The internet is often attacked for its contributions to anxiety, depression, social isolation, and other mental health conditions. It’s true; many of these conditions can be linked back to addiction or unhealthy relationships with the Internet, gaming, or technology in general.
What many people fail to realize, though, is that the Internet can have a positive impact on people’s mental health. Recent technological advancements have pulled many people out of depression and given them a new chance at a fulfilling, happy life. It’s all about finding what works best for you.
Download Helpful Apps
In recent years, millions of apps have been created that can be easily downloaded and accessed from your personal devices. There are even apps that are built specifically for mental health. These can help you with mindfulness, journaling, meditation, ASMR sounds, stress and anxiety relief, and strategies for combating depression.
Try Virtual Counseling
Those with busy lives might find it hard to make time for counseling, even when it’s desperately needed. Resources like MyTherapist now exist so that you can get therapy no matter where you are or what time it is. You can see your therapist face-to-face on a screen, chat online, or participate in a phone call.
The Internet has made it much easier for people with mental health needs to access the care they need.
Connect with Friends (Old and New)
With the creation of websites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, it’s easier than ever to stay connected with friends. Apps like Bumble BFF allow you to meet new friends and apps like Hinge help you meet people to date.
It’s simple to talk or video chat with friends who have moved across the country or family who live in a whole different country. Before technological advancements, everyone relied on the mailing system, which was time-consuming and not instantaneous like texts and online messages are. Now, there are few excuses not to reach out to loved ones regularly.
Join an Online Support Group
Online support groups are perfect for people who don’t live in large cities or who have crazy busy schedules. Your tiny town might not have an AA support group, but you’ll find plenty of them online on reddit. If you’re someone who has social anxiety, it may be helpful for you to meet with others online rather than in person.
Use it to Improve Your Physical Health
Need to go on a diet? Or do you need a new workout routine? Simply go to Google and type in “diet recipe ideas” or “workout routines.” There are even apps like you can follow along with as you work out, and videos you can watch on sites like YouTube. Access to resources is no longer a problem when you want to make major life changes.
Being creative is vital for mental health. It gives us an outlet and a chance to express our ideas to the world. With the Internet available to us at all times, being creative and sharing that creativity with the world is easier than ever before.
On TikTok, users share different dances with one another. On YouTube, users create travel vlogs and helpful guides for DIY projects. Instagram and VSCO are great for sharing photos with the world, and lots of people utilize Facebook to share their thoughts about various topics with everyone who will listen. Find a creative outlet for yourself and you’re more likely to be happier and healthier.
While the Internet has plenty of drawbacks, it also has plenty of positives—you just have to find them and use them to your advantage. Your use of the Internet will look different from everyone else’s and what is healthy for you might not be healthy for someone else.
Moderation is important, so make sure you’re not overconsuming content online and doing more than just sitting in front of a screen. Your physical and mental health are more correlated than you might realize, so pay attention and take care of both.
If you are struggling with your mental health or feel like you’re addicted to the Internet, there’s never any shame in receiving help from a therapist. You are not alone. Try to get others involved and lean on friends and family as much as possible. You will need their help and support as you work toward healing.