How to Avoid Doomscrolling

Many of us spend a great deal of time engaged with our mobile devices. Through looking at social media, watching videos, or keeping up with news, there are many potentials for distressing information to come into our hands. Unfortunately, after seeing something negative, some people tend to continue reading similar articles and falling down the dark hole of the internet for hours on end. This is considered doomscrolling. 

By definition, doomscrolling is considered the obsessive practice of checking online for news updates with the expectation of dread and negative results. This act can lead to a variety of negative emotions and provoke a level of fear, causing an individual to struggle to maintain their well-being.

Effects on Mental Health

The act of doomscrolling involves dwelling on negative news or social media posts. This can be extremely detrimental to your mental health by altering your perception of reality. Individuals who consistently engage in this action tend to have lower self-esteem and feel obligated to continue looking into this content for further information, continuously damaging their emotional state. 

If you are an individual who already struggles to manage your mental health, you are at a higher risk of the negative outcomes of doomscrolling. If you are prone to high levels of anxiety or depression, doomscrolling may only increase those feelings. Being mindful of the media you consume and ensuring you are taking care of your mental health when learning about the updates across the world is essential to avoid fully focusing on the negative aspects of society.

Using the following tips to avoid doomscrolling can help you ensure your media consumption is not detrimental to your mental health and you are not over-consuming negative information. It is important to be aware of what is happening in the world around you, but with balance. Over-consuming distressing information can lead to an unhealthy mental state. 

COVID-19 and Doomscrolling

Doomscrolling during the COVID-19 pandemic increased the level of fear in members of society. While many individuals fear for the health and safety of themselves and their families, this outpouring of information surrounding COVID-19 can cause extreme levels of stress and fear beyond reason. Doomscrolling can significantly impact your viewpoints on the news affecting our world. 

While it is important to spread news and awareness in regards to the pandemic, the news that is spread is often negative. It can become a compulsive action to continue reading threads related to the pandemic and hear the horror stories. One of the major problems with doomscrolling is the inaccurate information available on the internet. While there are many useful sources to learn about the pandemic or other world news updates, there are always false stories shared as well.

How to Avoid Doomscrolling

While doomscrolling often occurs without realization, there are many practices you can engage in to avoid falling down this negative path.

Limit Your Usage

One of the most efficient and beneficial ways to prevent doomscrolling is to limit your social media use and time spent on your phone. Turning off all electronics at least one hour before going to bed and setting a time limit for use each day can help you control your use. 

Doomscrolling becomes harmful when it pushes you into more and more information, leading to more negative thoughts. Limiting your time spent on media sources can force you to stop this engagement before the scrolling goes too far. Setting a limit on your phone for specific applications that you struggle to disengage with or setting a time limit for overall use can help you manage your usage. 

Notice Your Emotions

Track the social media platforms and news sources that you commonly use. After engagement with each of these sources, observe how you feel and how obligated you feel to continue your search. If you find that specific news platforms or social media feeds have a negative effect on your emotional state and are hard to stay away from, try to delete these sources or drastically limit the allowed usage time on these platforms.

Implement New Practices

One of the most straightforward ways to avoid doomscrolling is to avoid excessive media consumption altogether. When you are sitting at home with nothing to do, it is easy to pull out your phone and begin scrolling. Think of alternative activities that you can do during these times instead. When you feel the desire to pull out your phone, try going for a walk instead. Reach out to some friends to grab some ice cream or a bite to eat. Implementing other hobbies that can be done to keep you busy and away from overusing media can help you avoid reaching this point. 

Doomscrolling is the act of continuously deep-diving into the negative news throughout the internet and social media. By dwelling on this negative information, your mental and emotional state can be drastically altered, allowing for various negative thoughts to come into play. Regulating your use of social media and news consumption is extremely important to avoid reaching this level of fear and maintaining a healthy mental state. There are many tips and practices you can use to help in preventing doomscrolling and its harmful effects. If you continue to struggle with mental health and doomscrolling, SokyaHealth is here to help. We offer various services to help you improve your life, including self-help practices, coaching, and therapy. We are here to support you in overcoming whatever obstacles you are facing. To learn more about our services, reach out to SokyaHealth today at (877) 840-6956.

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