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Best Life: Ways to stop doomscrolling

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 7:37 AM CDT
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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – The pandemic created new habits for many of us. One being a 50% jump in screen time. A lot of those hours have been devoted to “doomscrolling.” The habit involves non-stop online surfing through negative news and social media. But doing so causes a major setback to our mental health.

College student, Laura Fields, is finally starting to feel like herself again. The stress of the past year became so much, she fell into the ritual of scrolling through her news feed at all hours.

“You’re really like letting your emotions get the best of you,” said Fields. “It seemed like I couldn’t look away from it.”

“Most people who have moved on into addiction don’t recognize that they’re doomscrolling,” said Cochran.

However, all that extra time in front of our screens can cause a heavy toll on our mental health.

“People who do a lot of doomscrolling often look like a depressed person,” said Cochran. “You have trouble sleeping, you may lose your appetite. You will have difficulty with relationships.”

“I couldn’t focus on my work,” said Fields. “I thought that maybe it’s time to take a step back.”

The key to stopping the scroll? Find a way to interrupt the cycle.

“Distractions very important, finding other things to do that are better for you, physical exercise of some sort,” said Cochran.

Start a daily gratitude practice or journal.

“The reason that’s so important is because that rewires your brain in a very positive way,” said Cochran.

Try to stay off of social media for at least 72 hours. If that’s too difficult. Decrease the number of hours your online each day.

“Within a month’s time, you should be feeling pretty good again,” said Cochran.

As for Laura, she found relief by writing about her experiences in her school newspaper, “I felt like other students would kind of relate to that.”

But the most important thing to consider according to Cochran, is “there is life beyond social media.”

Cochran says the key is to find a balance. It’s okay to be online, but if you’re constantly checking social media or feel like you’re missing out when you’re not; it might be time to step away from the phone. If you have trouble doing so, make sure you talk to someone or seek professional help.

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Jennifer Winter, Producer; Rusty Reed, Videographer and Editor.

Copyright 2021 WMC. All rights reserved.