Our guest blogger today is Kate York. She’s a writer and a reader. She caters to busy women who don’t have the time to read. Kate speaks about keepin
Our guest blogger today is Kate York. She’s a writer and a reader. She caters to busy women who don’t have the time to read. Kate speaks about keeping a positive mindset in the digital age.
We’ve all heard of the idea that you are the combination of the five people you spend the most time with. It’s an interesting way to think about how you spend your time and what qualities you should be looking for in friends.
I started thinking about it differently when I read a lot of romance novels last year while writing a romantic comedy. I enjoy reading the gamut of fiction from historical to classic horror to cozy mysteries to humorous essays to Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction by women.
But after almost an entire year of reading happy ending after happy ending, I noticed something. I felt lighter. I was more relaxed after reading before bed. I wasn’t caught up in how terrible things are in the world every second of every day. These romance books along with a Facebook break actually made a difference in my day-to-day happiness.
What if our mindset is the combination of what content we consume the most?
Here’s what I think about how media affects your mindset and some ways you can keep a positive mindset.
How Media Affects Your Mindset
The kind of media you consume affects your mindset. It makes sense if you think about it.
When you eat fried foods, tons of sugar, and excessive amounts of alcohol, you feel awful. If you binge on exploitive news stories, unrealistic Instagram feeds, and snarky Twitter battles daily, you’re going to feel awful, too.
Now I’m not advocating that everyone goes on a romance reading frenzy to block out the world, but I am asking you to think more about the media you consume and how it affects your mental health.
For example, you may notice your mental health and mindset may change based on your social media usage.
Oftentimes, we dive into Facebook or TikTok to take a break from our own lives, but our brains don’t realize that.
Our brains are still getting emotionally invested and feel our well-being threatened when they get scared or angry about something we read.
As a matter of fact, McLean Hospital says, “A 2018 British study tied social media use to decreased, disrupted, and delayed sleep, which is associated with depression, memory loss, and poor academic performance. Social media use can affect users’ physical health even more directly.”
Fortunately, the owners of social media platforms are aware of their negative effects. Unfortunately, they don’t plan to change anything. As a matter of fact, some of this is deliberate!
GQ says that Journal reporters got access to internal presentations from Facebook that stated, “Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness.”
Social media is trying to increase user time at any cost to us and our society through algorithms they don’t fully understand. Think about this the next time you unconsciously doom scroll instead of carefully deciding what media you are consuming.
Focus on What You Can Do
Yes, depending on your career, social media may be unavoidable. However, you have options. As a business owner, you can hire a social media manager, limit your time by setting limits and scheduling posts or avoid it completely. Chances are, you’ll go with the former options.
Here are some ways you get to keep a positive mindset especially if social media makes you feel bad.
I recommend finding a book on something you would like to change for yourself or the people around you. Maybe you want to be better at time management, and activism and get a hold of your finances. There are tons of options these days. You can opt for audiobooks or check out your local library or bookstore.
Editor’s Note: Here are some books we recommend.
By reading something helpful, you’re spending less time on social media and working towards your goals at the same time.
Do Your Own Research
Maybe you’re constantly on social media around election time for the latest information on candidates.
I suggest doing your own research on candidates and their voting records. Then decide on who to vote for based on their alignment with your values. But after that, turn off the debates, political ads, and mudslinging.
Pay Attention to Who You Follow
Find positive and realistic people to follow on Facebook and Instagram and your other social media platforms.
By doing that. you’re making your feed an inspiring and comforting place to learn and not just compare and feel worse after reading.
Listen to Music
Depending on what you’re listening to, music can be a great way to keep a positive mindset.
Listen to music more often when you’re driving, cooking, or cleaning.
Get a dance party going. The kids are always up for it!
Not every moment of every day needs to be spent consuming some form of information.
Even though I was skeptical, now I love it. If you don’t know how Emily Fletcher has a fantastic book called Stress Less, Accomplish More to get you started.
I never thought I would be able to calm my mind down to do it, but now I even have my kids doing it with me. Both have overactive, anxiety-driven brains as I do, and we find listening to meditations on Insight Timer before bed a huge help.
Spend Time with Yourself
Not every moment of the day must be spent consuming something. Give your brain a rest. Go for a walk or sit quietly. (Hide in the bathroom if you have to!) But let your brain relax.
Let it meander over simple things or happy things. Sometimes adult coloring or some other repetitive action helps if you can’t keep your body still.
Daydream. Don’t worry. If it’s worth worrying about, it will be there when you’re done taking your break.
Social media can beneficial for your business and your personal life, but it can be harmful. As business owners, you may use social media to advertise your business, connect with your customers and build a community. However, you should still be careful of what you’re consuming on the various platforms and how much it impacts you negatively.
Our brains do the best for us and the world when they are functioning creatively. For that, they need to not be filled with fear and anger. Then need room to think creatively. That is where the magic happens.
So, choose wisely when deciding what to feed your brain. It can be the difference between a positive impactful mindset and losing hope in our ability to change the world for the better that we all have inside us.
About the Author
Kate York writes the Awesome 3 newsletter for women who are too busy to find the time to read life-changing books to uplevel their careers, relationships, and their lives.
As a grant and freelance writer, she knows the impact reading widely can make in women’s lives. But admits that most of us are too busy holding our households together, our jobs down, and our relationships up to dive into many of the amazing books we can learn from.
That’s where she comes in. I read the books and share the best insights with my readers weekly.
Check out her website and LinkedIn profile to get connected.
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