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Mental Health

Being Mindful of Your Mental Health on Social Media

Have you ever scrolled through your social media and felt discouraged by what you saw? Scrolling down Instagram or Twitter and seeing that some people are having more fun or becoming more successful and then having that sinking feeling where you feel that you are not performing at your best. 

First – know that you are doing great and you do not need to compare yourself to others nor do you need the validation of strangers on social media. You are doing great with everything in your life right now even if it does not feel like it. 

Second – this feeling may be deriving from the accounts you follow. Yes, it can be that simple. 

The people you follow will have an effect on how you perceive the world around you and more importantly, how you perceive yourself.

If you follow accounts that cause you to feel envy or feel sad about your surroundings then you should not be following them. It will not be for your benefit and it will only derail your mental health in terms of your feelings towards these individuals. 

In a survey conducted by Chapman University, it was found that students who followed social media accounts that posted positive and inspirational quotes were most likely to have “everyday experiences of gratitude, awe, [and] vitality…” (Seng, 120). In other words, you should consider following more positive accounts that promote self-empowerment, self-love, and inspiration. 


This is not saying to unfollow all the people in your account and only follow positive accounts, but rather to be mindful of who you follow and the effect it has on you.

Understand that many of these accounts are not as real as they are perceived. Many of these people use FaceTune to enhance features on their faces or body and sometimes it can create insecurities within ourselves. However, as found by The Guardian, “FaceTune users go overboard, smoothing their selfies into amorphous avatars or slimming their bodies to the point of anatomical impossibility.” 

What is the importance of this? Of reading about positive pages and how accounts out there use FaceTune?

Well, many of us, open our social media as soon as we open our eyes – almost as a second reflex. When you are barely waking up your subconscious is at its most vulnerable meaning it is easily influenced. If you are waking up and seeing material that does not motivate you and makes you sad, the entirety of your day will be affected in a negative manner. 

Just as you feed your body healthy foods and foods that are well for the body, you should be feeding your mind and spirit the same healthy material. Be mindful of what you feed your mind as it will affect how you carry your days. 

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Ashley is a Political Science major, Law and Power Concentration and Journalism Minor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From Downtown Chicago, she enjoys traveling, lifting, reading and spending time with her loved ones. Her work ranges from fitness, to mental health, to politics and everything in between! Feel free to connect with her on Instagram and/or Linked-In.    
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