It was simple enough. I had been organising some details with a friend around going away for the weekend. I hit send on my last message, looking forward to finding out everything I could about the weekend, and getting ready as it was only a few days away. I got on with my day, maybe checking my phone a little to regularly to see if they had responded.
By the next morning, a feeling of anxiety had started to wrap around me. I was taken aback. It was a simple communication thing, not the panic of missing a flight or wearing see thru yoga pants to class…. This anxiety seemed to stem from a place of not being in control. Obviously I couldn’t force my friend to respond in MY timeframe, although, the temptation of sending a few demanding texts did cross my mind!
So here I was, in a situation where finally, my control issues were revealing themselves in all their glory. I have never experienced this level of anxiety before around not being able to get something that I thought I truely needed, in order for my sanity to remain in contact, and my fight or flight response to chill out.
Lucky for me, I did receive the information needed, I did go away and have an amazing weekend, and the anxiety settled after journaling and meditation work. Yoga has been a firm ground for me to turn to again and again when deep rooted emotional issues reveal themselves at unrequested moments. But I can’t help wondering, how does someone, your neighbour, work college or even a family member, deal with anxiety, if they are used to being in a high alert mode for long periods of time?
As I delved deeper into this anxious topic, I was surprised to learn that anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems experienced by YOUNG people today. I reflected, when I grew up, I didn’t have the pressure of any kind of social media to deal with. In fact, I don’t believe I had my first mobile phone until halfway through the 90’s (showing my age!) so there was no receiving any kind of messages throughout school electronically. I wonder what it would be like to be a teenager in today’s world…..
Social Media Anxiety Disorder (SMAD) is a real thing! For teens, scrolling through their numerous social media accounts, leads to comparing their insides (their inner emotional world, how they feel about themselves), to other people outsides (the images posted on social media). Although there now seems to be more of a trend in some account holders being more transparent about the photos’ they may post, and can also be a source of strength for some (LGBTQ Community), the illusiveness of social media is the way our lives APPEAR to be rather then how they actually are on a moment to moment basis. Momentum has increased around our sense of worth being valued by how many ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ we can rack up on social media. Our assessment of these outcomes, can suck our time as we worry about being pretty enough (I do!), popular enough and good enough, having such an impact that it can affect the way we socialise and engage with others.
Taking social media breaks can end the feedback loop or high we get from getting attention from our posts. Backing away from posting regularly can also assist in setting healthy boundaries, where as I revealed, when someone doesn’t respond the way you anticipate, you are able to be more accountable for your own experience, rather than blaming another for how you feel. Also, what about connecting with people in REAL TIME! Sometimes getting lost in the social media world, tends to create a sense of disconnection from the real person who is posting. Not being on social media as much, can enrich the connections we have in our lives, as long as we don’t spend out time together on our phones!!
I am really excited to have teamed up with Caitlin of Calmer Sutra Tea. to create Good Calmer Yoga. Our intention is to bring people together to demystify topics around mental health, create habits that can support us on our journey through Yoga and Mediation and raise awareness around mental health, with all monies raised by tickets being donated to a charity of choice.
For our upcoming Good Calmer Yoga. event on Tuesday March 27th at Fourth Chapter. all proceeds raised through the sale of our tickets will be donated to Headspace. the National Youth Foundation for Mental Health. Please click the Good Calmer Yoga. link to get your tickets.
We believe that creating a sense of connection through community can support and strengthen positive emotional well being, and be reminded that we are supported whether we have a cool picture on social media or not xx