Compulsive behaviors and addictions can often be seen as substitutes for certain emotions or experiences in a person’s life. These behaviors may provide a temporary escape from feelings of stress, inadequacy, fear, or loss, replacing them with a sense of power, euphoria, confidence, or validation.
Both teens and young adults who reduced their social media use by 50% for just a few weeks saw significant improvement in how they felt about both their weight and their overall appearance compared with peers who maintained consistent levels of social media use, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
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Following the pandemic, many people are finding it difficult to reunite with their social groups. Social isolation and loneliness are associated with behaviors that negatively impact cardiovascular and brain health, such as lower levels of self-reported physical activity, low nutritional intake, and a more sedentary lifestyle. Multiple large studies found significant associations between loneliness and a higher likelihood of smoking and other addictive habits. Taking charge of your mental health to overcome isolation and loneliness will make life worth living again, and it might just save your life.
High risk individuals frequently became so immersed and personally invested in news stories that the stories dominated the individual’s waking thoughts, disrupted time with family and friends, made it difficult to focus on school or work, and contributed to restlessness and an inability to sleep. Perhaps not surprisingly, people with higher levels of problematic news consumption were significantly more likely to experience mental and physical ill-being than those with lower levels, even when controlling for demographics, personality traits, and overall news use.