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Everybody Dies, But Not Everybody Lives

Everybody Dies, But Not Everybody Lives

Does it ring a bell with you — In your first years of college, there’s a splurge out on earned pennies. Then the socially defined ‘norms’ of establishing stability set in, bursting the bubble. Once the rigid 9-5 job set in, you started saving and even walked away from your own moments of escapades. And time trickled away. Days passed by, months passed by and years passed by. When on the verge of a possible promotion, you rationalized all dream procrastinations, making defined norms of stability a security key. Your passion and youth fades out, and your job takes over every segment of your being. Your dreams are set aside for a filled wallets without emotions…

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This is one of the most common regrets people have before they die, recorded in a collection of the most common regrets[1] by Bonnie Ware, a nurse of terminally ill patients with chronic conditions.

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Unfulfilling life leads to more regrets

Many people seem to be living in a trance state of rigid routine lifestyles accumulated over years. These routines lay out a perception of stability, which amounts to an illusion in a fluctuating world. Bland life variety comes from changing television channels or ears out for latest celebrity or politician scandals doing their roundabouts.

Many dreams are unfulfilled due to the fact of not choosing to pursue them. Overworking leads to missing interaction with children and partners. Hoarded capsules of resentment and bitterness all through life because of lacking courage to express the true feelings. Settling for a mediocrity and essence of existence fades out true capability.

Many long for happiness in its true essence, but the fear of change comes with a false presentation of contentment to others and themselves.

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Friendships and connections slip away once life activities capture them in a net of economic hubs and activities. Beneficial old friends come in the limelight in their final moments, and there is regret about not giving friends the necessary attention and time.

Regret comes mainly in the form of what we did not do, and not about what we did

The journey of our soul is an intrepid myriad of a maze with tidal waves life experiences blended in bouts of hurdles and storms. When we are in our twenties we are set in a robust mode to take the launch into worldwide possibilities. There is an outburst of passion and energy to explore every hidden corner of the universe. Exploring should have no limits.

To live life to the fullest, allow changes in the present moment

Decide on what is of importance to you. Focus on yourself, not what others desire you to be. Everyone has an opinion, even society can impose on your ambitions, yet every breath you take is your own life moments. Once you focus on yourself, pieces of the life puzzle come together.

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Your ambitions matter, don’t aim to settle down in early stages of life on an illusion of ‘stability’. Take all the risks you need, do not postpone dreams. There might be danger in risks, but remember that every reward has a risk attached to it. Looking back on years that passed by, the deepest regrets come from risks and challenges not taken.

Your past is an important thread to reflect on the lesson learned to step forward into the future. Plan your future, reflect on your past for lessons learned, but live in your present. By being anxious about the future of struggling with something that happened in the past obstacles are sprouted  in living life to the fullest. Live in the present and do not get straddle in ‘Why did I?’, “Why didn’t I’ syndrome.[2]

There will always be people in your life sphere pointing out streams of your failures. Success comes from persisting through failures. So take action on your ideas creatively, mindfully and with awareness. [3]

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And don’t forget— express your love to your friends and family often.

Reference

[1] Regrets of the Dying, Bonnie Ware
[2] Living in the Moment is Key to Happiness, Planet of Susccess
[3] Journey Of My Soul, Tu Nokwe

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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