The rise of technology, social media and the internet has accomplished many amazing things…

These days, every aspect of our lives have seen improvements thanks to technology. Everything from shopping to socialising. In recent years however, it seems there is one common denominator that we struggle to solve through technology – mental health and social media stress.

The rise of social media has caused many people across the world; family, friends and total strangers alike, to become closer than ever. While this is a truly amazing feat in recent times, it’s not without its setbacks. Bullying and harassment are two ugly vices that have seen a boost in widespread prominence since social media has been around.

With anonymity and catfishing being used in waves by internet trolls to deceive and harm others, it can be truly tempting at times to take a vacation from social media, or quit it all together. Of course, taking time away from social media and the internet, and making time for your own wellbeing can help. Unfortunately, you may also be feeling fear of missing out, away from what friends and family are doing and saying online.

Luckily, major companies and the internet at large are showing far more sympathy towards these issues in recent times. There are now ways to take breaks and focus on centring yourself, while still keeping up with socials. To be able to talk with friends, harm and stress free.

Here are some simple methods, apps and programs on how it’s possible:

Social Media Stress | The Block Button

This one is rather simple, yet extremely convenient and useful when need be. Some of you may indeed already be well aware and handy with the block button on your socials. Some of you may not. To those of you in the latter group, I can already sense your reason for hesitating with this one, as I have been there myself. You worry about what the person on the other end and perhaps their friends will think of you if you block them. You may also be worried about the morality of it, as you may consider it cruel or ‘going too far’.

I can assure you that neither of these reasons really matter in the long run. Especially when it’s your own mental health and self-confidence that is on the line here. Blocking strangers may seem like a no-brainer, but when it comes to (former) friends that may be harassing you, there naturally can be some hesitation. To that end, I impart that you treat this person in your life that’s bothering you like you would a stranger online. You should not accept toxic, abusive or otherwise harassing behaviour from a complete stranger. Therefore, there’s no reason why you should accept it from someone who you know and who knows you outside of social media.

Social Media Stress | Calm – The Meditation App

This one is less of a long-term solution than applying the block button, but one that’s nevertheless just as valuable. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to take at least small breaks from the internet and social media. However, you may be someone who’s finding that taking a break just isn’t enough at times. When dealing with anxiety,  you are constantly preoccupied with negative thoughts and it can be hard to break that cycle.

For those who try everything to cope with anxiety, I offer an option you may not have considered before – Meditation. Meditation can be easy to write off as something silly and pointless. Hollywood peddles the stereotype that to meditate, you merely have to sit on the floor, surrounded by candles. This is not even remotely true. Often, meditation can be as simple as being completely still in a quiet safe space and doing breathing exercises.

If you’re still sceptical, the app Calm is here to help. Calm is an app tailored and specialising around meditation and anxiety relief. It is a subscription-based service (that you can try for free), but do not be put off by that. Calm employs countless primarily audio-based methods to assist you in mental wellness. I myself was sceptical about it originally, however, having used over the past year, I can now happily sing its praises. Whether I have sold you on it at this point or not, I would suggest that it’s at least worth investing your time into the trial period. You never know if it might end up being your saving grace.

Social Media Stress | BetterHelp

When dealing with stress and anxiety there’s one extremely common answer that most will give you – therapy. Like me however, the idea of therapy may make you hesitant for numerous reasons. The money aspect, the fear of having to acknowledge your problems, the anxiety of contacting a therapist to begin with. No matter your reason, they’re all valid and can really prevent you from getting the help that you sorely need.

I offer a solution however – BetterHelp. Set up in 2013, BetterHelp prides itself on being a subscription-based service that offers professional counselling from licensed therapists for a third of the price of therapy. While traditional therapy is just as valuable, and something I can personally vouch for, BetterHelp is best used as a stepping stone towards that.

One-to-one sessions come in many forms – over the phone, as a video chat or a simple text chat. The variety of options is really there to help you overcome your hesitation with therapy, whatever form that may take. So, if you’re someone in need of therapy but hesitate to bite the bullet, I implore you to try BetterHelp. After all, what have you got to lose?

Social Media Stress | In Conclusion

As I have hopefully demonstrated with these examples, social media stress is a real issue, and one that isn’t taken lightly. Many companies and programs have been set up with the express purpose of helping you overcome the mental barriers that social media stress can sometimes put up. There are countless people on the same internet that is giving you grief, ready and willing to help you. From seeking professional help online to simply deleting social media apps from your phone, the answer is out there.