Surviving might seem like an over-statement but to survive really means to get along or remain healthy, happy, and unaffected in spite of a certain occurrence. There have been times when, after scrolling through my social feeds, I have felt defeated, not good enough, lonely or jealous. I continually need to make a conscience effort to halt these feelings and love MY life for what it is and be thankful for all that I have.
It won’t become second nature in an instant, but here are some of my tips to stay happy and confident in your social circles–not letting other’s updates, posts, tweets or pictures discourage you.
Monitor Your Mornings
The better your morning, the better your outlook of the upcoming day. How obvious. But I know plenty of people (myself included) whose very first action of the day is to open Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email accounts. If those media outlets make you feel inadequate, you may have just set yourself up for a challenging day. Trust me, it happens. Even if you don’t always start your morning off with a healthy breakfast or an early gym session try not checking your social media accounts and use those 5-10 minutes to simply focus on you. Meditate and give thanks for your blessings. Or mentally make a small to-do list and set out to accomplish it. Give YOUrself a chance to feel and be great and use each day as a step closer to your ultimate goal by starting your day off right.
Remember a time when your social status was based purely on your friend count? Now in 2014, we (should) know better. We know that it’s much more significant to have 5 really great friends than 20 meaningless associations. A wonderful filter feature exists on Facebook, Twitter and just about every social networking site. Filtering allows you to choose and edit what pops up within your feed. I filter (and sometimes delete) friend connections based on what they choose to post to their feeds and whether or not they are positive or encouraging. I know everyone has a bad day, and social media can be a great outlet, especially if you’re reaching out for advice. However, if you notice someone’s status is ALWAYS negative, discouraging, or if you dread seeing their updates, maybe you should consider cutting them out of your timeline. Take advantage of that filter button and take control of your feed. What you read, see and watch can drastically affect your mood. Be sure to keep only positive, interesting, supportive people in your feed (and in your life) as their energy will reflect back on to you.
Stress can be the root of so many life problems. Over-thinking, over-analyzing or allowing a disheartened mindset to occupy valuable real estate in your day can bring on unnecessary worry. People only share what they want you to see. Not that their feeds and updates aren’t true, but we must keep in mind that not everyone will share their failures, mishaps and mistakes. We’re ALL human, yes all of us. We are each on a different path (some slower, bumpier and longer) than others, but it is not a competition. We should not stress about being better than others, or yearn for what others have. Last year I started practicing IntenSati. I like to think of it as mix between martial arts and yoga. As you perform the strengthening moves, you speak out positive affirmations (which burn more calories!) One of my favorite lines is “I am exactly where I need to be.” I can’t make an IntenSati class as often as I’d like, but I still speak this to myself when I feel mentally stuck or need reassurance.
We get so obsessed with posting, updating, sharing and liking that we can forget to enjoy life and the people around us. Every Sunday I log off of ALL my social media accounts and log into the wonderful gift of today. I attend church, read, workout, spend time with friends, anything that is active and ultimately makes me happy. I also like to start and end my Sunday by meditating. It’s such a simple yet empowering way to get in touch with my own mind, reflect on the past week and prepare for the upcoming days ahead.
I must mention that this post is not meant to discourage you or others from sharing personal achievements or posting all the wonderful events that occur to your social media. It’s human nature to share with others when things are going well in your life. The purpose of this post is to remind you that YOU are wonderful, too. Your life is just as successful and beautiful as the next status update you see. Don’t fall victim to “all that glitters is gold” when everyone is battling their own (sometimes purposely) personal battles. Continue on your path and be encouraged by another’s story and pray that your story can be a source of encouragement to someone else.
I’ll admit I haven’t mastered every single one of these suggestions. Apps make it all too easy to submerge yourself in the world of social networking and forget about living your actual life. With a swipe down you can refresh the page and fill it with all new images, updates and baby photos, and forget that YOU have a loving family, amazing friends, a career, a pet, a sense of humor, lovely hair, a great shoe collection… whatever it may be! Be grateful for what you have right now, and trust that your dreams, goals and aspirations will unfold, in time.
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes, from the book Zen Shin Talks, by Sensei Ogui:
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”