What is doomscrolling and how it affects your mental health – Times of India

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The coronavirus pandemic has deeply impacted all aspects of our lives. One such effect is doom scrolling or doom surfing. But what exactly does the term mean? Let’s find out.

What is doomscrolling?


The excessive use of screen while scrolling through predominantly negative news is called doom surfing/scrolling. It’s common to find yourself swiping past page after page searching for more details about a disturbing news piece.

Many of us can’t stay away from constantly reading/watching news related to the pandemic and the crises people are going through. We keep checking different websites and news channels in hope of getting some new pieces of information. You will be surprised to know that the phenomenon is nothing new. Our tendency towards negative bias inclines us to scan for negative news more as compared to positive news. But we all know that this is not good for our mental health. So, here are five ways to lessen the impact of doomscrolling on your mental health.

Limit the time spent on social media


Smartphones have a feature where they can keep a record of the time you spend on each app. Keep track of this so that you are not lured into continuous use. Try to avoid scrolling before going to bed and right after waking up. The best way to do this is by keeping the phone away from your bed.

Keep a track of your health

Regular exercising helps release neurotransmitters that have a feel-good effect. Yoga and meditation also help in de-stressing. Eat a healthy and balanced diet and avoid munching on non-nutritious food while scrolling through your phone.

Practice mindfulness


Be mindful of any task that you are doing. Whether you are reading, writing or working out, you must pay full attention to the same. Make sure the news source you are reading from is genuine. Also, inculcate the habit of reading positive news too and share the same with your friends and family too.

Try the STOP technique


If you are unable to control the scrolling, you can try the STOP technique. If you feel you have exceeded the screen time and are unable to control your fingers, say STOP loudly and give yourself a physical stimulus at the same time, which can be a tap on the hand. When you do this repeatedly, your brain will get trained that it’s time to stop the current activity.



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