How To Stop Doom Scrolling in your 20s

Monday 8 May 2023

Social media is designed to keep us engaged. It's designed to make us stay on the app for as long as possible. Post after post, our brain is exposed to so much information and a skewed view of reality via this small screen. It's amazing, the damage that social media can do to our minds and mental health like breeding insecurities and comparison or shortening our attention spans and making it harder for us to focus on deep work. If you find yourself spending way too much time on social media, then this article is written for you.

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I'll be sharing 6 tips to help you kick your social media habits and stop "doom" scrolling once and for all.

1) Swap out your habit

Swapping out your habit is a technique that involves replacing your current social media habit with a new, healthier habit. It can help you break your addiction by redirecting your attention away from social media and towards more productive or beneficial activities.

For example, if you usually scroll through Instagram for an hour in the morning, you could replace that habit with reading a book or going for a morning walk. The key is to find an activity that you enjoy and that will provide a similar sense of satisfaction or reward as social media.

One of the benefits of swapping out your habit is that it can help you avoid triggers that lead to social media use. For example, if you tend to check your phone when you're bored, finding a new activity that keeps you engaged and interested can help you avoid that trigger and break the cycle of social media use. Additionally, by replacing social media with a new habit, you can start to retrain your brain to seek out healthier sources of reward and pleasure.

When swapping out your habit, it's important to be realistic and set achievable goals. For example, if you currently spend several hours a day on social media, it's unlikely that you'll be able to completely eliminate that habit overnight. Instead, start small by setting a goal to reduce your social media use by 30 minutes a day and replace that time with a new habit. As you become more comfortable with the new habit, you can gradually increase the amount of time you spend on it and reduce your social media use even further.

Ultimately, swapping out your habit is about finding a healthier and more sustainable way to meet your needs and desires. By being mindful of your social media use and actively working to replace it with a new habit, you can break the cycle of addiction and create a more fulfilling and rewarding life.

2) Set app limits

Social media addiction can have a significant impact on your mental health and productivity, and breaking the addiction can be a challenging process. One effective way to reduce your social media usage is by setting app limits. This involves setting a specific time limit for your social media apps each day and sticking to it.

To set app limits, you can use the built-in screen time feature on your phone, which allows you to set daily time limits for specific apps. You can also use third-party apps like Freedom, AppDetox, and Stay Focused, which are designed to help you limit your social media usage.

Setting app limits helps you develop self-discipline and control your social media usage. It also encourages you to engage in other activities that are more productive and beneficial for your mental health, such as exercising, reading, or spending time with loved ones.

It's important to note that setting app limits alone may not be enough to break your social media addiction. You also need to identify the triggers that lead you to use social media excessively and find alternative ways to deal with them. For example, if you tend to use social media to cope with stress or boredom, you can try practicing meditation or engaging in a hobby instead.

Additionally, it's important to be consistent with your app limits. You can track your progress and adjust your limits accordingly to ensure that you're making progress toward your goal of reducing your social media usage.

Overall, setting app limits is a crucial step in breaking your social media addiction. It helps you develop self-discipline, control your social media usage, and engage in more productive and beneficial activities for your mental health. However, it's essential to complement this strategy with other techniques that address the root causes of your addiction.

3) Delete apps that aren't serving you

Social media can be a powerful tool for communication, entertainment, and information sharing. However, for many people, social media can also become a source of addiction, leading to negative impacts on mental health and productivity. One effective way to break your social media addiction is to delete apps that aren't serving you.

Deleting social media apps that don't provide any meaningful value in your life can be a great first step in reducing your social media use. This can include apps that you've only downloaded out of curiosity, that you no longer use, or that cause you to feel negative emotions such as jealousy or anxiety.

Removing these apps from your phone or computer can make it easier to avoid mindless scrolling or checking your phone out of habit. It can also help you focus on other activities that are more fulfilling and rewarding, such as spending time with loved ones or pursuing hobbies and interests.

It's important to note that deleting social media apps doesn't necessarily mean completely cutting yourself off from social media. You can still access social media platforms through a web browser on your computer or phone, but this approach can make it more deliberate and intentional to use social media, rather than mindlessly scrolling through apps.

Additionally, if you feel that completely deleting social media apps is not an option for you, you may want to consider limiting your use through time management strategies or app settings. For example, you could set a time limit for social media use each day or turn off notifications for certain apps to reduce distractions.

Ultimately, the decision to delete social media apps or limit their use is a personal one, and what works for one person may not work for another. However, taking steps to reduce your social media use can be a valuable way to improve your mental health, focus, and productivity.

4) Cultivate more mindfulness & practice being present 

Social media addiction is a growing problem in today's digital age, and breaking this addiction requires a conscious effort to change our habits and behaviors. One effective tip to break social media addiction is to cultivate mindfulness and practice being present.

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and engaged in the current moment, without judgment or distraction. By being mindful, we can increase our awareness of our thoughts and emotions, and better control our impulses and actions. Practicing mindfulness can help us break the cycle of social media addiction by helping us recognize when we are mindlessly scrolling through our feeds and redirect our attention to more productive or meaningful activities.

To cultivate mindfulness, it is important to set aside time each day to practice mindfulness exercises, such as meditation or deep breathing. These practices can help us become more aware of our thoughts and emotions and can help us develop the skills to better control our impulses and actions. It can also be helpful to limit our exposure to social media during these times of mindfulness practice, allowing us to focus our attention on the present moment without distractions.

Another way to practice mindfulness is to pay closer attention to our surroundings and the people around us. By being fully present in our interactions with others, we can deepen our connections and build more meaningful relationships. We can also engage in activities that require our full attention, such as reading a book or engaging in a creative hobby, which can help us break the habit of mindlessly scrolling through social media.

Overall, cultivating mindfulness and practicing being present can be an effective way to break social media addiction. By increasing our awareness of our thoughts and emotions, we can better control our impulses and actions, and redirect our attention to more productive or meaningful activities.

5) Out of sight, out of mind

If you find yourself reaching for your phone always and spending hours on social media. To avoid this, one thing you can do is just put your phone away. Put it in a drawer, in a different room. Especially if you need to get work done. This is really helpful if you want to focus on a particular work. Put your phone on silent and place it hidden somewhere and focus on your work.

If you have the habit of scrolling your phone in the morning, another thing you can try is to put your phone in another room when you are sleeping. So, when you wake up your phone is not there, and you don't immediately reach for it.

6) Pinpoint the real issue

The next stop I have for you is to go deeper and pinpoint the real issue of why you spend so much time scrolling, this gets more reflective. Do you want to reflect on why you find yourself scrolling, why you reach for the phone? I find that most of the time it's because we want to avoid something, distracting ourselves on purpose because we're running away from something, whether you're running away from your responsibilities or you're just running away from your problems in life, social media is a way for us to numb ourselves to escape into another world, to focus on something outside of ourselves. So, we can forget our responsibilities and our problems.

To solve this issue, you have to know what you are running away from? What do you not like about yourself or your life? For example, one of the reasons that I realized I spent time scrolling so much was because I was procrastinating. I was running away from doing hard things. Scrolling social media is so easy, it's so comfortable, and there's very little effort I realized that I was turning to social media when I was running from something challenging in my life. I had to work through that limiting belief that I was afraid of facing my challenges and doing hard things.

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