It has been a long few years with so many tragic events happening one right after the other. It seems that as soon as something like the pandemic starts to fade away, some other world event is taking its place. This has caused a dramatic rise in doomscrolling which is very bad when you are trying to manage your mental health.
Doomscrolling is when you are constantly scrolling through social media and news sites looking for negative headlines. Most people start out innocently enough trying to get much-needed information such as a PCR vs rapid test. That turned into this constant need to feed the primitive part of our brain to seek out negative news. In this article, we will go over some of the ways that you can stop doomscrolling so you can get your life back.
1 – Understand your emotions
It’s ok to be emotional and feel helpless or fearful as long as it is kept in check. Although being aware of your emotional side is healthy, if we fall victim to our emotions it can severely impact our mental health and many aspects of our lives.
When you start feeling some of the negative emotions when you are reading the headlines or scrolling through social media then it is time to take a breath. Realize that you are starting to go down a rabbit hole and think about what you’re feeling at that moment. This is practicing mindfulness that will help you overcome the need to sink into your emotions.
2 – Have a backup
When you know that you tend to doomscroll and understand the emotional signals that you are about to start mindlessly going deeper, then you need to have something to replace it. It is difficult to tear yourself away if you don’t have something else to do to take your mind off of things. It isn’t easy to turn off emotions.
You should have something ready to go to replace the act of scrolling and take your mind away from the negative thoughts that are going to make it difficult to pivot away. It can be something like a crossword puzzle, listening to some music, or reading a book. Whatever it is that you choose, make sure it is at hand so you can quickly move away from the doomscrolling.
3 – Avoid social media
Social media is a great way to stay up to date with the goings-on in your friends’ and family’s lives. However, it is also a terrible way to spend your time if you are addicted to doom scrolling.
The problem is that the algorithm is designed to keep you on the platform. It knows that outrage and negativity are what keep users online and engaged so it serves up all the bad news for you that it can find. Avoid going on there to pass time and only when you really need to chat with somebody. The less time you spend mindlessly scrolling social media the better.