Society

Enjoying social media: 4 keys to feel empowered, not depressed

If you’re in your early twenties, you surely have been around Facebook or MySpace since you were 13 years old. My consumption and usage of Social Media has quite evolved from 13 to 23, and not only for the better. But first, how could we describe it? Online, multiple definitions exist, so we could resume it as follows:

Social Media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.

So, Social Media engages dialogue, and that is amazing. I love the Internet.

From my early times on Myspace, Tumblr and Facebook to Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, I’ve not been the only one to realize that, although I have made some great connections, encounters, and expended my views on topics I never had an opinion or education about, Social Media and the way I’ve been using it these past few years made a disservice to my self-confidence; from major FOMO when Snapchat was just in, to having unrealistic expectations towards my body comparing myself to said Instagram « models », the summum of perfection. Some people even get depressive thoughts from constant comparison…

But, I’m convinced control over our consumption of it can be taken back, it’s all about perspective. So here are some tips I want to share that helped me have a more enjoyable experience on our beloved platforms!

1 – YOU DON’T HAVE TO FOLLOW EVERYONE AND ANYONE

When I first started on Instagram, for exemple, I went crazy over the amount of the World you could see only through simply edited photos. I used to love following plenty of landscape pages, luxury destinations, random people from all over the globe. As the years went by, and Instagram gained a well earned popularity, thus more users, I followed more people; more beautiful men and women, more beautiful feeds, you know, the ones who seem to have it all together. In fact, I love a pretty and original feed, but the danger comes in when you perceive this feed as an approved reality, even worse, as the reality you WISH you had, it’s deeper than inspiration…

That’s why I find it very useful to limit and categorize my following, of course, I follow my personal and extended circle, but when it comes to strangers/other Instagram users I don’t go crazy. Just because you stumble upon a beautiful page doesn’t mean you absolutely HAVE to follow it. Same goes for a pretty face, a pretty body, pretty landscapes, pretty everything. Make sure to mostly follow people you relate to, people that inspire you, whatever your goals and aspirations are. Actually, I prefer following people who inspire me to be better and to do better, over people who influence me just because I wish I had their life (and feed), or looked like them, but my personal opinion on “inspiration vs influence” is for another debate.

2 – FIND THE BALANCE BETWEEN ADDICTION AND PLEASURE

I’m sure I’m not the only one who, knowing damn well I must be up the morning after, found herself scrolling through the timeline, refreshing Twitter, at 3:45 am, well past a healthy bed time. That my friends is a kind of addiction, and I know, I know, we don’t like this word, it’s scary and ugly. Addiction to social media is even more powerful on people who tend to be extroverted (hello), are bored, or need constant validation, interaction, a way out from something deeper; fears, loneliness, anxiety, etc, I realized after taking a step back. There’s also this odd masochist satisfaction we get from scrutinizing someone’s page, an ex-lover-friend-anything, someone we admire, etc (guilty).

But, I won’t be that person telling you social media is the devil, unnecessary, for the masses, etc, to the contrary. It will depend for everyone but the key here is to find balance in your scrolling. A few days « detox » is a great start; you’ll see how long you can actually be offline without going insane haha. After that, it will be up to you to limit yourself; 15 minutes every 4 hours to scroll Instagram, 1 hour to go through all platforms everyday, checking your feeds every 2 days, really, there are no rules. Just be aware of when pleasure turns into addiction, a good indicator is that zombie-like look you might have after a while, your eyes will tell you.

IG

Have you noticed? Instagram now tells you when you’ve seen all the new posts on your feed! Did you know it was also rated the worst app for mental health? That explains a lot…

3 – DON’T BE ASHAMED OF ENVY, COMPARISON, AND ANXIETY

After all, it’s in our faces everyday; ideas of beauty, the best lifestyles, the best ways to think, what success looks like, relationships, etc. You’re not helping your self-confidence when blaming yourself for having a slight hint of envy over a “seems to be perfect page”, or “perfect” face, or feeling underachieved and unsatisfied with your life from the blatant success others show. It’s actually better to manage those feelings than suppress them entirely, because guess what?

They’ll only come back STRONGER, and you’ll feel even more shameful for having them…

I find it very useful to acknowledge those feelings, mainly portrayed as ugly. But, trust me, there is so much power in understanding WHY you felt envy towards a page, towards someone. When you take a moment to question yourself on this envy, you can dig deep into your own insecurities, you can trace their roots, you can readjust your own way of thinking. Comparison is clearly the thief of joy, but understanding why we compare ourselves to begin with is a real step towards balance, if you ask me, the real perfection.

4 – CREATE THE FEEDS YOU WANT, THE ONES THAT WILL EMPOWER YOU, THAT YOU WILL ENJOY

I want to put the emphasis on the fact that you DON’T have to follow the same people on all the social media platforms that exist. I think you wouldn’t necessarily want to follow all the faces you follow on Instagram on Twitter for exemple, same goes for LinkedIn or even your fave YouTubers. I find it quite exciting to have multiple-subjects feeds, this way you ensure not to stay stuck in a narrow thinking system and view of the World, as we already know, Social Media is all about algorithms; what you like, retweet, share, click on, is what you’ll see more of.

Do everything to create a feed where you feel empowered, safe, entertained, amazed, challenged, supported and more, while remembering your real everyday life and social interactions matter just as much, wait, more. Don’t be ashamed to refresh your followings, you’re an ever growing person. Don’t be ashamed to unfollow a page if a post made you feel embarrassed, annoyed, insecure, or all three.

In an era where social media is becoming literal business for everyone willing to take the part, which is awesome, let’s not forget ourselves in the way and remember what really matters to us; connection. Ditch the amount of likes or followers, just enjoy the experience. What are your thoughts on social media and issues such as self-confidence, depression, envy, or life topics such as relationships and sexuality? I want to know!

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Relationships

5 reasons why holding grudges ruin your twenties

To hold a grudge against someone: to harbor continual and persistant resentment or ill feelings toward someone, especially for something they have committed in the past that hurt, wronged us, or we thought did. 

I’m sure you’ve been there, we’ve all, and some of us are still struggling. We’ve all because we all were confronted at a moment of our lives to other’s judgment, we’ve all been broken hearted romantically or not, gotten into arguments. We have social lives, thus, occasional fights and misunderstandings because as I said in an article about the Law of Attraction, everybody has an inner battle. That’s just the way life goes, it’s about trial and error, and saying otherwise would just not be realistic.

But here on someek we’re about improvement right? So let me remind you 5 reasons why holding grudges in your twenties won’t ever benefit you…

1) It’s a loss of energy you need for more important things

Our 20’s are time for learning and adventuring, well, I think our entire life is. But, our 20’s period is the first taste we get from what being an independent adult is, at least regarding some of our choices and relationships. When you’re stuck with a grudge against someone, whatever the reason is, you’re wasting a handful of energy you should be putting in things that matter to you. It is really draining to hold resentful feelings, and it brings nothing more than bitterness into your life. For real, keeping this sort of energy, even when you don’t realize it, on holding a grudge, silently or noisily will make you loose your time. That is NOT what we want or need, our time is precious, especially now.

2) Comparison and self-doubt will be your new motto

It’s really hard as Millennials not to compare ourselves already with what we see all over Social Media: #couplegoals #lifegoals #bodygoals#careergoals etc AND the one or two Instagram accounts we creep every now and then wishing for better selfies (hello Instagram baddies). One attitude I observed when holding a grudge against someone were that tendency of comparing ourselves to that person, having feelings of superiority, even pettiness in the worst cases.

This attitude is just a way to hide self-doubt, if you really think about it. As we believe the other is in the wrong, we naturally lean to feel superior, in the good. Truth is, even when someone did hurt you, holding a grudge will only make you doubt yourself, it’s a way of keeping alive uncertainty and a protection shield. We don’t need that on top of our first world Millennial problems, on top of our own issues, right?

3) It’s a sign of poor communication skills

Often, resentment can come from a lack of closure, for exemple not having communicated clearly all your feelings and reasons for being mad when you were given the chance. And if we think about it, it kind of reveals a lack: communication skills. Mind you, there is no perfect way to communicate, but when you had a fight with someone let’s say a friend, and you hold the grudge as if your life depended on it, it may mean you have more to tell them, whether positive or negative.

“When they go low, we go high”

Michelle Obama

But pride and anger keep you back, preventing you from communicating effectively, then it’s too late. Worse, you know, that friend or acquaintance who you clearly can sense have something against you but won’t ever tell you? That’s poor communication skills as well. Not being able or not wanting to fully articulate oneself is problematic. That might come from resentfulness, fear, personal issues, past traumas or anything related. We live in the age of constant communication, so let’s do better, we’ll be thankful for what we’ve saved later on because honest communication can do so much.

4) You’ll lost touch with who you are

By loosing energy comparing yourself, having hateful or resentful feelings and not communicating properly, you’ll be headed right to antipathy and unforgiveness. You might think they will be geared straight toward the person you’re actually holding a grudge against, but guess what? It’s really at yourself that you gear these feelings. When simply holding a grudge without actually asking yourself why you’ve been hurt that hard, you’re closing yourself to real improvement, to real healing and forgiveness. Why? Because you made the choice to resent outward instead of looking inward, in yourself, what are your core values your friend/lover/parent may have violated and how you can now move through the hurt to progress. But, that is my point, we often have a biased sense of who we are in our 20’s so holding a grudge at the risk of loosing what we call ourself is a no no.

Your sanity, mental and emotional health are more important than anyone’s opinion of yourself, so make the choice to HEAL. 

5) It can last a lifetime

When you think you’re at peace, you really are not. Peace is felt not thought. Superficial forgiveness will have you thinking that you are superior because you « moved on », to be honest anything making you feel superior is fake and reveals more about you than you can tell. Don’t get me wrong, there is always a time for processing, for being mad, it may last a few months to years, but you’ll know it’s time to let go when bitterness controls you.

By holding grudges, not only we want to protect our sense of self, stay protected from the wounds we already have, but we also think it’s a way to closure. By keeping our resentment alive we think nothing could get worse, even better, resentment may seem to appear as logical and the way to go, it has you thinking you’re entirely at peace.  Let’s not make that mistake, as it can last a lifetime. I’m sure you still feel resentment toward that kid in middle school, that ex, that friend, that parent, analyze it to let it go.

What are your experiences regarding this topic? Do you have any advices? I want to know! Leave a comment!

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Spiritual

The Law of Attraction: My experience + 5 attitudes slowing it down

Do you remember 2007 and 2008, when everybody was blasting Umbrella by Rihanna and Jay-Z? I do remember and I was blasting the hell out of it. It was at that same time that I started spending my days on YouTube, searching for everything I could not find on Google.

During all my little adventures on the website, I started to find conspiracy theories about everything that could actually exist, but one of them attracted my attention; the one about the Illuminati, their relationship to the music industry and how they put subliminal signs in music videos such as my beloved Umbrella by Rihanna and Jay-Z. Even worse, how Jay-Z himself was one of them!

Fast forward to a few months later, thanks to all my research on the Illuminati, I had watched this famous documentary called The Secret which came out in 2006. And boom, you have it, I was a huge believer in the Law of Attraction and made a promise to myself to always implement it in my life until my last breath.

As the years went by and life became harder, I forgot about it at times, or just ignored it completely. But, as I am becoming older and want to create a life for myself, I took it back in my life as an old friend.

Since 2006, I’m happy the documentary gained the success it deserved and still strive of it today in 2018. But, this success has generated an amount of information and advices I don’t agree with. Here are the 5 attitudes slowing down your journey with the Law of Attraction:

 1) Putting negative in a corner

Think positive they say. That’s the most common statement you’ll find first getting to know the Law of Attraction. As you can see, it is taking over the internet. Just Google it. But, you might wonder why only thinking positive can slow down what you wish to manifest, don’t you? After all, how can thinking positive bring you all the contrary of what you asked or slow down the process right? It all lies in polarity.

Just as light and dark, day and night, ying and yang, you can’t divide the positive from the negative, they need each other to exist.

Ask this question to yourself: Would you be entirely you without your bad traits? Would you be as authentic? What would there be to work on then? Nothing. Well the same applies to your life and what happens to you, the Law of Attraction is not about dreaming or thinking about something more perfect, it is about accepting that things are perfect right now, in this present moment.

My experience: I spent so much time wondering what I did or thought wrong for it not to work, even worse, what I did not wanted came right to hit me in my face saying “Hello there, I’m the negative you don’t want to accept. Accept me NOW! No? Still not? Well I’ll just make you depressed, deal with it b*tch.” and you know just as I know, a depressive mind can’t bring you inner peace, and guess what? No inner peace can completely cancel the positive thoughts you might have…

2) Blaming ourselves

Are you still following? Yes? No? Oh well, just keep reading! I was just finishing talking about inner peace and how not having it can cancel all the positive thoughts you pop up with. One way to destroy your inner peace is by blaming yourself for not thinking positive enough, or having occasional negative thoughts.

All these statements about the Law of Attraction blame us for not doing enough effort, they even go as far as telling us we are not strong enough, hard working enough, or that we don’t really want success for ourselves. Duh, what kind of crappy advice is that? My bad.

My experience: As I had my occasional depressing thoughts, I was even more depressed to have them as I felt SO guilty they existed in my head. I just kept on bashing myself, until I realized I could not let myself down anymore. Does this sound like you? I realized it’s not about letting the negative take over the positive and vice-versa, it’s about acknowledging your thoughts, understanding them in order to let them go, your negative thoughts are just asking for a little love, it seems funny right? When we blame ourselves, we do anything but love ourselves.

3) Being impatient

Now, things might take a little time. You can’t have an impatient mindset when asking for what you want to become your reality, because yes, we live in a reality were time and space control how we plan our lives. We can’t rush time as we might set ourselves up for deception, not understanding why we always fail, or encounter the same issues again and again.

Alternatively, we can use time as a benevolent friend, instead of pushing against it, we can learn to grow with it, using it at our advantage and just enjoying the journey. This much realistic and laid back attitude works best if you want to manifest with the Law of Attraction. Don’t get frustrated because what you asked for, think about, is not right away in front of your eyes.

My experience: I am 500% guilty for this one and have a hard time really implementing it in my day to day life, so I hope writing it will make my subconscious mind accept it as true. I am very impatient but only toward myself, I stress myself out for everything as I put so much pressure on my shoulders for success. But, I have to reframe my definition of success as something tangible. Of course I love material things and money lets just say the truth, but I’ll always be frustrated if I keep on letting these things that are that, just things, control my manifesting process. Tell me, are you impatient?

4) Blaming others

You know what impatience and frustration makes us do? Not only blaming ourselves but blaming others! Above I hope you realized how bad for you it is to put blame on your shoulders, but do you know what’s worse? Blaming others for your frustrations. So here I’m not blaming you for blaming others, but instead asking you to take responsibility for yourself. Not blame, not shame, responsibility and choice. You have the power over anything, for real. We do.

 

 Why blame others when you are your own mirror?

Once you’ll realize you actually HAVE the choice to grow from your mistakes, you won’t be as ashamed and won’t search for the need to blame them on someone else. On the contrary, if you truly get this concept, you’ll want to take responsibility for anything in your life, as you know you have the chance to learn from anything happening to you or because of you. Just apply that to the Law of Attraction, acknowledge your past deceptions and mistakes, search for what they can make you learn and go forward.

My experience: I grasped the essence of this concept a long time ago, but oddly, I had a hard time applying it with my loved ones. But when I realized my loved ones were in the same boat as I was, struggling with their own fears and path, it became easier to stop the blaming game and take back my control. Try it for yourself, you’ll see it makes miracles!

5) Believing for the hype

This one is a personal opinion, but I’m not throwing shade at anyone, far from it. You might think that even if someone believes in the Law of Attraction out of hype, it’s better than nothing and after all it will benefit them. I think believing in it for the hype and not from an honest place of curiosity and self-development won’t work. It won’t work in my opinion as you need to be aligned and in touch with yourself for it to really show its true power, your true power.

So if you ever were interested in the Law of Attraction because of its trendiness, no problem, just make sure to really do your own research and don’t underestimate the amount of self teaching and self undoing it requires.

How are you making the Law of Attraction work for you? Let me know, leave a comment!

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Self Care

5 things to do when you feel stuck in your city

Feeling stuck

When you realize you can’t stand the city you live in anymore, different emotions can appear. Guilt, fear of the future, boredom, basically negative ones. You can become guilty as you wanted to move where you are, or even lived there your whole life. But you’ve reached a point where it will never feel like home. Whether you are a college student, working, were born or grew in your current place of living, feeling helpless is never good.

Although I know home has to be within first, your environment can alter what’s going on inside and trigger the emotions I listed above but also depression, anxiety, lack of motivation and more. That is exactly what is happening to me, not only I’m currently struggling with a ton of emotions, thoughts, and last but not least fears -adulting 101-, I’m also feeling like a stranger in a city I once viewed as an opportunity.

But, that’s a feeling I’m gradually getting over, I’ll tell you how:

1) Remember you are not here forever

I’m not here forever neither are you. Knowing that you have the possibility to do whatever you want will help you stay sane. For days, I was so against staying in my own apartment or going out to explore the city. I did everything to spend the least amount of time at my place and let’s just say not having my friends around, or any friends in the city does not help. But doing so made it all feel even more foreign when I was coming back to pack more clothing after spending several weeks in a row at my boyfriend’s place.

So one day I had to make a choice. I sat myself down and asked « Do I want to move out of here? Is this place in alignement with who I am and what I want? », only then I came up with my answers. Because yes, you can go insane if you feel stuck against your will in a place you realize is completely foreign to your goals, so keeping in mind you’re not really stuck is the best start.

2) If you hate the city, the city hates you back

That is the hard truth I forgot about. I have knowledge about the power of thoughts, I have manifested things I wanted in the past. But I seemed to forget a basic principle: I project what’s going on inside my head. Mind you I live in Europe, so on the days I dared to go out when the cold was bearable, of course with my negative mindset, I encountered even more mean, arrogant and/or racist people, what a surprise?! I found everything I hate in life at almost every corner.

I am not saying you are attracting every bad encounter with those type of people, but you might be responsible for manifesting a few, mostly if you strongly wished not to encounter them -power of thoughts 101-. Therefore, every morning when you get up and ready to go out, convince yourself it’s going to be a great day, as simple as that. It will help you to see the beauty your city and its people have to offer even if you’re convinced of the contrary.

3) Clean your place!

A deep cleaning session can make you fall in love with your place all over again, and highlight what made you choose it! Plus, it’s a great cardio. If your place is untidy and dirty, you won’t want to spend time in it, that’s just facts, and I’m not talking about the usual untidiness or dirt, I’m talking about not even wanting to keep things clean for yourself.

In my case when away, I was only coming back to pack more clothes, eventually do some laundry, but I could not see the accumulating dust on my shelves, tv, etc. I could not see that my bathroom needed a little cleaning. Who would’ve thought a place could also get dirty from your absence? I was not even looking at my bedroom, only going in to my drawer and out to the door. So if you want to feel better, clean, it’s a little effort for a big reward.

4) Alone time with yourself is not a punishment

This one is hard for mostly extroverted people and I am one of them, I feel my best self when around people because I’m talkative and love to share. Unfortunately right now, my friends and family are almost all far away. I love company so much it can get to a point where I’ll not be bothered spending an entire week, an entire month away from my place. But, here is the catch: what happened was I lost touch with myself, even though being around people is my thing.

Extroverted, introverted, we all need balance.

I need alone time, just not as much as someone who’s introverted. And alone time was what I was really running from… I sat myself down, again, and asked « Why am I afraid to spend time alone? ». The answer is I was escaping from my own reflection, fears, accountability. Inner growth is one of the most important things in life if you want my opinion, and this growth can’t come from a place of shame, nor running away from some time alone. Take alone time to reflect and make sure you stay busy; read, watch your favorite shows and movie, relax, create, anything, just stay in action.

5) Plan your next move

I’m a dreamer and love to plan everything concerning my future. I’ve literally already chosen my few Californian mansions, the name of the dog running in my backyard, visualized my career success and achievements and future friends adventures…as I said, I love to dream. While most of my dreams could require some years to achieve -it’s all about the journey not the destination right?- some others I can make happen in the present moment.

My next dream is to finish my studies in a city I’ll feel good in, to ensure that, I do everything in my power right now like: getting the information I need concerning degrees and universities, searching for new places, visualizing me in them, and all the tips listed of the above.

What are you planning next? I’d love to know, leave a comment!

 Photo credit: bk3rastudio___ 

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