Life is full of things that can get us down, and unfortunately, social media just amplifies that. Negative, habitual thoughts can take over our brains that are based on faulty or inaccurate assumptions, and these thoughts are called cognitive distortions. Luckily, there are some strategies out there to help tackle cognitive distortions, according to Dr. Willough Jenkins.
- Label cognitive distortions. Jenkins stresses, “if you label your thought, it takes a little bit of the power away from it.
- Weigh the evidence. Write them down when you experience them and then list the evidence for or against each thought.
- Distraction is your friend. Do things that make you feel good, that aren’t online.
- Let it go. Use a mindfulness technique like observing a thought without judgment.
- Treat yourself like you would a friend. Talk to yourself like someone else you love.
- Be mindful of physical and emotional red flags. Common signs are feeling anxious while online, difficult falling asleep, struggling to be present during in-person interactions, thumb pain from too much scrolling, and FOMO.
- Remember that negative feelings are normal. Just because you are acknowledging cognitive distortions doesn’t mean that you can never feel or express negativity.