How Instagram helped my depression

To be honest, I thought social media (especially Instagram) was bad for a person's wellbeing. I read the articles on how it lowered self-esteem, created anxiety, and increased depression. They said it was because of looking at the overly perfected highlight reel of someone's life can cause anguish at our own imperfect, and not always glistening lives. These reasons kept me away from social media with wrongful pride thinking, I'm not one of those people.

After being diagnosed with depression I longed for an outlet for the sadness, hopelessness, and anger I felt inside. I wanted a new artistic hobby that could help me evolve. After deciding I would like to try photography I knew Instagram might become part of the picture. I logged in again, deleted all of my old images, and changed my name. I wanted this to be a place of artistic expression more than only sharing news.

Most importantly, I deleted everyone I had previously followed and realized it wasn't the tool that created anxiety, it is the use. I can choose who I follow, and who I admire and why. I became more clear on my own life vision and decided to only view those who fall in line with that. Suddenly, every day became an opportunity for inspiration, not envy. I thought, How cute is that, I want to make that, I love the way this is styled!

This lead to another way instagram decreased my depression. I constantly have something beautiful to look for now! I am on the hunt for something lovely everywhere I go. Not only that, but I keep my mind busy on creative aspects like what angle, light, and story will meaning capture the meaning? I get focused on the grid of images and whether the images all together tell the story I want. My focus has become beauty, instead of sadness and anger.

Together these elements created what I always longed for, but didn't feel worthy of – connection. I have made incredible and true friends from all over the globe. They are more than willing to share more than their highlights reel with me. I finally have friends that are attracted by similar things in life like me, and I get so much inspiration from sharing and sometimes creating images with them.

Instagram has helped me shift my focus and help my mind launch creative ideas instead of fears.

Three Ways to Cope with Feeling Lost in Your Twenties

I can’t tell you how much I have changed from age 16 to now. It’s as if I have become an entirely different person annually. However, every year there have always been a month or two where I feel completely lost. I begin to question if my career is what I want to pursue, if I’m studying the right subjects in school, if I even want to continue school, where my relationships are going, and worst of all I begin to question my worth, and if I really measure up in the world. The only thing that gets me through these periods is knowing (after enduring many of them) that it’s a growth cycle that comes and goes.

Before the wind picks up and stirs you back in the right direction for you, here are a few ways that I have managed these periods in the past:

1. Personality testing. There are two personality tests that I think are both accurate and give insights to even the most reflective person. First, is the Myers Briggs personality test. This is the test that indicates four letters to determine your characteristics. For example, I am an INFJ, which stands for-introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging. Reading on this type really put into perspective how I see the world and what my strengths are as a person. Second is my favorite, the Enneagram test. This test determines a detailed look into your biggest desires and fears, and I felt as if this test was staring into my most fragile core. The test reveals the darker and more unique aspects of the personality, and I still look back to the articles published by other 4s (there are nine numbers total). I look for how 4s cope with jobs, relationships, and even school. There is a lot of information and even books on these subjects. Also, there are great resources for career and hobby strengths for all of these types.

2. Snowball effect. Without knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing, spend time doing what you love most without judging yourself. Whether that’s reading for hours, writing, shopping, building, it doesn’t matter if it turns into anything tangible at all. As you keep doing what you love, as a part of self-care during these times, you will naturally being to snowball into greater ideas, projects, desires, and passions. As these come, the right people will connect with you to make these projects start working. Even something small like reading the latest bestseller by the pool can spark an idea or desire you never would have otherwise guessed. Don’t judge yourself for enjoying yourself, because through that often comes your natural purpose. Purpose comes from being as much as doing (maybe even more).

3. How do you like helping people? I’ve always said to myself “your suffering becomes your service”. However you like helping people is probably linked to your bigger path. It can be something seemingly small like commenting nice things on photos, standing up to cruel actions from another, or it can be going to other countries and connecting with people in hard emotional or economic conditions. Wherever you like to help is likely a good place to start focusing on. When we focus on others, our own focus because a lot more clear.

Please connect if you have any thoughts or ideas. Thank you.