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Can meditation improve the impact of social media on mental health?

11-01-2024  Gday India

Social media has evolved into an inseparable part of our lives, with its substantial role in connecting people, sharing information and expressing creativity. However, the excessive usage of social media, especially by Gen Z, has adversely impacted people’s mental health. 

In this article, we will delve deeper into how the mental health of young individuals is impacted by social media, underlining the adverse consequences, such as depression and low self-esteem, while highlighting the potential benefits of meditation as a form of therapy. 

The unparalleled influence of social media on Gen Z 

Gen Z is the first generation to have been raised entirely in the digital era, with social media as an essential part of their lives from the beginning. They are consumers and creators who utilise platforms such as Instagram, X, and Facebook to communicate their experiences, thoughts, and imaginations with the world. 

Owing to this, they often find themselves using these platforms more frequently and for prolonged durations, getting lost in the intricate maze of the digital world. Here are some of the ways through which social media hampers the mental health of young individuals, leading to conditions like low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and much more. 

Unrealistic expectations 

Social media has emerged as a platform where individuals reveal their best moments, often edited and carefully curated to deliver an idealised version of their lives. This can fuel unrealistic expectations among the younger generation, leading to low self-esteem and a sense of inferiority. Comparing one's reality with the highlight reels of others can be detrimental, driving dissatisfaction and negative emotions. 

While individuals often compare themselves with the flawless lives of others on social media, it is a flawed practice as it involves assessing one's existence based on limited and usually manufactured glimpses of others' lives. This can result in feelings of jealousy and envy, negatively affecting one's mental health. 

Cyberbullying 

Similar to conventional forms of bullying, cyberbullying can cause considerable damage to an individual's self-esteem. In this regard, GenZ, who is often extensively involved in social media, may find it challenging to escape cyberbullying, resulting in feelings of remorse, anxiety and seclusion. 

Sleep disruption 

Moreover, excessive screen time, coupled with the addictive characteristics of social media, can disrupt sleep patterns and affect sleep quality. This can lead to irritability, depression and anxiety and worsen mental health problems. 

How meditation can play a transformative role in addressing these challenges with its healing benefits? 

Meditation can be a powerful remedy to mitigate social media's impact on individuals' mental health. By relaxing and focusing the mind on the present moment, this age-old practice offers a host of benefits, including: 

Stress reduction 

Numerous studies have shown that practising meditation can effectively reduce stress levels. By embracing it, GenZ can calm their minds and stay motivated. The practice also furnishes a host of approaches to managing stress, enhancing mental resilience and facilitating in navigating the challenges of social media more effectively. 

Alleviates anxiety 

As mentioned earlier, excessive social media usage can induce anxiety due to the continuous flow of information and social comparisons. In this regard, meditation can be an ideal solution to ease anxiety by allowing individuals to stay mindful and focused on the present moment, thus relieving stress and soothing the mind. 

The practice is also renowned for reducing the symptoms of depression by enhancing emotional control and self-awareness. 

Enhances self-esteem 

Regular meditation also boosts self-acceptance, self-compassion, and a deeper relationship with oneself, alleviating the negative impact of social media's unrealistic standards and comparisons. As a result, individuals experience significant growth in their self-esteem. 

As young individuals continue to navigate the digital world, they must prioritise their mental well-being. An effective way to do so is by embracing mindfulness practices like meditation into their daily routine. This could allow them to balance their online presence and their real personalities while nurturing compassion for themselves. 

By Raman Mittal 

 


11-01-2024  Gday India

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