Dec 7, 2023

Content as a source of anxiety

 You might have noticed your laptop making a loud sound whenever the fan runs fast. This happens when the processor is working on intensive tasks or when the ventilation is poor.

You might have also noticed your smartphone getting heated up whenever you perform tasks like recording a longer video or when used for a longer duration.

The same happens with our minds too. When the mind is overworked or when there are too many demands placed, we experience certain physical sensations - increased heartbeat, faster breaths, and startles whenever there is an unexpected stimulus from the external environment. You feel jittery, you might experience shaking of hands or legs, and your hands or feet might sweat a bit. Even before these sensations start to show up, you might have observed this background hum of anxiety - too many thoughts running, too many things to do, too many goals to achieve, too many habits to start, too many habits to quit, etc.

Anxiety is a word that is used in common parlance these days. I'm not a qualified expert to talk on this subject.

I merely intend to share my thoughts on such sensations triggered when we involve ourselves too much in consuming content on social media, YouTube, or workshops that focus on perspective or experience sharing (as opposed to knowledge).

The more people you follow,

The more content you consume,

The more inadequate you might end up feeling IF you are not aware.

This feeling of lack is mostly self-induced - to be perfect, to lead perfect lives - perfect fitness, perfect eating, perfect physical looks, perfect emotional balance, perfect parenting, perfect vacations, perfect careers, perfection in everything.

This expectation of perfection is a major cause of anxiety. And it is triggered through our content consumption patterns.

When we experience any imperfections - either in ourselves or in others in our family - we are not able to accept them. Comparisons and judgments start to show up.

When we are unable to reach the level of perfection showcased in social media or by people whose perspectives we gain through paid workshops, there is a lot of guilt, resentment, and self-criticism that builds up.

These feelings end up creating a sense of anxiety when we try to push our bodies and minds to "what they ought to be" instead of understanding "what they are".

Let's be mindful of our thoughts and feelings when we consume content. Though they might seem inspiring and motivating, there are also chances that we might end up putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves (and our families).

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