Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says

Originally published on bustle.com  By Emily Dixon
Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says
By now, most people have heard the arguments that social media can have a negative impact on mental health. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to renounce the platforms altogether, particularly as they now play such a fundamental role in how we stay connected to each other. Fortunately, a new study suggests that you needn’t shut down all your accounts to reap the mental health benefits; in fact, simply limiting your social media use can improve your wellbeing. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania asked undergraduate students to cut down their time spent on social media to a total of 30 minutes per day — and saw a significant improvement in their mental health.

The connection between social media use and poorer mental health is a vigorously debated one, as Bustle has previously reported. Studies have associated the use of social media with an increase in symptoms of anxiety, and linked Facebook use with a decline in wellbeing. A 2015 study from the Pew Research Center suggested that using social media might make you more stressed — but confusingly, it can also serve as an outlet for your stress. And some, like Guardian columnust Dr. Frances Ryan, have noted that access to social media can be vital for disabled people and members of other marginalised groups.

Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says_2

So what did the University of Pennsylvania study indicate? The researchers divided 143 student participants into two groups: a control group, who weren’t asked to alter their social media usage, and an experimental group, who were asked to limit their use of Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to 10 minutes on each platform per day. They completed a wellbeing survey both before the study began and after four weeks of adhering to their assigned social media limits, rating aspects like access to social support, fear of missing out (FOMO), anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and loneliness.

At the end of the study, the students who restricted their social media use demonstrated significantly lower levels of loneliness, and those who indicated a high level of depression at the start of the study experienced a “clinically significant” reduction in their symptoms. There was no significant difference between the control group and the experimental group when it came to levels of anxiety, social support, fear of missing out, or self-esteem, however.

Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says_1

By now, most people have heard the arguments that social media can have a negative impact on mental health. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to renounce the platforms altogether, particularly as they now play such a fundamental role in how we stay connected to each other. Fortunately, a new study suggests that you needn’t shut down all your accounts to reap the mental health benefits; in fact, simply limiting your social media use can improve your wellbeing. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania asked undergraduate students to cut down their time spent on social media to a total of 30 minutes per day — and saw a significant improvement in their mental health.

The connection between social media use and poorer mental health is a vigorously debated one, as Bustle has previously reported. Studies have associated the use of social media with an increase in symptoms of anxiety, and linked Facebook use with a decline in wellbeing. A 2015 study from the Pew Research Center suggested that using social media might make you more stressed — but confusingly, it can also serve as an outlet for your stress. And some, like Guardian columnust Dr. Frances Ryan, have noted that access to social media can be vital for disabled people and members of other marginalised groups.

Another interesting finding? Overall, both groups — even those who weren’t asked to limit their social media use — showed a decrease in fear of missing out and anxiety. The researchers hypothesised that this could be “a result of the self-monitoring inherent in the study,” as both groups were asked to send screenshots of their iPhone battery usage pages to measure how much time they spent on each app. So if a 30 minute social media cap sounds too restrictive for you, you might still experience some benefits just by keeping an eye on the time you spend online.

The researchers concluded that “limiting social media usage does have a direct and positive impact on subjective wellbeing over time, especially with respect to decreasing loneliness and depression.” Suspect that social media is negatively affecting your mental health? You might just have found your New Year’s resolution.

How to be the Person You Want to be

Originally Published on WhenWomenInspire.com  on August 31, 2018 By Christy B

How to be the Person You Want to be
Do you want to be a better version of yourself? Whether it’s being smarter, kinder, getting a better job, or finding a loving relationship, self-improvement always starts with you. As Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to bring into the world.” And he wasn’t wrong. As we go steadily through our days, the only way to achieve more and find greater satisfaction with the world is by becoming the best version of ourselves. This isn’t the challenge that you might be expecting. There are a number of small but very positive steps that you can take to improve your way of thinking, boost creativity, and take you closer to being the person that you aspire to be. It also can involve removing toxic people from your life. Here is how to be the person you want to be.

The Better Version of ‘You’: Have a goal

Most people dream of being ‘better’ don’t fully understand what that means in any real terms. For those who hope to grow personally, the first step is to identify exactly what you don’t want. Without knowing what aspects of your lifestyle, personality, or habits you want to change, it is much harder to implement the right changes.

Don’t be afraid to let your goals evolve, but always have a plan and direction to head in. Having a clear idea about who you are right now and what you want to change about yourself is the first step to making the necessary changes and becoming a better version of yourself.

Make the changes to be the person you want to be

The changes you make don’t have to be grandiose. There’s no need to immediately quit your job or sign up for the gym today. Often, the smallest of changes can have the most long-lasting and positive effects. Taking up a new hobby is a good way to make a positive change in your life. There are many social and mental health benefits to choosing a good hobby. It might be pursuing a new collection or a sport you hadn’t tried before.

With so many options possible, it can be tricky to narrow things down. Unique sports like Cloud Chasing are growing in popularity, so if that’s something that you’re interested in, then invest in some quality e-liquids from Juice.co.uk. No matter which hobby you choose, your confidence can grow. You deserve to be the person you want to be.

Eliminate toxic people

The problem with toxic people is that they don’t always reveal themselves until they are already part of your life. Often, you meet them through family members, friends or at the workplace; this makes them much harder to avoid or simply cut out of your life. If toxic people are unavoidable, then you need to be firm in setting up personal boundaries.

Stop allowing toxic people to pull your into drama and irrelevant crises. Hopefully you’ll find that positivity is much easier to achieve then. Ideally, you want to surround yourself with positive influences. Those toxic friendships can detract from and overwhelm the good things in life.

The path to becoming the person you want to be doesn’t always mean making huge life changes. Take small steps, and you’ll gradually grow into the better version of yourself.