Live Healthy MD Blog

Giving You the Tools to Change Your Life.

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Written by Connie Stapleton, Ph.D
on August 23, 2018

Social media has become a great tool to stay in touch with old friends, express your creative side, and even promote a brand or a business. However, social media is also the root of many individuals' low self esteem. With the deceitful nature of social media—people posting edited photos of themselves in good lighting or at a good angle—it is hard not to compare your "mediocre life" or "ugly body" to those that you see on your Facebook or Instagram feed. 

If you want to lead a more satisfying life, you must stop the negative self talk and start loving yourself! This begins with avoiding social media comparisons. 

Here are 6 reasons why you should avoid social media comparisons. 

1. Negative by comparison

Who is it we generally compare ourselves to… the people who look worse than we think we look? Not usually! Most often, we compare ourselves to others in a negative way… “They’ve lost more weight than I have in the same amount of time.” “They get dates all the time and I sit here alone night after night.” “They look great and can afford to buy super cute clothes.” Not only do we negatively compare ourselves to others, but we are not accurate in our assessments of ourselves. Therefore, social media comparison is a waste of time!

2. Ain't got time for that!

I don’t know about you, but I have made the decision to spend my time in life focusing on things that bring me satisfaction, insight and education, happiness, and purpose. Social media comparison offers me none of those positive things. If you want to spend your time engaging in social media comparison, knock yourself out! But keep in mind that you are choosing to compare yourself to others, which may also mean you are choosing to feel badly about yourself! This is what I call “stinkin’ thinkin’!”

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3. Stinkin’ thinkin’.

Comparing ourselves in negative ways leads to negative thoughts andnegative self-talk This only leads to unpleasant feelings. The unpleasant thoughts and feelings are often the triggers that result in unhealthy eating or other self-sabotaging behaviors. It seems to me that engaging in that type of behavior is looking in the wrong direction

4. Looking in the wrong direction.

None of us have control of what others put on social media. We can, however, have dramatic influence over what we think and how we “behave,” or what we choose to do. Focus on what you are DOING that is good and healthy in your world and focus on that. Looking at your positive behaviors results in feeling better about yourself (which actually leads to your improved self-worth). Stop spending time looking at what others are doing, especially if it bums you out and leads you to behaviors you typically engage in when you’re feeling bummed out… like unhealthy eating. Unhealthy eating just gets you off course.

5. We get off course.

If you find yourself less motivated, more discouraged and/or feeling resentful of others while you are engaging in social media comparison, you will probably also find yourself getting off track in terms of following your plans and following through with your goals. You’ll slack off in completing yourGotta Do Ems to lose weight and keep the weight off. When you don’t follow through with these healthy behaviors, you are less and less able to see your strengths.

6. We fail to see our strengths!

It seems wise to focus on your strengths in addition to looking at the things about ourselves upon which we can improve. Social media comparison often leaves us feeling bummed out about ourselves. We each have wonderful attributes and it is okay to acknowledge them. Only by increasing our positive self-talk, acknowledging our strengths, and being willing to follow through with the Gotta Do Ems, will we succeed in living our healthiest, fullest lives!

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