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7 Ways to Reduce Social Media Stress

By Pam Montgomery, Feb 13 2016 07:21PM

Scientific studies have recently shown that the use of social media can increase stress for some people.

Whether it is divisive political or religious rants, passive-aggressive status updates, condescending memes, explicit photos and videos or even helpful (but plentiful) posts from your groups and pages, our newsfeeds can become overrun with posts that cause anxiety and stress to interrupt our otherwise peaceful days.

Has this happened to you? You're just going about your day, checking in on your friends on Facebook and you come across this across your friends photos from her most recent vacation to Paris or Bermuda or the park down the think to yourself, "Ugh, I wish I could afford take a vacation! Her life is so much more interesting than mine." Or, "OMG, she looks amazing and I still have baby food in my hair!"

Or, you come across some cleverly worded meme that is actually a veiled insult and you wonder, "Could that be aimed at me?" You don't think you've done anything to your friend, but....hmmm, maybe. "Why doesn't she just talk to me about it?"

...and your peace just flew out the door.

If you find that there are particular people, groups or pages that are spamming your newsfeed with negativity, there ARE steps you can take:

* Click on the upper right corner and select, "I don't want to see this," and leave it at that. I typically do this for posts that just irritate me, but are not posted by a habitually negative friend.

* When you respond to a post, you will notified every time another person replies to the same post. To mitigate the notifications, after you post simply click on the upper right hand down arrow and click, "turn off notification." You can go back and check on the string of posts later if you'd like.

* Turn off notifications for a majority of pages and groups that you follow. If you really love them, you can go check them out when you have free time instead of having them clutter up your newsfeed. Business owners will hate that I've told you to do selective. This will impact the business' outreach, but if it is causing you stress, your responsibility is to yourself first.

* Click on the upper right corner of your friends' post and select, "Unfollow <friend's name>." This will stop the posts from a habitually negative friend from showing in your newsfeed. You will remain friends, but you can check their timeline at your leisure instead of being assaulted by energy-sucking posts.

* Remember not to compare your life against your friends. Most people post only the highlights of their lives on social media. You can not compare your day to day life against the highlights of someone else's life. Instead, count the ways you are grateful for all parts of your life...even the baby food in your hair.

* Limit your online time. Set a timer for 10 minutes in the morning, lunchtime and evening. Do a quick check in and check out. Resist the temptation to get distracted from the things you need to do for the day. This is tough for those with online businesses. If you have pages or groups to run, this won't apply to you, but find some way to set limits so you can still have a real life outside of social media.

* Do not check in on social media just before bed or when you wake up at night. The blue light from your screen has been shown to interrupt sleep cycles. Keep the phone and computer off when it's time to sleep.

Hopefully these tips will help you reduce your online stressors and gain time to enjoy your real-life life. I know that when I implemented each tip, my online experiences were made much more enjoyable!

Were these tips helpful? If so, please share!

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I Just Can't Take It Anymore: A Guide to Dealing With Your Overstressed Life"!