Earlier this year, a team of researchers in Switzerland shared their peer-reviewed insights regarding the effects of social comparison via Instagram on users’ mental health. You can access the team’s full journal article through ScienceDirect.

According to the paper’s authors, “The effects of depressive symptoms and social comparisons lead to a vicious circle.” In other words, as users compare their lives to what they see in people’s Instagram feeds, they become increasingly depressed, which causes them to spend more time on the app in search of relief.

Lasting relief from despair rarely comes from using social media apps. Let’s pursue a healthier path.

Have You Ever Heard This Phrase?

Reportedly, President Theodore Roosevelt often remarked, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” That axiom reminds us if we compare our perceived worth to other people’s, we will likely encounter negative thoughts and emotions.

Why Do Comparisons Negatively Impact Our Mental Health?

Comparing ourselves to others may initially seem natural and harmless, but we only see what other folks are willing to reveal. As a result, we compare our full realities, the many positive and negative bits, to people’s highlights. That’s not fair to anyone, especially ourselves.

A Healthier Path

How do we avoid comparison’s unhealthy impacts? We focus on always living in the present moment:

  • Practice breathing exercises.
  • Meditate regularly.
  • Take quiet, attentive walks.
  • Adopt daily affirmations.
  • Keep a journal.

We all slip into thoughts about the past or future sometimes. When you do, give yourself grace, and try not to linger. Staying present becomes natural with practice.

You can talk to our compassionate, expert team at American Behavioral Clinics about social comparison’s impact on your mental health. To schedule an appointment in the Milwaukee area, contact us today.

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