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3 Sneaky Ways to Make Social Media Less Stressful

3 Sneaky Ways to Make Social Media Less Stressful

If you ever feel overwhelmed by a never-ending stream of Facebook notifications, this article is for you. These three sneaky ways to make social media less stressful will change your Facebook feed into a more peaceful place.

1. Delete Hateful People to Make Facebook a Happier Place

Ain’t nobody got time for negativity. If a person complains 24/7, leaves hateful comments or sends excessive game requests… it’s time to break up.

When making important decisions, it’s smart to consider all variables. But there’s nothing wrong with having a slight case of tunnel vision on social media, where the whole point is to connect with people you care about. Ain’t nobody got time for negative Neds and Nancys.

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Also, ladies – here’s your opportunity to dump all those guys who are leaving creepy comments on your photos, or bothering you with excessive messages. If someone views you as a sexual object and nothing more, then they are unworthy of your friendship. You deserve to be surrounded by true friends who love and accept you for the unique person you are (read: they’re not just in it for the booty).

If you’d like to make your feed a more positive place, follow these steps:

  • Access Facebook via your browser or cellphone
  • Navigate to your profile
  • Click the link to “friends”
  • Scroll all the way to the bottom, because it lists them in order of relevancy (this means the people you actually talk to on a regular basis should be near the top).
  • Start there and work your way up to the top, clicking the “unfriend” button next to the names of people you’re friends with for no good reason

Note: If a picture isn’t displayed, do NOT click that link. If there is no photo, they have deactivated their profile, and clicking “unfriend” will make your screen refresh. I’m not sure why this happens, but it is what it is. If you are obsessive compulsive like me, get a pen and paper and make a list of those people’s names. You can search for and delete them one at a time after you’re done with the rest.

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2. Organize Your Friends into Lists to Connect with the People You Care About

Don’t simply broadcast status updates to everybody you know. Instead, sort your friends into separate “lists” (click here for a tutorial). To illustrate why this would be beneficial, you could create these six categories:

1. Family
2. Co-workers
3. Networking/business contacts
4. Good friends who know a bit about you
5. REALLY good friends who know a lot about you
6. BFFs who know so many of your secrets that they could write your biography

You probably wouldn’t share a juicy detail you told your BFF with your cousin, would you? Different kinds of updates will resonate with different individuals in your life. This is exactly why lists exist. Use them.

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3. Disable Annoying Emails and Notifications that Distract You from What’s Important

Don’t think those brief excursions to Facebook in the middle of the day add up? Allow me to prove you wrong. Let’s assume you open the FB app on your phone twenty times per day to check your notifications. For the sake of example, let’s say you end up browsing for three minutes per log-in:

20 log-ins per day X 3 minutes per log-in = 60 minutes per day

Do that every day for a week, and you would be out seven hours per week. I know it might not feel like a big deal when you check your phone in the middle of the day, but that time can add up if you get carried away with it. If you’d like to remove the temptation of instant notifications, simply follow the instructions at the help articles linked below:

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I hope these three tips help you make social media less stressful. Don’t feel bad for unfriending people and unsubscribing from updates, because the whole point of social media is to connect with people you care about.

Featured photo credit: Intense woman at work/jseliger2 via flickr.com

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2020

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

There’s nothing quite like a state of “flow” when you’re working. The rare moments when your inspiration aligns with your motivation likely lead to some of your most creative work. Plus, it feels great to actually check a task or project off the list so you can move on to the next thing. Meanwhile, a mental block — its opposite — can cause work to feel laborious and uninspired. Forget creativity when you have a mental block — it makes it difficult even to start working on what you need to do.

A mental block can manifest in several ways. Perhaps your imposter syndrome is squelching your creative ideas, for instance, or you’re overwhelmed by the breadth of a project and its impending deadline. Maybe you’re just tired or stressed.

Either way, having a mental block feels like being trapped in your own head, and it can seriously dampen your ability to think outside the box. The problem is, you’re so locked into your own perspective that you don’t see more innovative approaches to your problems.[1]

Luckily, jumping over these mental hurdles is simpler than you think. You just need the right strategies to get your flow back.

Try these five practical ways to overcome a mental block.

1. Break Your Project Down

A few years ago, I was working on changing a company product that I believed would hugely benefit our customers. Sounds great, right?

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As inspired as I was to make people’s lives easier, though, the sheer magnitude of the task at hand felt overwhelming. Every morning, I cracked open my laptop to work and felt totally paralyzed. I loved the idea, yes, but actualizing it felt risky. What if it didn’t turn out the way I pictured in my mind? More importantly, where would I even begin?

A former colleague gave me great advice over coffee:

Change how you think. Start by breaking the big project down into small tasks.

When a major project overwhelms you, you only see the entire forest instead of the individual trees. And as you stare it down, you start to feel discouraged by your own lack of progress, thus slowing you down further.

Breaking down a massive task into smaller chunks makes the work feel more manageable. You’ll have multiple clear places to start and end with, which will lend a motivating sense of productivity and mastery to your process. Learn more about it here: The Motivation Flowchart: The Mental Process of Successful People

Think of it as accumulating small wins. When you realize you’re more capable than you have once thought, you’ll develop the momentum and confidence needed to get your big job done little by little.[2]

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2. Change Up Your Scenery

Of course, there’s a time and place for sitting down to get things done. But if you’re experiencing a mental block, switching up your surroundings can make a big difference in your output.

Have you ever noticed how your environment directly impacts your performance and mood?

Your brain associates your physical surroundings with certain feelings and activities. So, if you feel mentally stuck, your mind may need some new sensory stimuli.

During this time in your life, it may not be possible to set up shop at a cafe or move from your cubicle to a conference room, so you may need to think outside the box. If you’re working remotely in a home office, try going to your dining table or couch. If the weather cooperates, sit outside for a bit with your computer or take a walk around the block.

You can also simply rearrange your workspace. Not sure where to begin? Try decluttering. Some studies show that an organized desk enhances productivity.[3]

The point is to stimulate your brain with new sounds and sights. You may find a much-needed dose of inspiration when you work while breathing in the fresh air, listening to city sounds, or staying in the comfort of your own living space.

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3. Do an Unrelated Activity

When it comes to productivity, a bit of distraction isn’t always a bad thing. That’s especially true if your chosen distraction helps you get things done in the long run.

Have you realized how your most creative thoughts tend to bubble up when you’re, say, lying in bed or taking a shower? In their research of the “incubation period,” scientists have discovered that people’s best ideas seem to surface when they aren’t actively trying to solve a problem.[4]

In a 2010 study, participants needed to look for a roommate or new employee based on the profiles that the researchers gave. The people who had a brief “incubation period” — in this case, working on an anagram — consistently made better choices than those who spent more time weighing their options.

If you can’t seem to prime your brain for a project, try doing something completely unrelated to work, such as washing your dishes, working out, or calling a friend. Some experts say finding another low-stake project to work on can help jump-start the creative part of your brain and activate your flow.[5]

The key is to allow your unconscious mind to do its best work: eliciting the new knowledge your conscious mind may be ignoring or suppressing.[6]

4. Be Physical

Feeling antsy? When your mind won’t seem to settle into a state of flow, it may help to swap out your mental activity for a physical one and see how it impacts your perspective.

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While any physical activity is beneficial for your body — and getting up to move can serve as a helpful form of distraction — certain forms of exercise can more directly impact the mind. To be specific, relaxing, flow-based exercises like dance, yoga, or tai chi can create a gentle sense of momentum in your body, which can prime your brain for the same state.

Stress-reducing activities may also be necessary. Meditating or taking slow, deep breaths will also calm your nervous system if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Evidence shows that the logical, creative part of your brain essentially shuts off when you’re stressed.[7]

On the flip side, when your mind and body are relaxed, you can think more clearly, be more creative, and focus for longer periods — all of which will help you overcome a mental block.

5. Don’t Force It

It can be frustrating to fight against your own mind. If your mental block won’t go away after some effort, it may be time to take a break. Forcing creative thoughts only adds to your stress levels, which in turn inhibits your ability to think creatively. And if you sit and stare at a project for too long, you’ll not only waste valuable time but also begin to associate this specific work with frustration and produce work you’re not proud of.

“I know that forcing something is not going to create anything beyond mediocre, so I step aside and work on a different project until it hits me,” the artist Ben Skinner said about his creative process.[8]

If your work isn’t time-sensitive, then it may make sense to step away for a while to focus on something else, be it an administrative task that requires less creativity or a project that you feel motivated to work on.

When the time is right, you’ll find your way back to the original task with a fresh, creative perspective (hopefully).

More on Getting Rid of a Mental Block

Featured photo credit: Jonas Leupe via unsplash.com

Reference

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