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Doom scrolling: What it Is and How It Affects Your Mental Health!
Doom scrolling: What it Is and How It Affects Your Mental Health!
The coronavirus outbreak has had a significant influence on all facets of our life. Doom
scrolling, often known as doom surfing, is one such effect. But, exactly, what does the
phrase imply? Let's have a look.
What is doomscrolling, and how does it work?
Doom surfing/scrolling is the excessive use of a screen while scrolling through primarily
It's not uncommon to find oneself swiping through pages in quest of more information
about a frightening news storey.
Many of us can't seem to stop reading/watching news about the pandemic and the
various issues that individuals are facing. We constantly checking various websites and
news channels in the hopes of learning anything new.
It may surprise you to learn that the occurrence is not new. Because of our negative bias,
we are more likely to look for negative news than positive news. However, we are all
aware that this is detrimental to our mental health. So, here are five tips to help you cope
with the negative effects of doom scrolling on your mental health.
Limit the amount of time you spend on social media.
Smartphones offer a function that allows you to keep track of how much time you spend
on each app. Keep track of this so you don't get sucked into using it all the time. Before
going to bed and right after waking up, try to avoid scrolling. Keeping your phone away
from your bed is the best way to do this.
Keep a close eye on your health.
Regular exercise promotes the release of feel-good neurotransmitters. De-stressing can
also be accomplished through yoga and meditation. While looking through your phone,
eat a healthy and balanced diet and avoid eating non-nutritious foods.
Mindfulness is a good thing to do.
Keep an eye on everything you're doing. You must devote whole attention to whatever
you are doing, whether you are reading, writing, or exercising. Check to see if the news
source you're reading is legitimate. In addition, make it a practise to read happy news
and to share it with your friends and family.
Try the STOP method.
If you're having trouble controlling the scrolling, use the STOP method. If you feel you've
gone too far with your screen time and can't control your fingers, say STOP loudly while
giving yourself a physical stimulus, such as a tap on the hand. When you do this often
enough, your brain will learn to recognise when it's time to quit what you're doing.
Toxic Positivity: Experts and celebrities advise ditching artificial grins, giving up
the desire for likes, and getting honest with emotions.
Keeping a good attitude and looking on the bright side of things has its own set of
advantages. However, disregarding your feelings and failing to acknowledge the
downsides in the pursuit of optimism can have a significant impact on our mental and
With so much uncertainty surrounding us, it's more vital than ever to stay happy and
positive, but overdoing it and suppressing our feelings isn't the best way to see the
bright side of any circumstance. It becomes toxic when we overdo it.
What is the definition of toxic positivity?
The reality, on the other hand, is rather different. “Toxic positivity has been there for a
while, but it wasn't until the pandemic started that people started talking about it
seriously,” says Seema Hingorrany, clinical psychologist and trauma specialist.
The difficulty arises when you choose to remain in denial about your trigger issues rather
than acknowledging them and maintaining the charade of feeling well. This is frequently
due to our training and a lack of ability to listen. When you tell your belief system to stay
positive all of the time, you're automatically disregarding the true problems.
which will lead you in a bigger emotional, mental, and physical catastrophe sooner or
‘Uncertainty, unpredictable WFH hours, and little socialisation — these are the frequent
elements for positivity gone awry.'
“Since the outbreak, our routines have gone for a toss,” says Jyoti Sharma*, an
Australian finance professional.
Homeschooling, WFH, lack of socialising and erratic work hours took a toll on my mental
and emotional health and my close relationships. People started advising me to see the
silver lining and stay positive but I just couldn’t find any ray of hope. I started feeling as if
the problem was with me. I started suppressing my genuine emotions and tried to stay
positive all the time.
My mental and emotional health, as well as my intimate relationships, suffered as a result
of homeschooling, WFH, a lack of socialisation, and unpredictable work hours. People
started telling me to look for the silver lining and to stay positive, but I couldn't seem to
find any. I began to believe that the issue was my fault. I began hiding my actual
emotions and attempting to maintain a cheerful attitude at all times.
But when I realised I couldn't go any further, I turned to friends who actually cared about
my concerns and offered assistance. I've lately started going to counselling as well.
Things began to calm down after I began embracing and acknowledging the situation.”
Last year, the showbiz and entertainment industries were among the most impacted, with
numerous shows abruptly ceasing to air. “There have been moments when people
around me would talk about spreading positivity, but I couldn't feel any of it,” says TV
actress Sumbul Touqeer. When you're feeling down, you need to figure out what's
causing you to feel that way.
Last year, when one of my performances was cancelled in the middle of its run, I felt as if
my life had come to a halt. You've become accustomed to a routine, and now there's
nothing to anticipate. It had a big impact on me because nothing else had happened to
me before Imlie. Do not compel someone to have a positive view when they are going
through a difficult time. Make an effort to pay attention.”
Tulika Ghosh*, a Bengaluru-based event organiser, says, "Working from home implies no
set hours, being available 24 hours a day, and having very little'me time.'" Living alone in
a major city, the COVID-19 scare, unpredictably long work hours, and pay cuts are just a
few of the common circumstances that have had an impact on our emotional and mental
health. Working for a small firm,
To bring in new business, I have to put in more time, effort, and energy, and it's a daily
fight. When I realised my limit, I began to take little actions toward resolving my
problems. It is physically impossible to be optimistic and happy every day.”
‘Learn how to use social media to your advantage.'
During the pandemic, social media has taken on a far larger part in our lives. Everyone
seems to be a life coach or a wellness guru, from reels, articles, and videos to
influencers. “Having been on COVID-19 duty for over a year, I have witnessed it,” says
Bengaluru-based 24-year-old Dr. Shruti Iyer.
During the early stages of my duty, I was inundated with messages, films, and lectures
on how to keep positive in difficult times as I scrolled through my social media page
during my breaks. It got to me at one point since these people rarely have any concept
what's going on in the actual world.
These letters and updates appeared callous, shocking, and deceptive when a close
family member tested positive and had to be hospitalised. I started unfollowing a lot of
these pages and people, and my algorithm was reset.”
Manan Desai, a comedian and performer, also emphasises the significance of making
thoughtful material. “Social media has become our most important form of escape from
reality,” he argues. We need to be realistic while creating content that is both amusing
and relatable. Influencers and content makers must conduct research and generate
“The more we hide/avoid any emotion, it will come back to us, making us desperately
hunt for happiness everywhere,” says Aishwarya Jain, an entrepreneur and social media
influencer who maintains a handle helping people understand the impacts of toxic
optimism. People frequently tell me that they are tired of being optimistic all of the time.
Social media may be emotionally draining. We need to set limits on what and how much
content we consume in a given day. It's not a long-term solution to avoid social media.”
Keep an eye out for the following physical indicators.
When your mind and emotions are out of sync, your body begins to show clues. Dr.
Harish Shetty, a psychiatrist, advises being aware of these changes and seeking help if
the problem persists. “There are a few physical markers that can assist you in better
understanding what is going on.
Be aware if you're continually depressed for long periods of time, or if you're on a social
media binge, posting a lot of preachy comments, or if you're frequently furious or
irritable, and always reply to every situation with toxic positivity. If you're having trouble
with these challenges, take a step back, assess your feelings, and seek help. Rather than
suppressing your true concerns, work on them gradually. ”
Seema Hingorrany adds, "Having a sense of bodily discomfort, migraine, anxiety,
headache, body ache, skin condition, and irregular periods are also some of the physical
indications to watch out for."
Avoid using the following phrases:
1. “Don't dwell on it; focus on the positive!”
2. “Don't be concerned, be happy!”
3. “Only good vibes!”
4. "If I can do it, you can do it, too!"
“Remove Negativity” is number five.
6. “Look for the silver lining.”
7. “Everything happens for a reason.”