Mental Health Blog

Thief of Joy

Posted by Lauren Gibson on

Constantly, we are analyzing information – smell, touch, taste, hearing and sight. Nevertheless, how our brains gather information is only the beginning of a long chain of thoughts that end at a conclusion. This link between points in the brain usually takes the same amount of time as it takes for you to read the last few words in this sentence. The interesting part is that the filters and lenses between the points in our brain can alter our conclusions.

The various filters that social media and other sources provide can cloud our vision as they display a photo-shopped version of life which can consequently lead to symptoms of low self-esteem, anxiety, and/or depression. Despite the unabashed knowledge of the filtered lens that social media and news sources exhibit, there still remains a struggle. Numerous studies have discovered that young individuals who subject themselves to more than two hours per day on social networking sites are more likely to report psychological distress.

A strategy and approach that all humans use for choosing what information is useful or relative and what information should be left behind is called critical thinking or comparing. We are experts at comparing and making choices every day in our lives. We fall into traps of comparison following the desire to succeed while observing others promote their own achievements through possessions, awards, money and/or recognition (etc.) which can result in often becoming discouraged.

Just because someone else achieved a similar goal does not undermine your accomplishment(s) as any less valuable. Ultimately, small steps in the right direction will get you to where you long to be. In the midst of your journey, do not forget that it is how you take the comparison and view it which reveals itself as a key toward making a difference in the way you live and the attitude you have towards your life. Self-worth is based in what you find value and what – if not who – you place value in.


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