LEP Fitness


Is Social Media Destroying Your Mental Wellbeing?

Is Social Media Destroying Your Mental Wellbeing?

I love people watching don’t you?

As I ate out at a restaurant with my partner the other day I noticed the family opposite our table barely speak. Both old and young glued to their phone: Snap Chat, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest – you name it! popping up with notifications, left right and centre! I’d be surprised if they could recall what they ate at the restaurant by memory – they’d have to check their phone for pictures! The truth is that this is a reality for a lot of people nowadays.

Let’s go back to the future…

People would talk at the dinner table, engage, and what’s that thingamabob called? Oh yeah… ‘socialise’! Nowadays most of us spend more time engaging on our fancy smart phones than we do with the people around us like our friends and family. Social media is super addictive! It’s recently been proven that the reward part of our brain lights up when we get ‘Likes, Shares and Comments’.

It’s also a place that has the potential to make us feel confused (information overload!) and dreadfully insecure, as we compare our lives to others. It can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’, comparing clothes, finances, jobs, cars, houses, status, relationships, social life, bodies…. I mean the list could go on for days!

We can’t hide from the reality that our World has changed. Social media is here and it doesn’t look like it’s going to go away any time soon. Now unless you want to live like a caveman (or woman!) in some isolated self built community were going to have to accept it. That said here’s a few thoughts…

1) Try not to take things at face value. How often do you see someone posting a selfie looking at what is perceived as their worst? (first thing in the morning, no make-up, no tan, no pumped up muscles!) It’s not often. People tend to lean towards highlighting the best bits – the smiles, the holidays, and filtered versions of life. The reality is that we all have our good and bad days (most of the time we just chose not to share the bad bits on social media!)

2) Wrong perception. You see a guy/lady with an amazingly sculpted body, smiling at a photoshoot and automatically think…. I’d be so happy if I looked like that! What however you don’t see is the 5 years of hard training prior to the 16+ week photoshoot prep, or the largely monotonous diet regime, the 5.30am get ups, the missed social occasions, etc. They worked their backside off to get there and it came at a cost. The picture is the tip of the ice berg, a fragmented, filtered version of reality.

3) Look at who you are following. Speaking from my own personal experience for years I followed hundreds (if not thousands!) of fitness models, guys with 6 packs so sharp you could grate cheese on them! I’d also follow successful entrepreneurs and people who at the time I perceived as better than me. I believed i’d gain inspiration and motivation, although this worked at times, at other times i’d feel utterly inferior, and felt as though I was chasing a rainbow, and it affected my self esteem. At times it demotivated the heck out me. It’s great to follow experts and those who you aspire to be but when possible try not to compare yourself to them. Remember that your on your own individual journey, focus more on you and less on what others are doing.

4) Factor in time without your phone. Feel free to laugh at my expense but in our household we have ‘Phone Bans!’ – if we are down stairs watching movies we put our phones away upstairs. We also don’t take them with us when we go to the movies, or restaurants. It’s amazing how much more you connect with the person your with!

Just a few thoughts, and reflections I had this Sunny morning on my stroll through the Peak District in Sheffield.

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👱💪 Nick

P.S. EXTRA KNOWLEDGE BOMB! The light your phone emits disturbs the chemicals in your brain which help you fall asleep. Now I can’t speak for you, but I know from my own experience in the past and discussion with clients and friends that it’s common to scroll social media feeds before bed. If you are to do this make-sure you switch on ‘Night Mode’ (most I Phone’s have this – it’s in ‘Display & Brightness’ section) – you can schedule your phone to use sleep friendly lighting.



For more of Nick’s blog’s please visit https://www.lepfitness.co.uk/blog/

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