Comparison anxiety is a phenomenon affecting more people than ever before. Ironically enough, there is a biological reason as to why we’re programmed this way. It's simply for our brain to make sense of how we measure up to other people.
Comparison once started out innocently, being human nature after all, unfortunately social media has given us unlimited access to the lives of virtually everyone and anyone at our fingertips. I say unfortunately because people tend to post things they want you to see or believe, which isn’t their full reality, it’s only a small piece, leading us to believe they live these happy, perfect lives or look like perfection all the time. Although social media might be to blame for the rise in comparison anxiety, this phenomenon existed long before. Comparing yourself to someone you see online, or someone you know in real life can quickly pull you into a downward spiral because habitual negative social comparisons can cause a person to experience greater stress, anxiety, depression, and make self-defeating choices.
Comparing yourself to everyone can make your life feel less than,
so what can you do about it?
Give your inner critic less power | it’s possible to do this, and guess what it’s really simple. How? Name your inner critic. Literally give your inner voice a name – preferably a name you don’t like, since they’re pretty harsh. This trick may seem silly, or too simple, but it’s actually proven to work! By naming something it loses power, therefore once you decide on a name you will recognize when they’re speaking and eventually learn to free yourself from that nasty little inner voice.
Value your time and energy | life is precious, and no good day is spent by putting energy or time towards things that aren’t serving you. When you catch yourself scrolling and comparing, ask yourself this: is this serving me? Why am I doing this again? Once you realize something is triggering, remember that you could be using this time to focus on yourself and your success, take these emotions and feelings and use it as motivation to better yourself.
Practice gratitude everyday | this is one of the most powerful ways to help refocus the energy on yourself. Gratitude leads to contentment, it’s a reminder of all the things you have, not all the things you do not. Find a way to incorporate this into your every day life, I find it easiest to pracice gratitude before I go to bed. I sit and think of all the things I’m grateful for that day, it can be as simple as saying “I’m grateful for having a roof over my head.” There’s always going to be people who have more than you, but there’s also so many people who have so much less than you. That reminder is just one of the many things to be grateful for.
"I generally find that comparison is the fast track to unhappiness."— Jack Canfield