Doomscrolling Can Worsen Your Anxiety: Here’s Tips To Stop Doomscrolling!
So much has happened in recent years – from the global pandemic to the war crisis. Everywhere we look there is an endless stream of negative news. Yet, instead of distracting our minds from the negativity, our constant social media scrolling has worsened our anxiety.
Did you know that we doomscroll because our brains are always on alert for threats to our security and safety? Doomscrolling, whether you believe it or not, is a way to prepare our minds for uncertainties of the future.
When we read any sad or negative news, our threat response awakens. This can be particularly helpful if the news motivates you to work harder to respond to the threat. I guess that’s why we find it tempting to keep scrolling our feed. Our minds take this activity as an act that we’re doing something productive to keep ourselves safe.
However, there’s a glitch. Our minds can’t access such information, especially when it’s to an extent. This overload of stressful information can increase the existing anxiety and cause other problems such as anxiety, panic, depression, insomnia, and more.
Unlike other healthy distractions, doomscrolling can be harmful to your mental peace. Constantly exposing you to negative news – unintentionally or not – can worsen your existing anxiety and stress.
Below, I’ve listed some of the best (and effective) tips on how to stop doomscrolling.
Tips To Stop Doomscrolling
1. Create A Stress-Free Morning Routine
If you scroll social media first thing in the morning, then you need to stop. Doomscrolling first thing in the morning can mean starting your day with hopelessness and negative thoughts. Plus, when you’re caught in the cycle of doomscrolling, you may end up losing time.
stop doomscrolling, create a stress-free morning routine. Have some downtime before starting your day. Make your mornings internet and social media-free.
2. Allocate Time For Checking News
One of the biggest sources of our anxiety is news. Whenever something happens, we automatically reach for our phone, do we not? Well, to break this habit, you can try to allocate time for checking the news.
For example, keep aside 10 to 30 minutes every afternoon to catch up on the news and other important notifications. It’s important to be informed about the world’s happenings but an overload of information can increase your anxiety.
3. Constantly Check-In With Yourself
Doomscrolling is a mindless habit that can eventually take a toll on your mental and emotional health and while you might be aware of this mindless habit, it’s not unusual to slip up and keep doing it, aware of its effects.
To stop doomscrolling, you can try to practice mindfulness and do regular check-ins with yourself. Try to keep a mood tracker journal handy to track how your doomscrolling affects your mood.
4. Stop! Technique Works
Even if you have good intentions, you can still end up doomscrolling. Even I find myself guilty of mindless scrolling when I’m supposed to be working. It’s OK. You can stop this by using the STOP! Technique.
Whenever you find yourself doomscrolling, say to yourself out loud, “Stop!” Put down your phone and take a breath. Do some stretching or drink a glass of water. Put a stop to doomscrolling with the Stop! Technique.
5. Find Healthy Distractions
More often than not, we end up doomscrolling when we’re looking to pass the time. This activity is mindless but it can hurt us nonetheless. I understand that mindlessly scrolling your social media can help distract you from reality so let’s try and switch things up.
Instead of reaching for your phone, try something different. Read a book that you’ve been meaning to start or bake. Call a friend or go on a walk (without your phone).
6. Focus On More Positive And Less Negative
So maybe you can’t find any positive news on your Instagram, it’s OK. Try another app or website? One that leaves you feeling motivated, inspired, and hopeful. If you can’t find one on your own, try asking your friends for recommendations.
Once you find one, try to visit them more often. You can even join some support groups. Having a sense of community can help you focus on the positive more than the negative.
The world’s a scary place these days and while there’s less happy news to hear, there’s always some thread of hope to latch onto. Limit your doomscrolling with these tips mentioned above and don’t let the negativity around you worsen your mood.
Remember, negativity can be contagious too but so does positivity. Pick the right one!
If you can’t seem to distract yourself and if you notice your anxiety worsening, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for help. It’s OKAY to need time to heal. It’s OKAY to ask for help. A therapist can help you stop doomscrolling by coming up with healthy coping tips.
For more, you can always reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on social media. You can also share your thoughts on the tips to stop doomscrolling in the comments below!
…take care and stay safe!