One in five people experience some form of mental illness in their lives. While huge strides have been made in how we deal with and talk about these issues, there is still a certain amount of stigma.
It isn’t just people with mental illnesses who have bad thoughts, though- every single one of us has thoughts that we don’t like. Every day we remember something embarrassing we did years ago, get angry that things aren’t going the way we thought they would, or feel sad when we feel lonely. Every single person has those moments.
In our busy 21st century lifestyle, being busy is seen as a sign of success. People pride themselves on working late into the night or on not taking breaks. We’ve turned that “you can achieve anything if you work hard enough” mentality into a competition of who can push themselves the furthest. The thing is, no-one wins that competition.
Many people find that the best way to ignore negative feelings is to stay busy. People often like to distract themselves with work or a personal project after a break up or the loss of a loved one. People usually do this to tire themselves out so much that they don’t have the time or energy to feel sad. Almost everyone has something they don’t want to think about, and our culture of constant work allows them to keep their unwanted thoughts at bay.
But here’s the thing; those thoughts are still there.
Another way to avoid unwanted thoughts is to consume media and boy oh boy, do we have options for that. Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Instagram; if you ever have a minute to think, all you have to do is whip out your phone and scroll through a feed to distract yourself. It might not be particularly entertaining and you might have already seen half of it because you were doing the exact same thing twenty minutes ago, but it’s something to do.Because apparently we always need to be doing something. In the lift, before you get out of bed, most people even use their phone on the toilet because they don’t want to be without a feed to scroll through. And yes, sometimes we do this out of boredom but sometimes our motive is different, and no app is going to save you from what’s inside your head.