OH! Magazine - Australian Version February 2017 - Page 22

( Emotional Fitness )

SOCIAL MEDIA

HEIDI DI SANTO

A GROWING ADDICTION

Emotional fitness expert Heidi Di Santo explores the ever-growing addiction to social media .
ow often do you check your
H social media ? How do you react when there ’ s no WiFi ? What would happen if you had no access to your social media accounts for over a week or even a month ? If the thought of these questions brings up anxiety , panic or unease within you , then you may want to consider that you have an unhealthy reliance on social media ; which could even possibly be an addiction . If going on line feels like a ‘ have to ’ as opposed to a ‘ want to ’ then addiction alarm bells ring should probably ring in your head .
Smoking , drinking , substance abuse and gambling fall into the more traditional addictions , which are often used to escape from the difficulties of life . But did you know that people can also be addicted to things like exercise , healthy eating , cleaning and social media ? The latter is often overlooked because it ’ s not seen as a typical addiction . Instead , it falls into the same basket as exercise , eating and cleaning , largely because it isn ’ t considered to negatively impact on your physical or financial health . However , the reality is that social media can impact negatively on real-world relationships and it ’ s a condition that could be masking deeper internal issues .
How often have you been out with a friend and they ’ ve spent more time on their phone interacting in their ‘ virtual world ’ rather than talking face-to-face with you ? Social media has enabled people from all around the world to connect and stay in contact , which is a wonderful thing .
But when people prefer their cyber world interactions over their real-life interactions , then it may be time to start questioning what ’ s going on .
Another concern is when people are more focused on the online image they portray , rather than the life they actually live . Digitally , these people try and present a perfect life , but you need to remember that many people simply post things in order to accrue likes , comments and shares because it makes them feel good .
Essentially these people use social media to boost their self esteem and self image , but what happens is , this feeding of the ego creates a reliance ( or addiction ) on social media as the way to manage their emotions . Interestingly , a lot of the time these people may not even realise their dependency is growing .
Regardless of where any addiction falls ( i . e . traditional or otherwise ), behind any addiction are typically parts ‘ within ’ that need help and the addictive behaviour is used to avoid dealing with your inner world . When you ’ re willing to look within and heal , you set yourself free from addiction .
My work is about helping people to take control of the only thing they can control – their own self . Many people search externally for happiness , which is why addictions and quick fixes are so prevalent today . But nothing outside of you can bring you the long term peace and happiness that you find by looking within .
Unfortunately , many people are scared to look within . In essence , they are afraid of their own self . But getting your inner world in order is the key to living a better quality of life because it sets the foundation for all of your external relationships and success .
‘ Emotional fitness ’ is a term I like to use to describe this process . It ’ s a way of being ‘ proactive ’ as opposed to being ‘ reactive ’ when it comes to your mental and emotional health .
So next time you reach for your mobile device to check your social media , ask yourself ‘ can I hold off ’? If you can – yay ! But if you can ’ t , it might be a good idea to seek help .
I ’ ve found the famous saying ‘ what you feel you can heal but what you resist will persist ’ to be true . If you want your life to become easier and more peaceful , look within and strength your emotional fitness .
Speaking from personal experience , it quite possibly could set you free ! So what are you waiting for ?
To find out more about improving your emotional fitness visit http :// heidi . com . au
YOU CAN CONTACT HEIDI VIA : Web : heidi . com . au Facebook : Heidi-Di-Santo-Emotional- Fitness-Specialist-299600633422574 /