Being Vulnerable on Social Media. Authenticity & Mental Health.
I think it’s really important, to speak up about mental health,
to erase the stigma, to share the message to others that they aren’t alone.
This is part of what I try to do with this blog. I acknowledge it's really effing hard and admit I still hold back ALOT.
When we scroll through social media accounts, we can find ourselves looking at a lot of happy looking people, who seem to have it all together and who seem to know the solutions to every problem.
What happens is that people with low self esteem look at that and use that information to back their feelings of worthlessness, which I talk about in this post: Social Media Our Frenemy.
Sure you could say that’s not really your problem, it’s there’s.
But actually, if we're being honest,
it’s kinda everyone's problem.
And here is a way to change the dynamic
The Importance of Sharing Vulnerability on Social Media
What I’ve realized, is that being vulnerable is both terrifying and magical.
It takes all the courage I have to hit the share button on some posts and I've barely scratched the surface on my struggles. But here's what I find, the more I dare to open up, the more response I get from others like me, who can relate, connect and feel understood.
Which do you prefer: a. polite conversation about the weather or b. heart to heart connection? I choose b.
This is how I shine my light and give my struggle meaning.
I talked about that in this post: Finding Your Voice.
And I never got so many reads and shares as I did on this post. about my stuggle with infertility.
Sure a million other people are already talking about mental health. And they're doing it better than me too. But this isn't about being insta-famous, this is about being authentic.
is it even possible to have too many people talking about mental health? I think not.
Sharing this way, is about being true to myself, and shows that,
not only is it okay to show our struggle but it is necessary in order to make this social media world we live in survivable.
People who share their struggles are literally the ONLY reason I’m still on social media.
sharing your voice, and your struggle is really fucking hard when you are in the thick of a wrestling match with your emotions. And that’s brings me to my next point...
Journal First, Share Later.
What you are feeling in the moment, doesn’t need to be shared [on social media], in the moment, OR AT ALL for that matter.
I say this for two reasons,
You need time to process your thoughts! This is the same reason why sometimes in the midst of an argument it is best to just walk away or leave the room to cool down before you say something you will regret later.
Social media NOT the place to be when you’re feeling down. Personal experience: even if you follow nothing but uplifting accounts, even they can make you feel like a heaping pile of shit, and incite feelings of shame for simply having bad feelings, which is completely NORMAL btw.
This is why I think it's really important to journal. This is actually how most of my blog posts unintentionally begin.
From your writing you can find clarity and extract the message you want to share, IF you want to share, and then choose to do so later when you are feeling confident and capable.
Read: Journaling as a Mental Health Tool
Choose how you want to show up.
Not everyone is here to bare their souls, I understand that.
Alot of us spend our lives in a state of stress and we absolutely do not need to do anything that is going to stress us out more.
Some subjects are personal and don’t need to be shared, OH BOY, do I understand that. Some people are simply private or they’ve been raised to uphold a standard which doesn’t allow for emotions.
On social media you have the ability to curate yourself to your choosing. Whether you mean to or not, you are sending a message with the pictures and messages you share. Consider this for a moment, what do you want your message to be? Why?
Yes it can be really scary to be vulnerable and honest with others but It can also be extremely healing to challenge fears this way.
The words of one of my teachers Candace Cabrera, owner of Yoga by Candace, is stamped into my brain, she said:
"You have everything to share and nothing to prove"
Another quote that speaks loudly to me is by Rune Lazuli:
“Your Purpose is Hidden Within Your Wounds”.
This is confirmed every time I share pieces of my mind with the world.
Just planting seeds. If you aren't sure where to start or what to say, try one of these prompts: 10 Journal Prompts for Processing Emotions.