed, exposing yourself to the content which often makes you restless and impulsive. If this sounds like you then you are definitely not the only one.
Doomscrolling- A tendency to compulsively scroll through the content on social media which often makes you worried and depressed at the same time.
As human beings we are curious to learn the events taking place around us. For instance, we slow down when we come across a post on social media talking about a murder. We have this peculiar inquisitiveness to grasp as much knowledge from our surroundings as we can. The quality of being “inquisitive” though is a good characteristic but at the same time it could ruin our mental health when not looked after.
The year “2020” was definitely not the year which one could easily digest. Did you google the word “doomscrolling” or “doomsuffering” anytime in the past two years? If yes, then again you are not alone in this.
The rate of “droomscrolling” among the individuals have increased rapidly around the globe. People are unable to stop themselves from indulging their minds into the social media news feeds (talking about the worst-case scenarios).
We are at that stage of our lives where are phones demand our attention. Work from home has become the latest trend which we are compelled to follow. We are in the middle of our zoom meetings and then we receive a headline stating, “Death toll rises due to covid-19”, though your mood takes a dive but still you have to deal with this headline.
The economic recession is one of the main reasons behind distorted mental health among people. People suffering from loss of jobs, losing their loved ones have started consuming alcohol and other substances to overcome anxiety, depression and distress.
According to Ariane Ling, psychologist, “The pandemic has exacerbated these habits in many ways, including the fact that there is no shortage of doomsday news,”.
There are various negative consequences of doomscrolling on our mental health. Firstly, we continuously seek out news regarding our depressed and anxious feelings. Secondly, doomscrolling leads to increased chances of rumination which enhances our mental illness. Social media platforms are notorious in nature which provides all sorts of news whether true or false.
Too much time spent on social media can trigger our hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. The more we engage ourselves into doomscrolling the more hormones are released leading to mental and physical exhaustion.
As a means to curb our mental illness through droomscrolling we should “Set Limits & a Timer”. You can stay tuned with the latest news but with boundaries. Set specific times in the day to reduce your engagement with doomscrolling. It is always tempting to keep your phone with you while sleeping. But this temptation could have hazardous outcomes. Always try to keep the phone away from your bed to get a sound sleep. Try to focus on the positive news especially during the time of this pandemic when all you can do is to stay at home. Most importantly try the STOP method. When you realise that the news you are reading will definitely cause anxiety in you, shout STOP by giving a physical stimulus to yourself. Continuous practice of these methods will make your brain recognise when it’s time to quit.
Our mental health is the most important aspect our wellbeing and hence it is necessary to keep ourselves mentally happy. The secret behind a healthy body is always a healthy mind because according to Rainer Maria Rilke, “The only journey is the journey within.”
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