In the age of social media, comparing yourself to others is almost inevitable. However, it can be damaging to your emotional health. If you’re like me, then social media has probably made you feel unworthy and frustrated about your life.

I was living through other people’s lives. Their trips, their beautiful skin, and expensive clothes, were all things I wanted. My time would be spent wondering how better my life would be if I just had a little bit more of what they had.

I found myself constantly asking myself, why not me? I didn’t like the way I was becoming. I was sad, agitated, and uninterested in a lot of the things I once loved. Nothing seemed enough.

Until I came to the conclusion that my time was better spent in growing as a human being, I began to experience my life on my terms, without any filters.

Here is how I learned to live and appreciate the beauty of my life vs the “beauty” of other people’s lives as seen on social media.

I finally decided to take control, and I cut down on social media. I asked myself before going through my news feed: What will I gain from looking at these pictures? Will I feel better about myself? Is it time well spent? I figured I could do so much more, if I just let go of my phone for hours at a time. It felt liberating. Instead of carrying other people’s aspirations in my pocket (literally), I would live out my dreams.  

I took the time to reflect upon my values and the things that made me feel alive.  

One of my healthy obsessions is to travel. But I can’t travel as often as the tons of bloggers on social media do. These bloggers used to be a source of motivation, but once they started to become a source of comparison, things got sour for me. So I decided that if I want to learn about a country, then I will watch a documentary, a movie, read a book, or plan a trip to that country. I stopped following these social media accounts. I will not stare at a series of photos that are probably altered. Let’s be honest: Most of us show the good stuff when it comes to posting on social media.     

In fact, a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin proves that people tend to share only the positive highlights of their life. How many times have you come across someone in the hallway who quickly asks you, how are you? If you’re having a bad day, do you stop and tell this person all the unfair things that have happened to you in the past few hours? Probably not. I know that I have never dared to.

One other thing that I find important for me to do is to be present. Whenever I’m out, I want to enjoy the company I’m with and savor the positives. I want to taste my food and feel blessed for the beautiful times. There is no need to document every moment through a phone.

Finally, as motivational speaker, Gabrielle Bernstein says, “we must focus on what is thriving in our lives.” When do you feel the most fulfilled? I love to discover new destinations alongside the people I love. I feel that my purpose is to bring joy to those who are closest to me.

Social media can be a great distraction. But if too much attention is given to it, then you lose sight of what truly matters in your life.

Look inside yourself and discover the great things you have to offer.    

Written by Stephanie Sandoval
Contributing Writer, Two Wings