How consumption & comparison are working against your mental health.

Let’s think back to thousands of years ago. Communities were smaller, there was NO internet, no social media, no evening news, no television for that matter. The only thing we could compare with was the people in our small villages. And this comparison motivated us to be better at the things we wanted to do. We could compare ourselves to hunters to elevate our skills and work towards becoming a hunter ourselves.

Fast forward a bit, before internet. Our communities are a bit bigger but the comparison factor is still the same. If we wanted to become a baker we would compare ourselves to the local baker in order to gain those skills. And it makes sense to compare within our own community – same demographic, same resources.

Now, fast forward to now. We are living in a world where we can literally view the world from our finger tips. We have so much technology at our disposable, we consume so much information and content on a daily basis with ease. Somewhere along the lines this comparison trait got twisted from being needed to survive and better ourselves to hurting our mental health & wellness. When we speak of comparison today, it is usually to put ourselves down. We compare ourselves to images on social – wishing we had that flat stomach, hoping our kids behaved as well as theirs, or wondering why we can’t have ‘that’ life. And it’s a problem. A real big one. With the world at our finger tips we have SO much to compare ourselves to, and as mentioned, this comparison isn’t helping us grow into better versions of ourselves.

So what can we do?

We can look at the way we are consuming. No, not consumption by means of what we are eating. I am talking about consumption of media, content, imagery, books, words – anything we see or hear. Do you ever think about the way you consume media? And how you consume it?

A lot of us will say it’s not a problem, they aren’t the slightest bit affected by it. But, I am telling you right now, that you’re wrong. It is affecting you, every time you ‘mindlessly’ scroll the feed. You are unconsciously comparing yourself to what you see, hear, and read. It is scientific fact! It takes the brain 3 to 6 seconds to jump to comparison when you’re consuming. 3 to 6 seconds!! We are not consciously consuming the media, our brains automatically make comparisons on our behalf as we scroll.

I want you to really think about the media you consume, how it makes you feel, how it could be affecting your mental health & what you can do to limit or consume in a different way.

Here’s some ideas for consuming in a different way:

  • Read an actual newspaper, you know the paper ones, real old school!
  • Read a book
  • Unfollow accounts that constantly have you comparing yourself
  • Follow accounts that inspire you!!
  • Create a shortcut of your favourite Facebook groups (to avoid scrolling through the feed)
  • Subscribe to websites that inspire you (get articles & blogs delivered straight to your inbox – sign up with ours here & get a FREE wellness guide!)
  • Write in your journal
  • Get outside & enjoy the world

Interested in hearing more about what consumption is doing to your mental health & wellness? Watch my latest Coffee Talk here!

Cecilia

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