With the influx of social media applications and Facebook usage, we have gained access to other’s lives and opinions. At least the things they want us to know and see. While things may look great on social media we never really know what’s going on in people’s personal lives or insecurities they might be having. To prevent the building pressure present in today’s society from being increasingly detrimental, it’s vital we support each other and respects each individual’s vulnerabilities. Everyone is struggling with something regardless of if we’re aware of this struggle or not.
Erica Speigelman, a wellness specialist, recovery counselor, and author, spoke to women about where they feel most of their stress is coming from. She also asked where they’re feeling the need for more support. These conversations highlighted three main themes; Technology and social media, values, and confidence.
Technology and Social Media
The persona and identity we cultivate online are frequently very different from who we are in reality or simply shows just one of our many sides. It’s not uncommon or unreasonable to want to leave out the negative, sad, and unhappy side of our lives to focus more on the happy, positive and joyful things. However, by simply showing a side of our lives others will envy or be jealous of, we’re perpetuating a cultural norm of compare and despair. This is the mindset of comparing ourselves to others and typically feeling less secure as other’s lives seem perfect and ours are not. Thinking this was further isolates us from others instead of bringing us closer together. By working towards being completely authentic we can encourage others to do the same thus fostering a supportive community reflective of our truest selves.
Living a life congruent with our internal values is more important than we may think. When the life we live matches up with our values we reach a state of equilibrium, peace, and comfort within ourselves. However, when they do not align it can cause anxiety, unhappiness, and depression. In order to combat these negative feelings it’s not uncommon to turn to other sources of temporary happiness. This can be in the form of food, alcohol, drugs, social media, shopping, etc. These habits can lead to mental health issues, trouble maintaining relationships, or creating a social circle that doesn’t fit our values. It’s important to take time to reflect on your true values and begin to shape your life in a way that fits with these priorities. By doing so, you’ll begin to live a happier more content life and will attract others of similar mindsets.
How people define confidence may differ from each individual or situation. Overall, confidence is believing you will be successful in what you sent out to do regardless of what that may be. Confidence is not something you’re simply born with. It requires work and effort to foster this mindset and anyone is capable of achieving it. Confidence is largely about your attitude and making a conscious decision to continue moving forward despite the obstacles in your way. Building this mindset requires implementing the idea that you’re capable of handling anything and can improve at things you’re not yet competent at. The brain has the ability to establish new thought patterns and pathways simply by repeating things consistently. By this logic, surrounding yourself with people who build you up, maintaining positive self-talk, and listening to positive messages in guided meditations are all excellent ways to foster this changing mindset.
If you’ve found yourself struggling with being vulnerable or supporting other’s vulnerabilities it may be useful to try counseling. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment with one of our very skilled therapists today!