Influence Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Benefit Your Mental Health

Influence Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Benefit Your Mental Health

Staraxy Team Feb 6, 2024

In a world where scrolling through social media can feel like flipping through the pages of an edited reality, it's easy to forget that what we see is often far from the whole story. The digital landscape can significantly influence self-esteem and mental well-being. However, it's possible to reframe our interaction with these platforms to influence our mental health positively. This article delves into how we can become more conscious of our online habits, encouraging a shift from passive consumption to an engaged, mindful approach that nurtures our emotional well-being.

The Social Media Mirage

The facade of perfection on social media—be it through flawlessly toned bodies, picturesque vacations, or idealized lifestyles—can stir feelings of envy, inadequacy, and self-doubt. It's essential to remember that much of what we see is a curated glimpse into someone else's life, designed to showcase the best moments while concealing the ordinary, less glamorous ones.

However, despite knowing about the heavily edited nature of social media content, constant exposure to these idealized images can still trigger strong emotional responses. Our brains are wired to compare ourselves to others, and the relentless stream of perfection we see online can lead to feelings of insecurity and dissatisfaction, even when we intellectually understand that these portrayals are not the whole truth.

This is why it's crucial not to passively consume the content that's fed to us by social media algorithms, which often prioritize sensational or exaggerated portrayals to capture our attention. Instead, we have the opportunity to actively choose the content we engage with. By selecting accounts that promote healthy, authentic, and positive perspectives, we can mitigate the negative emotional responses triggered by unrealistic standards.

Mindful Consumption

Mindful consumption of social media involves not just curating our feeds, but also being introspective about our emotional reactions to the content we encounter. Here are some ways to build a healthier relationship with social media:

Notice Your Emotions

As you scroll through your feed, take a moment to check in with your feelings. Do certain posts evoke envy or make you feel insecure about your own life or appearance? Try to recognize these emotional cues. When you encounter content that makes you feel less than, pause and remind yourself that social media is a highlight reel, not a full depiction of life. This reflection can help you maintain perspective, reminding you that behind every curated post is a real person with their own set of challenges and insecurities.

Curate Your Feed for Positivity

Your social media experience is largely shaped by whom you choose to follow. Make a conscious effort to curate your feed in a way that uplifts and inspires you. Seek out content creators who present an honest view of their lives, including the ups and downs. Prioritize following those who advocate for a realistic and positive body image, and who embrace authenticity by sharing their true selves, flaws and all. By surrounding yourself with positive influences, you actively construct a social media environment that reinforces a healthy self-image and encourages a more accepting attitude toward yourself and others.

Follow Inspirational Influencers

In the vast landscape of social media, there are many influencers who strive to make a positive impact on their followers. These are the voices that can inspire you to embrace your authentic self and to appreciate your unique journey. Look for influencers who share their personal stories of struggle and triumph, who highlight natural beauty without resorting to filters, and who celebrate the small victories in life. Their authenticity and vulnerability can serve as powerful reminders that imperfection is not only normal but relatable. Engaging with such content can help shift your focus from what you perceive you lack to a more grateful appreciation of what you have and who you are.

Engage With Purpose

Before you even unlock your phone or open your laptop, take a moment to ask yourself: What is my intention for using social media right now? Identifying your purpose—whether it's to find inspiration, connect with friends and family, seek support, or simply enjoy a break—can guide your actions and help you avoid the trap of mindless scrolling.

Engaging with a purpose means actively seeking out content and communities that align with your intentions. If you're looking for inspiration, direct your attention to accounts or hashtags that stimulate your creativity or motivate you to achieve your goals. If connection is what you crave, prioritize interactions with friends, family, and groups that share your interests or values. For those seeking support, look for forums and communities where experiences are shared openly and advice is given kindly.


Social media, in its essence, is a tool—and like any tool, its impact is determined by how we choose to use it. The key to a healthier relationship with social media lies in our choices. By becoming our own influencers, we can use social media to paint a more authentic, supportive, and enriching depiction of our lives. In doing so, we not only safeguard our mental health but also contribute to a more positive and genuine online community.