If you spend at least half an hour on your phone before bed scrolling bad news every night then you are a victim of what is called doomscrolling. I know how tempting it might be to check your social media accounts at the end of the day. We think it helps us unwind, connect with others, distracts us, and let us see what our friends and the people we follow are up to or catch up on the recent news.
What you didn’t know is that this simple act can bring a sense of doom, stress, and anxiety into our lives—something we certainly want to avoid before bedtime.
What is doomscrolling?
Doomscrolling is a new term that refers to the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing. For example, many people are finding themselves reading continuously bad news about COVID-19 without the ability to stop or step back.
How does it affect our brains?
– research has already shown a link between excessive social media use and increased feelings of depression and loneliness.
– Increase levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which worsens anxiety over time.
– Research shows that chronic levels of elevated stress hormones are associated with many physical health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
– doomscrolling negatively affects the physical body, from interfering with sleep to creating a craving for comfort food and overeating.
– While you might think that keeping up with the bad news will make you feel safer, it actually worsens your fear and increases the risks of panic attacks.
How to Stop?
1 || Limit Your Time Scrolling
One great way to hold yourself from scrolling nonstop is setting limits to how much you’re scrolling. It’s recommended to set up a timer for 5 or 10 minutes. Once the timer goes off, change your scenery and put the phone down. You can limit your time on apps like Instagram by going to settings, account, your activity.
Don’t get us wrong, we are not saying that you shouldn’t know what’s going on around you. You only need to set boundaries when it comes to how much time you spend on your screens.
2 || Be Mindful
Before you grab your phone, be aware of why you’re there, what you’re looking for, and what information you’re trying to find. So you can easily stop and move on with your day or evening when you find what you needed in the first place.
I know you can’t help it sometimes, especially when there is something big going on in the world. That’s why you need to train yourself to put away your phone ones you get what you’re seeking.
3 || Stay Positive
If you are a victim of doomscrolling, then you need to find pages and websites that bring you joy to resort to when you feel bad. There are so many interesting accounts that highlight positivity through topics like art, sports, photography, cooking, psychology, wellness, music, spirituality and so much more.
You can create physical separation from your device. For example, leaving your phones at home when you go for a walk or run an errand or spend time with family or a friend. When you play, joke, and laugh, your brain gets a feedback message that all is well.
If you want to stay mentally and emotionally healthy, you need to take time to enjoy and relish the good things in life.