How To Start Using Instagram In A Healthy Way

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Like, comment, follow; the never-ending cycle. Us millennials have created a new sense of connection with social media and it has changed our world in so many ways. We have become obsessed with our online self. It seems that over the past few years we are seeing the addiction to social media and it’s possibly getting worse.

There are not enough of us who actually have been able to use it mindfully. We are addicted to social comparison and have misused one of the abilities that creates happiness, which is ‘savoring’.

Savoring is the act of stepping outside of the experience to re-live and appreciate it.

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates have proposed that savoring, namely, regulating the emotional impact of positive events by one’s cognitive or behavioral responses, increases happiness …savoring is an important mechanism through which people derive happiness from positive events.

When using Social Media you can take photos and enjoy them in two different way:

  1. A negative effect is when you are not being mindful of the experience and are taking a photo without seeing life in a new perspective. In other words, taking a photo to take a photo. We are addicted to just taking photos, just because. We have lost touch with our true happiness and gratitude in the present moments.
  2. A positive effect is when you use the photo to see a different aspect of the thing/moment you are keeping. You are learning to see a new property and using the lens to savor. In other words, actually boosting your happiness. “Wow, I’m so lucky to be here!” “This is so awesome, I don’t want to forget this moment.”

We need to think about the way we are taking photos. Are you authentically savoring the moment being with your friends? Or is it the act of taking another food photo?

Remember when we used disposable cameras? We took photos in the moment, not knowing how the photo was going to come out. We got excited to get them developed and laughed when they came back because we savored those moments.

My realization

Last month, I realized that I didn’t love myself fully. I was hiding and not allowing myself to be authentically me, and realized I could use Instagram to find my self-love. I wanted to share my thoughts and messages, but I was scared to talk on my IG stories. So who cares, it’s just social media!? That’s the point, we shouldn’t care what others think about us. Yet, we painfully fight this human resistant daily. My self-sabotaging thoughts of “You look funny when you talk, people who do stories are fake, people will think your weird.” blah blah blah…

That day I got over it. I started talking and sharing my raw emotions and thoughts and the response was positive! People responded and the feedback was deeper than the usual comments of, “wow your so pretty, you’re body is amazing (Fire emoji) (Heart eyes emoji)”.

It was a real connection. A deep human soul connection. I had more friends tell me how refreshing and real it was. How they themselves are looking to be authentic, but find it scary. We are blocking ourselves from being our truest selves.

Happiness is living in our true authentic self.”

This sent me on a rampage of cleaning up my mind by cleaning my Instagram.

Why was I following people who I thought were so into themselves?

Why was I following women with fake features?

Why was I following friends that I would talk shit on?

I saw the destruction of thoughts that my mind was playing on me. I was lying to myself and making myself feel worse by looking at pictures on Instagram that trigger self-deprecating thoughts.

I was over my depressing thoughts and discovered these healthy habits along the way.

 

Be Mindful And Be Active About Your Choice To Go On It.

When you are more consciously active about how you are using it, you let go of social comparison. In retrospect, people’s “lives” won’t make you feel bad. The more mindful, the more you can appreciate your friend's post without comparing. Don’t go on when you bored or waiting in lines.

 

Changed My Name And Created A Brand

A girlfriend of mine one day came up with a catchy new name, and it hit me that I had to change my Instagram handle. If I looked at my IG as a business I could help shift my perspective about HOW I was using it. Even if you aren’t a business or influencer, think of yourself as an ambassador of your life. Ask yourself how are you sharing your world with others? Is it positive? Authentic? Limit yourself just as if it was work. Share only the moments that you are savoring in your life.

 

No Mornings No Nights

My best advice is do not go on your phone for the first two hours of your morning and an hour before you go to bed. Having a morning and night routine has been one of the most life changing experiences! Get an app to set up automated posting if you wish to post during these times. Get up and go for a morning stroll, NOT a morning scroll.

Check out two of my favorite Medium post about the magic of the mornings!

Your Ultimate Guide For Waking Up Early

How To Get Life-Changing Clarity Within 90 Minutes Of Waking Up

 

One by One

I started scrolling on my feed and unfollowing every account that just didn’t bring me the simple

fact of joy. This may seem easy, but I had to stop at every picture and ask myself:

Why am I following this account/person?

Here are some reasons that came to mind…

…because I feel guilty if I don’t?

…because we are ‘friends’ and if I unfollow them they will know… and unfollow me?

…because we’ve been friends of so long, but they really don’t interest me anymore?

…because I am secretly jealous of them and want to know what they are doing?

…because they followed me?

…because they are ‘famous’ and have lots of followers?

You need to ask yourself only three questions when following an account/person

  1. Do these pictures and stories bring me joy/happiness, make me smile or laugh
  2. Does it inspire me or make me feel creative
  3. Does it push my thoughts in a positive direction?

 

Curate Your Feed BETTER

There is SO MUCH marketing on IG. You are constantly flooded with “sponsored ads” and people promoting high end lifestyles, clothing, restaurantes, and beautiful people. The media produces images that are above the norm, which creates social comparison. In the Kenrick study (1993) your happiness levels actually lowers when looking at images that are above the average norm. Our minds don’t think in terms of absolutes, our minds judges relative to reference points. Time to unfollow models with bodies you will never have and people faulting rich lifestyles because it’s only making you more unhappy.

Plus don’t get stuck and limit yourself in whats out there. Support brands and accounts that are more authentic and real to what’s around you in the world. Remember everyone is curating a ‘happy’ version of their life, find what is real to you.

 

Add Accounts That Are Out Of Your Realm

If your into fashion, don’t just follow fashion accounts. You can inspire yourself but adding accounts you normally don’t follow like architecture, abstract art, inventions, gardening, vintage cars, wood carvings, etc.. This can push your creativity in so many ways, let alone open your mind to new ideas.

Here are some of my favorite artistic accounts:

@kreative_risktakers

@theunitlondon

@zhestkov

@hplus_creative

@d.signers

@designboom

@dezeen

@dope_dazy

@streetartglobe

 

Stop following fake famous and follow inspiring famous

STOP following the Kardashians!

Follow people who inspire the world like Elon Musk, Oprah or non-profits that are trying to make a difference in the world. You will feel so much better about the world and who even knows, maybe get inspired to start to making more of an impact yourself.

 

Add Some Positivity!

YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH POSITIVE LIFE QUOTES!

Here are some of my favorites:

@thegoodquote

@r.h.sin

@positivevibesquotes

 

Add Nature And Universe Accounts

You should remind yourself that you are on a rock floating in space and how truly amazing and authentic nature is. It’s so unbelievable. Remind yourself that there is a whole world around you.

I love following:

@natgeo

@earthpix

 

And the BIGGEST advise…

 

TAKE A “TECH FAST”

Once a year at minimum take at least a week break from social media or even better, your phone!

Take breaks, every few weeks, just go off social media for the weekend or a couple days. Practice not going on once a week even. I mean no one is doing anything cool on a Tuesday. Your mind will thank you.

Once a year I take a break from my phone.

I don’t like what social media and my smartphone has done to my mind. When I disconnect, I can clearly see the addiction and how it seems pointless to me in a way that it was not doing any growth to me mentally. I saw that I needed to reconnect to others and the Earth in a more personal way.

This is just one of the many reasons I love going to Burning Man — not having service and being lost in the moment for a full week! No calls, no texts, no emails, no social media. Also, burning man is not required to facilitate this, and vacation that takes you off the grid will force you off of your phone.

Once you begin to cure the addiction, you will live life much more fully.

So much more present!

You see things you would never see

YOU GET IN FLOW so much easier.

You see that the world goes on without you and you didn’t miss anything.

That it’s OK to go MIA for social media.

The connections with others was much deeper

YOU WILL BE SO HAPPY YOU DID IT!