I was highly discontent with the conditions of my life. Many of my friends seemed to be living the dream while mine lay unfulfilled and deferred. In all honesty, my life wasn’t as bad as I make it appear and yet, I still felt like a failure. What would make me think and feel this way? After careful thought, it became clear that social media had infiltrated and updated the status of my heart so I’d be continuously subjected to feelings of relentless discontent.
Why so discontent?
I’m not saying that social media is the problem. But it’s hard to ignore that it contributes to this trending issue. Snaps, tweets, and pictures broadcasted on our various social media accounts have given us the notion that we’re missing something. When compared with others we find that our relationships don’t look as fun, our abs are not as ripped, our bank accounts aren’t as large, and our children aren’t as perfect. ( I could have given more examples, but you get the point). These envious thoughts, unfortunately, leave us feeling worse about our circumstances than better. As a result, depression follows.
The 4 keys to contentment
Studies have shown a direct relationship between depression and social media use. How can we successfully withstand these feelings?
1. Stop comparing
Let’s be real: Those perfect flower-crowned images have been meticulously framed to purposely leave the ugly out. What we don’t see in the image is the falling marriage, relationship, insecurity, depression, anxiety, stress and financial struggles. When tempted to compare ourselves to someone else’s timeline, just don’t.
2. The grass is not greener
Just because someone else’s situation looks more desirable or favorable doesn’t mean it’s better. In fact, it could even be worse. Think about it! That beautiful girlfriend may excessively complain or that handsome gentleman probably goes au naturale and skips deodorant. In reality, we’d be trading one set of problems for another. Remember the grass is not greener on the other side. It’s just different grass.
3. Be grateful
It’s been said that things could always be worse. To us, our circumstances look abysmal but others may find them advantageous. Cultivate the spirit of gratefulness. Instead of comparing and complaining, spend that time appreciating what you have.
4. Take a break
Today’s society is so immersed in the world of social media. Therefore, the only way to gain a better understanding of its meaning in our lives is to separate from it. Please note I don’t have a solution that’s “one-size-fits-all”. What I can provide is a modifiable recipe.
Every void needs to be filled. Try to:
- Read books
- Learn what your passionate about – pursue it
- Explore nature
- Spend face-to-face time with others
Take as much time away from social media as you think you need away and discover the things that give your life the most meaning.
“Contentment is the greatest form of wealth.” – Acharya Nāgārjuna
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