What is Doomscrolling? Why it's Bad for Your Mental Health and How to Stop It

updated on 29 March 2023

by Goodable Staff

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In recent years, a new word has entered the English vocabulary: Doomscrolling. You’ve probably heard it before. It’s the act of endlessly scrolling through social media or news websites, reading negative and often distressing stories. While it's important to stay informed about what's happening in the world, too much exposure to negative news can take a toll on our mental health. In this post, we'll explore why doomscrolling is bad for your mental health and provide some tips for how to stop it.

The Negative Effects of Doomscrolling

Doomscrolling can have a number of negative effects on our mental health. While positive news can have surprising benefits to your health, reading negative news stories can increase our levels of anxiety and stress, making it harder to relax and enjoy our day-to-day lives. It can also leave us feeling helpless and powerless to make a difference in the world, leading to feelings of helplessness and despair. Additionally, constant exposure to negative news can lead to negative thought patterns, making it harder to see the positive in the world and undermining our sense of hope and optimism.

Setting Boundaries

If you're tired of feeling overwhelmed by negative news and social media, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to these triggers. One of the most important things you can do is set clear boundaries around your social media and news consumption.

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Consider limiting your social media use to certain times of day, or only read news stories that are relevant to your life. This can help you avoid getting caught up in endless scrolling sessions. If you find that you're easily triggered by negative news stories, consider using tools that can block or filter certain types of content.

Another option is to take scheduled breaks from social media, in order to protect your own mental health. It could mean leaving your phone at home while you go out for a walk, or even spending an entire weekend without checking any newsfeeds.

Focusing on the Positive

Make a conscious effort to seek out positive news stories, such as stories of people making a difference in their communities, scientific breakthroughs, or heartwarming moments. This can help counterbalance the negative stories you're exposed to. You can find positive news stories on websites dedicated to positive news, podcasts, or social media accounts that focus on uplifting content.

Another way to focus on the positive is to practice empathy. This means putting yourself in someone else's shoes and seeing the world from their perspective. When we practice empathy, we're more likely to see the good in people and situations, and less likely to get caught up in negative thought patterns.

Taking Breaks

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is take a break from social media and news entirely. This might mean logging off for a day or two, or even a week or more. Use this time to focus on self-care and other positive activities, such as reading, exercising, or spending time with loved ones.

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Seeking Alternative Sources of Information

There are a variety of alternative sources of information that focus on positive news and uplifting stories. Seek out podcasts, books, or other media that promote a positive mindset and help you feel more connected to the world around you. You might also consider volunteering for a cause that's important to you, or connecting with like-minded individuals on social media or in your community.

From Doomscrolling to Goodscrolling

In conclusion, doomscrolling can be a harmful habit that takes a toll on our mental health. By setting clear boundaries, focusing on the positive, taking breaks, and seeking out alternative sources of information, you can reduce your exposure to negative news and social media, and improve your overall sense of well-being. Remember to prioritize your mental health and take steps to protect it from the negative effects of doomscrolling. By doing so, you'll be better equipped to navigate the challenges of life and find joy and fulfillment in the world around.

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