Everyday Mindfulness

The Power of Concentration

The Power of Concentration

One of the most essential skills we are building in a mindfulness practice is the power of concentration. In our modern, busy world, we are constantly distracted and our attention is continually being drawn in many different directions. We live in a state of continuous partial attention. This is exhausting and stressful.  And, when we need to focus our attention, we often have trouble “turning off” all those distracting thoughts and reigning in our attention. Mindfulness practice, in which we are learning to intentionally bring our attention to the present moment and hold it there, builds our power of concentration and offers many benefits to our health and wellbeing.

The Keys to a Good Night's Sleep

The Keys to a Good Night's Sleep

My dear friend playfully refers to the obvious moments of self-awareness as “duh, jerk” moments—and the scientific fact that we need sleep for peak performance certainly qualifies as a “duh, jerk.” The CDC has shown that we need sleep for cognitive sharpness and that we’re chronically sleep-deprived. And while it’s annoying if one of our kids or a tossing and turning partner has denied us some shuteye, it can also be life-threatening.

Countdown to Concentration

Countdown to Concentration

The First Step In Meditation

There are several ways to approach a meditation practice. From reading a book, to learning from a teacher in-person, listening to audio recordings or downloading a mindfulness-based app.

Regardless of your in-roads to the practice, and no matter the style of meditation, I have consistently noticed that there is one step any and every new meditator must take. This step is all about laying the groundwork and creating stability in order for the mind to be able to meditate.

Mindful Eating: Savoring Meal Time

Mindful Eating: Savoring Meal Time

As a New Yorker, I get it — we’re busy. I’m a long distance runner, and know that sometimes food is only fuel — calories consumed to keep our bodies in movement. I’ve squeezed plenty of packets of electrolytes in my mouth while running, and for lunch today I microwaved a burrito while taking a conference call and reviewing train times for my next appointment. But I also love cooking and eating. And, news flash: mindfulness is not a speed, it’s an attitude of curiosity and compassion for whatever’s happening.

Mindful Eating is often thought of as the classic “slow eating of a raisin” exercise made famous by Thich Nhat Hanh and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction training. It’s a wonderful way to pay attention to the subtleties of eating.

Peace of Mind, One Breath at a Time

Peace of Mind, One Breath at a Time

Peace of mind, defined as “a feeling of being safe or protected,” is not something that is bestowed upon us when, say, all our ducks are in a row, or external circumstances are calm and harmonious. Peace of mind can be cultivated in the most turbulent times; amidst the most turbulent emotions. It is a continuously cultivated quality. One breath at a time.

Building Routine Around Self-Care

Building Routine Around Self-Care

Showing kindness to ourselves can be one of the more challenging practices to commit to. Life happens, challenges arise, we get busy, and it is only illness, fatigue, burn out, and moments of overwhelm that ask us, with urgency, to prioritize self-care. Yet, by living in a human body we have every tool needed to support ourselves in sustainable well-being.

One of the simplest means of showing kindness to ourselves is to create personal rituals. Rituals are a single action or series of actions that are meaningful and performed the same each time. Rituals are tools that offer us space to pause, honor ourselves, and become present. 

4 Ways to Manage a Restless Mind

4 Ways to Manage a Restless Mind

When life gets really busy it can feel like you’re always catching up on your to-do list. Even when there isn’t much going on, your mind may default to a pattern of restlessness.

For greater mental clarity, it’s important to develop your practice. Here are 4 strategies to help you manage a restless mind:

Feel, Move, Breathe: Staying Balanced During the Holidays

Feel, Move, Breathe: Staying Balanced During the Holidays

The holiday season is heralded as the most wonderful time of the year, and certainly there is a whimsical and romantic quality to it all. However, along with the celebration comes the inevitable stresses of family, travel, the closing down a year, and the anticipation of another one. If you wake up a little less merry and a little more Grinch, you are not alone. More than that, you have the capacity to support yourself through the mindfulness practice. Taking a moment to reset through breath, movement, and awareness.

Happiness and Joy Multiplied Through Loving-Kindness

Happiness and Joy Multiplied Through Loving-Kindness

The simple practice of Loving-Kindness has come to be one of the easiest and most powerful ways to bring happiness to others, thereby multiplying my own. The brief act of sending out well wishes to all by silently communicating a sentiment such as, “May I be happy and free. May he/she be happy and free. May all beings be happy and free” is a practice I can do anytime, anywhere.

3 Ways To Stop Negative Self-Talk

3 Ways To Stop Negative Self-Talk

Often, we find ourselves holding back from saying certain things to people, but when it comes to our own inner dialogue -- we have no filter. Think back to a time where you were feeling down even though you knew you were being too hard on yourself. Fortunately, by paying attention to our inner dialogue, we can free ourselves from self-doubt and become more comfortable with who we are. Here are 3 ways to stop negative self-talk:

How To Be More Mindful Of Your Communication

How To Be More Mindful Of Your Communication

Think back to the last time you had a conversation with someone and it truly felt like the other person was giving you 100% of their attention. It feels good, right? You probably opened up more and felt a better connection with the person. For some people, this comes more naturally, while others have to be intentional about mastering the art of mindful communication.

How to Clear Your Mind and Fuel Your Creativity

Have you ever had an “aha!” moment when you least expected it? Maybe you were in the shower, on a run, or simply drinking your morning coffee when suddenly... the answer became clear. There’s a reason why these breakthrough ideas strike at strange times and it’s most often when you have a clear mind.

In order to do your most creative work, you have to silence any anxious and stressful thoughts, especially if you have external pressure like pending deadlines. The good news is you can learn to distance these negative thoughts, while your creative mind goes to work.

To find out how others stay creative under stress, we reached out to:

  • Kevin Huynh, Partner at People & Company

  • Ramon Mortiz, Senior Associate at iProspect

  • David Li, Technician and Fulfillment Specialist at KeyMe

Here’s what they had to say about distancing anxious thoughts and letting your mind be creative:

Identify Anxious Thoughts

“What’s the first thing you do when you find your mind racing from anxiety and stress?”

Once you notice your mind start to race take a moment to pause and breathe. Try to assess the situation. Ramon suggests considering your “current situation, emotions, [and] thoughts,” by asking questions like:

  • How did I get to this point?

  • Why am I thinking this?

  • Where did this feeling come from?

You can also try writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. Kevin finds “that putting [his] thoughts into words helps [him] reflect on what [he’s] feeling and why [he] feels that way.”

Put Things Into Perspective

“How do you silence these anxious and stressful thoughts?”

A common thread among the contributing influencers is to always put everything into perspective. For some, this means introspective reflection, while for others it means talking things out with a close friend.

Kevin says, “nothing silences stressful thoughts like talking them out with someone I trust. Often those discussions with my partner or business partner don't change the circumstances but they put seemingly overwhelming things into perspective.”

Priority Over Pressure

“When you have other tasks to complete, how do you focus on the task at hand rather than the building pressure?”

For Kevin, his “good days start with lists”. Especially when times get busy, Kevin proactively makes lists for each day of the week. However, we all know how easy a to-do list can quickly get out of hand.

This is why it’s important to focus on the present moment says David. He highlights the importance of tackling each task one-by-one even though it can feel “almost paralyzing to focus on whatever you may have on your plate at the moment.

Here are some best practices for writing your to-do list:

  • Include work-related and personal items

It’s important to make sure you complete all of your work. It’s even more important that you maintain good physical and mental health. Make time for yourself.

  • Identify urgent versus important items

This helps you determine which items need to be prioritized first, while others can wait until a more appropriate time. Focus on the urgent problems first.

You can read more about writing sensible to-do lists here.

Enjoy the Moment

“Do you have any exercises or habits or hobbies that help you clear your mind and prevent stress from wearing you down?”

Everyone has an activity, hobby, or something you enjoy doing. It’s important that you make time for yourself and these types of activities. For Kevin it’s cooking; he says, “cooking is rejuvenating. There's something about preparing, creating, and consuming food that makes me feel more like me.”


5 Questions to Help You Make Any Major Life Decision

Have you ever felt like the answer was right in front of you all along? When making a major life decision, it’s easy to overthink your options. All the “what-ifs” and “buts” can make it seem like there is no right decision -- it happens to the best of us.

Sometimes the best path forward is clearly defined, while other times it’s not. Fortunately, a proactive, mindful approach can help you see your options clearly to make the best choice moving forward.

A Process for Mindful Problem Solving

Before you make any major life decision, it’s important that you take a moment to slow things down. Breathe. It’s natural to feel emotionally charged when there is some sort of stake on the line. Don’t get caught up trying to uncover the “right” and “wrong” answers. You will naturally identify the best solution as you ask yourself these 5 questions:

1. What is your challenge?

The first step is to define the problem you are trying to solve. This is typically the major life decision you are trying to make. From choosing a field of study, career path, life partner, and more. You want to be crystal clear about what it is you are trying to solve.

Try asking yourself questions like:

  • What’s the challenge you are facing?

  • Why is this a challenge that must be addressed now?

  • What important details am I dealing with?

  • What do I want the outcome to be?

  • What bothers you about the problem?

  • What doesn’t bother you?

  • Who is involved?

  • Where does the problem occur?

  • When does it happen?

  • Why is it happening?

  • How does it happen?

  • How does it make you feel?

  • How do you react/respond?

Sometimes the problem you are facing will be very clear and already pre-defined. Other times the problem may be vague or require more effort to put it into words.

2. What are your possible outcomes?

Now it’s time to brainstorm all of the possible solutions to your challenge. It’s natural for our minds to focus on one “ideal solution”, but it’s important to let your mind search for multiple solutions. Think of this as an opportunity to brainstorm possible outcomes you may not have previously thought of.

To help you get started try thinking about solutions in terms of what it looks like you doing, feeling, and seeing. Focus both on what you do want to happen, as well as what you do not want to happen. Decide on your top 3 possible outcomes and keep these in mind.

3. What are your strategies to achieve these outcomes?

This is where you develop your ideas to craft a truly workable solution -- a plan you can implement to overcome your challenge. Try to think of as many strategies as you can for each of your 3 possible solutions from the previous step. These are actions you can take that will help you achieve a particular outcome. Remember, any idea is fair game at this point. Don’t criticize the merits of your ideas at this stage... we will get to that!

4. What are the consequences of your strategies?

In order to determine the best plan of action moving forward, consider the likelihood of success for each of your strategies from the previous step. Once you’ve done that, consider which of your outcomes from Question #2, has the most strategies that are likely to succeed. Of course, you’ll need to implement a specific strategy, but this is where you’ll have the best chances of success.

5. How can you implement this plan of action?

Now that you’ve arrived at a specific strategy to achieve a particular outcome, the final piece of the puzzle is to put it into action. Break your strategy down into a series of steps that take you from your current situation to your chosen outcome. By this point, you’ll have made a very intentional, mindful decision about the best course of action to overcome any challenge.


Why Peak Performance Requires a Strong Mind Body Connection

There are two types of exercise critical to reaching your peak performance in life: mental and physical. Physical exercise is organized, premeditated, focused physical movement that is intended to achieve a set of fitness goals. Common physical exercises include running, weight lifting, swimming, and yoga. With repetition, you get better over time.

Mental exercise is a bit more complicated. Your brain is active 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The brain is a super-powered processing machines constantly analyzing your external environment, while commanding your bodily functions. Your brain also regulates emotions, stores memories, and processes information both consciously and subconsciously. Just like physical activity, there is a distinction between brain activity and mental exercise.

Mental exercises are challenging. They require more cognitive power and eat up more energy. They are also the activities that make you smarter. Some examples include learning a new instrument, studying for a test, strategizing a new business model, and even reading for long periods of time.

Mutually Exclusive or Complementary?

What you may have noticed is that these examples of physical and mental exercise are not mutually exclusive. To play piano, you need to think about which notes to play and move your fingers and feet accordingly. To swim a proper breaststroke, you have to apply a learned technique to move efficiently and get better.

It is important to understand the difference between mental and physical exercise to understand an even more powerful type of exercise - the mind body connection.

The Mind Body Connection

Going as far back as ancient Greece, people believed that the mind and body were deeply intertwined. Medicine and sports were predicated on the idea that our bodies and minds depend on each other for peak performance. This notion was almost lost at the beginning of the seventeenth century, but has come back to popularity. Scientists in modern times have found again and again that the body and mind are a synchronized unit. For example, what separates Olympic athletes from recreational athletes is not their superior bodies; it’s actually their ability to make decisions on the fly, and command their muscles accordingly. Vice versa.

Here’s another example. Think back to the last time you were very hungry and trying to work. Not easy right? A body that’s properly fed, hydrated, and has stable glucose levels feeds a sharper, more focused, and calmer mind.

Though we do not yet fully understand the connectivity between the mind and body, it is a growing topic in a variety of fields from meditation to physiology to fitness. Peak performers, doctors and scientists all want to know how this relationship works. One thing is for sure. If you want to reach your peak performance in life, it’s critical to find a happy balance between mental and physical exercise.

Tune Into Your Body For A Better Workout

Ever notice how you seem to find workout tips at every turn? Magazine articles at the checkout counter promise “5 ab exercises to get shredded”. Or the guy on the YouTube ad before your video has “the secret to weight loss in 30 days or less”. While each of these likely contain effective exercises, a good workout always starts with listening to your body.

How do you define a good workout?

For some it means burning lots of calories, while for others it’s all about lifting heavier weights, or running for a long time on the treadmill. At times, it can be hard to measure what counts as a good workout. Despite personal metrics there is one thing that’s the same for everyone. When you have a good workout, you feel great afterwards. To feel great after every workout and avoid getting lost in all the workout “information overload”, try listening to your body.

Tune Into Your Physical Self

Before you begin your workout take some time to sit or stand still. You can even do this laying down, which is a great option. Do a full body scan starting from the bottoms of your feet and make your way to the top of your head. Take your time, as the entire scan can take anywhere from one to three minutes.

Plan Your Workout Accordingly

After you’ve done your scan, you can choose which types of exercise would complement your body today. Maybe your shoulders are sore right now, but your core feels rested. In that case, you can make the workout about stretching your shoulders, loosening them up with some cardio, and focusing the hard exercises on your abs.

The Difference Between Good And Bad Pain

While you’re performing the hard exercises, you’ll likely experience a certain amount of pain. If you plan your workout by listening to your body, it’s probably good pain. Your heart will pound and your muscles will burn, but you’ll feel alive, strong, and vital while you workout. Bad pain is different. If you’re working out and feel sharp discomfort, or you’re finding it difficult to muster the energy to continue, then consider giving that muscle a break.

The key is to notice the difference and honor what your body is telling you. Although a good workout starts with the right mindset, it begins with awareness of your body. By choosing to listen, you are allowing yourself to become more self aware, cultivating a practice that will give you true lifelong fitness.

Shifting Gears From Work To Leisure

We are connected to our jobs more than ever before. Technology and smartphones have made us reachable 24/7. While this may be convenient for business, it’s important that our minds have a chance to relax and recharge. Here are some strategies people are using:

Protect Your Personal Time

How do you keep “work thoughts” from invading your personal time?

Victoria, Fashion Stylist: Meditation has been the biggest help when it comes to finding peace of mind. It taught me how to not fight the thoughts that are coming into my mind, but rather focus on breathing and let them go.

Judith, Program Coordinator: This is difficult at times, especially when there’s an intense period at work or when something gets under my skin. I find that I must be vigilant in observing my mind. When work thoughts occur during personal time, I have to make a conscious effort to create a boundary and refrain from engaging with the thinking. I compartmentalize the whole “folder” called work and I put it away.

Adam, Partner at Engage Media Group: It’s honestly the toughest thing to do, especially for those of us who don't work normal 9 to 5 jobs. You are responsible for so much that it’s almost always on my mind. Especially in today’s world where we are so connected with phones that a simple email or ad on Instagram can spark your mind to think work thoughts.

Korpo, Writer & Brand Strategist: “Work thoughts” typically arise after work hours when you have not prioritized and are unaware of what items you have left pending. At the end of each workday, I dedicate thirty minutes to weighing in on my priorities. Knowing exactly where I am on matters of importance allows me to set a plan of execution of the following day. This alleviates me of any anxiety that could arise over items I was unable to complete that day.

Keep Your Mind Off Work

What do you do when you find your mind wandering back to work? How do you silence these thoughts? Or do you give them attention?

Judith, Program Coordinator: First, I have be aware enough to catch it. Then, strong enough to be willing to reject it. Once that decision is made and the boundary is set, it takes some affirmative thought to put it away. Sometimes, I even have to breathe through the more pervasive “breakouts”. It’s not so much that I silence these thoughts per se, it’s that I refuse to put my attention on them and then they recede. Sometimes, if they are relentless, I do give them attention. At times, I have been able to assess my work issues with the most clarity during my personal time.

Adam, Partner at Engage Media Group: Most times it’s tossing the phone to the side and not picking it up. Another way is to spend time with some friends. Being social helps keep your mind off work since you are vibing and enjoying the moment.

Korpo, Writer & Brand Strategist: In basketball, the 5-second rule helps to promote a continuous play. How can this help stop your mind from wandering back to work? Easy, as soon as I find my mind being sucked back into work mode, I ask myself will this matter cause you to lose your job? Now is time to pass, dribble, or shoot. If I cannot make the call within 5 seconds, it’s a penalty; I must stop everything I am doing and attend to whatever matter has come to mind.

Christian, Direct-Response Copywriter: I just take a deep breath and try to stay focused in the moment. I don't give the thoughts much attention, especially if I can't do anything about them at that time.

Unwind To Switch Gears

Is there a specific activity, routine, habit, or ritual you do after work to switch gears into leisure mode?

Victoria, Fashion Stylist: Working out tremendously helps with switching gears! I also recommend working on a passion project that brings you joy.

Judith, Program Coordinator: When I am super stressed at work, a hot bath will help me to transition into my down time. It became a ritual of releasing any work-related stress.

Korpo, Writer & Brand Strategist: Classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs when two stimuli are paired habitually. While some habits are debilitating, others can be lifesaving. I have a set playlist that I listen to everyday for an hour before the end of my work day. My mind has been conditioned to leave work at the end of my playlist. Since adopting this habit, I now leave work more pumped and eager to head home than ever before.


Christian, Direct-Response Copywriter: After work I get changed into comfortable clothing, help out with dinner, and eat some food. I'd then either read my Kindle, watch YouTube or watch Dragon's Den. This happens naturally as I’m often exhausted and ready to relax.

How to Live in Balance with Technology

There’s no denying that screens have become an integral part of life, whether it’s working from a laptop, scrolling on phones, or relaxing in front of the TV. A recent Nielsen audience report revealed the average person spends 10 hours a day looking at screens... almost two thirds of the time we’re awake!

Since technology is deeply rooted in our daily habits, it’s important to find time away from screens. Being intentional about your screen-free time will help you reconnect with physical experiences for a more mindful, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Practice Mind-Body Connection

Technology allows us to experience things without even having to be present. For instance, if you’re watching a comedy where there is a group of friends talking, you’re experiencing social engagement without actually being there. This is a vicarious experience that only occurs in the mind. If you were really out with a group of friends, the richness of the experience becomes much more fulfilling because your body and mind work best together.

Enjoy The Little Things In Life


It may sound cliche, but enjoying the small things in life is a great way to find inner peace. The smells, sounds, tastes, textures, and gestures enriches every experience. Standing, laughing, looking people in the eye, and really living in that moment are incredibly valuable. In the real world, your senses are given a necessary feast of stimuli that can’t be found through technology.

Manage Screen Time

Most electronic screens have significantly high levels of blue light. Blue light is high energy with a short wavelength, which means it scatters more easily than other colours of the spectrum. Why should you care? Overexposure to blue light makes it difficult for our eyes to focus and can leave the retina vulnerable to damage.

Tip: If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, you can order blue light filtering glasses and download blue light reduction apps that make your screen appear more yellow.

Get A Good Night’s Rest


Blue light also increases alertness by suppressing the body’s production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. This is great early in the day, but that’s not the case when you’re trying to fall asleep. To fall asleep quicker, try swapping your dose of late night Netflix with a book, drawing, or another peaceful activity you enjoy.

Technology has its place in our lives, but like anything, it’s about finding a balance that works for you. If you feel like something is missing in your life, try swapping screen time for more real life experiences.

 

How Emotions Inspire Our Perspectives of the World

Our emotions affect how we perceive the world around us. How someone feels emotionally will influence the meaning we pull from different sensations, as well as past experiences and knowledge. This provides the power to reshape our perspectives by understanding the emotions within us.

To see how people are working to understand their emotions, we reached out to:

  • Dre, Customer Experience Ninja

  • Dadry, Creative Freelancer

  • Corri, Filmmaker

Here’s what they had to say about understanding your emotions. It all begins with emotional balance.

Understanding Emotional Balance

When we asked, what does being “emotionally balanced” mean to you, a common thread is to allow yourself to feel your emotions as they come and go, while “dealing with them in real time”. Dre highlights the importance of not letting yourself “become overly consumed with what may come and not judge yourself for feeling how you do.”

For Corri it means, “making a choice to take time for yourself and not allowing the fast pace of life to control your inner peace. Try creating a routine to keep this balance intact, such as making the bed, stretching, and taking a few moments to meditate. Find moments in the day to be grateful for your path and the world around you” - even the parts of life you can’t control.

Search For Perspective

The next question we asked is: How do you regulate your emotions when you’re feeling down or life feels out-of-control?

Taking a step back can help you put things into perspective. Dadry suggests, “slowing down and taking in the world around you. Cleaning is one way to physically fix the chaos around you. It’s about finding something new and calming to take your mind off the stress of it all.”

After taking a moment to breath deeply, Corri says, “I consider the consequences of my reactions. Do I spiral out of control or remain calm and think logically about the situation? I usually choose the latter. If I feel extremely emotionally charged and feel the need to express myself I try to do so as honestly and calmly as possible.”

Accept Your Emotions

Our final question is: What advice do you have for people who have trouble controlling their emotions, both in their own minds and when expressing emotions to others?

Dre suggests, “My advice to people who have trouble controlling their emotions would be to accept what comes. Don't avoid or try to suppress anything that might come up because it will come back to the surface eventually. Take a moment to positively respond to what you are going through instead of reacting immediately. Many times we react without thinking and it tends to not be the best plan of action.”

Dadry encourages you to “find a way to filter the mess. Music, art, exercise; any activity that is expressive - even something as simple as talking it out. Usually a stressful situation is one where there isn’t a firm sight of clarity. Talking to someone who is on the outside looking in might be exactly what you need.”

Corri often asks, “Who are your emotions affecting? When we become irrational we are not lucid. So you can not clearly convey your emotions and express your truest desires. In one’s own mind I would think about what is creating any distress? What’s the source? Can you control it or is it out of your control? You cannot allow things that are out of your control to disturb your peace. Take a few moments to breath and think about how much power you want to allow others or a situation to have over you. What outcome will expressing your emotions have?”

Taste Each Bite: The Benefits of Slow Eating

In recent years, food has become less about community and artsmanship, and more about convenience. However, slowing down the fast pace of modern life is essential to wellbeing - especially when it comes to meals. Many studies have shown that eating slowly is tremendously beneficial for the body and mind. Although it can be instinctual to scarf down a quick bite between meetings or after work, taking the time to chew slowly and take breaks between bites can improve the entire eating experience.

The Health Benefits: Improves Digestion

Eating has everything to do with the mind-body connection. As you chew, your brain is sending signals to multiple parts of your body to prepare for digestion. When you eat slowly, you’re giving your body more time to realize what’s happening. In fact, it takes twenty minutes on average for your mind to signal to your body that you are full. Chewing quickly can override this mind-to-body dialogue because it all happens too fast. Often this leads to stomach cramps, bloating, poor digestion, or even acid reflux. Chewing slowly, on the other hand, allows your mind and body to be in sync. Together your mind and body can work more effectively by giving your mouth and stomach time to get the message.

The Experiential Benefits: Appreciate The Food

Food is good, so good. In fact it might be one of life’s greatest joys, so why not make the most of it? Rather than rushing through that piece of pizza, burger, granola bar or fresh apple, slowing down to savor it helps you get more than calories out of your food. When chewing slowly, you may notice flavors, smells, and textures you might have missed before. Eating slowly doesn’t just stop you from being hungry, it makes for a much richer experience.

The Social Benefits: Enjoy Your Company


Some of the healthiest nations in the world don’t actually eat what we might consider “healthy” food. Countries like France, Italy, and Greece eat a diet based primarily in breads and cheeses, and have some of the healthiest people in the world. What’s the difference? There are two main reasons. For one, these European countries eat socially. You’d be hard pressed to find someone eating alone. In eating socially, people also naturally slow down - this is the second reason. If you have trouble eating slowly, try eating with another person. The conversations you have make it easier to take breaks between bites, and think about the whole experience of eating, not just the food itself.

How to Protect Your Mind From Social Media Envy

Social media is positive in a lot of ways. It makes us laugh, fills free time, and can help us keep in touch with friends and family. Unfortunately, social media may also skew the idea of what a happy life looks like. In fact, Instagram and Facebook have been ranked as the top two worst social media sites for mental health. To stay positive as you surf social media, try some of these tips to strengthen your inner happiness.

The Highlight Reel

Scrolling through the newsfeed, we see one friend traveling the world, and another who just got married. We see someone who just landed an awesome job, and another person posing on the beach looking amazing. The best thing to do is feel happy for the success of your friends, but it’s not always that simple. If you’ve had a bad day or are feeling particularly vulnerable, seeing other people’s highlight reels can make you feel envious. However, that’s all they are - highlight reels. This is just what’s being shown to the public and doesn’t always represent the full story. It’s important to keep this perspective in mind when you’re browsing social media.

Unfollow Triggering People

Typically, there are a handful of people who make glamorous posts more often, or may have something that you want. Facebook makes unfollowing really easy. All you have to do is go to their profile and click “unfollow”. It’s completely anonymous so the person will not be notified. Plus they remain on your friends list. When you unfollow someone on Instagram, the person won’t get a notification either. If seeing someone’s posts are getting you down, don’t be afraid to do what’s best for your wellbeing.

Take A Break

If you’re still feeling envious after unfollowing triggering people, it could be time to take a break from social media. To take a break from instagram, it’s as simple as deleting the app off your phone. If you’ve saved your password or linked the app to another account like Google or Facebook, logging back in when you’re ready is easy. To take a break from Facebook, you can try changing your password to something more difficult to remember. Save that password somewhere, and don’t use it until you feel you’re ready to go back on the site.

Oh, the peace and quiet. Wait, is that an urge to scroll? For some of us, opening a social media app becomes second nature and can be a hard habit to kick. According to social psychologists, setting a benchmark of 21 days to remain scroll-free is the necessary amount of time to break a habit. The first week off an app is usually the hardest, but it becomes a lot easier after that. All the time you free up is great for removing jealousy triggers from your life, while also providing time to reflect.

Is Social Media Worth It?

What does social media provide for us? It’s a bit of a catch 22. You get amazing inspirational stories, and the latest news tailored to your interests. You get to see your baby cousin growing up and cute animal pictures. Mixed in with all that good stuff is a lot of content based in narcissism and envy, so what’s a person to do?


This time away from social media presents the perfect opportunity to gain some perspective. What do you want these sites to provide for you? By making that choice clear in your mind and acting accordingly, you are building a web experience that serves your happiness - not your dissatisfaction.