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Facebook and Social Media Addiction

As much as social media has made the world a global village, a section of individuals is engrossed on social media exceedingly. However, companies, politicians, Non-profit organizations, and other people use social media platforms to convey messages to their target audiences. A section of social media users has managed to amass huge followings on the platforms and therefore earning through them by monetizing their activities. This is through promoting and advertising company products and several market brands.  The desire to be influential on social media and commercialization of brands has been on the rise in the recent past. This has resulted in a few millennials feeling pressurized, thus seeking to imitate the lifestyles of celebrities and other online influencers. Since millennials come from all walks of life, they end up living fake lifestyles by posing in posh places in photos, attending high-end events to get affiliated to a certain social class. They end up spending a lot of time on the platforms without realizing they are getting addicted. Approximately 10% of Americans are social media addicts, according to psychologists.

What Extent Is Regarded as Addiction?

As an Individual, if you are greatly concerned about what is happening in various social media platforms or you have a compulsive urge to log onto them, thus spending a lot of time on them, you are considered to be an addict.  Social media addiction can be significantly attributed to the provision of ‘feel-good‘ chemicals such as Dopamine and Serotonin. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat release a similar nervous speedway that recreational drugs and betting give to users. woman taking photo of pizza, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles, addiction treatment centers Research studies have shown that the brain centers that are triggered by drugs like Cocaine are responsible for the compelling urge for social media addiction. Social media use has also resulted in poor decision making, whereas social media addicts portray behavioral signs, thoughts, and attitudes similar to drug-addicted individuals. When you post something on social media, and you get appealing responses, the brain releases dopamine a ‘feel-good’ chemical thereby perpetuating a habitual social media behavior.

Using Social Media Networks as a Coping Technique

Some individuals use social media to receive the recognition which they are not accorded in life. Other people use social media to deal with inner battles such as loneliness, depression, and stress. The frequent use finally causes problems like scorning work, school, poor physical health, and irritability, and mood changes. This makes you turn to use of social networks to relieve themselves, thus increasing dependency.

How to Detect Social Media Addiction

Using various social media platforms has become a norm for everyone, and therefore it’s advisable to be cautious not to fall into the cycle of addiction. As an individual, you are therefore encouraged to practice digital detoxification, which comprises a period of spending time away from electronics such as smartphones and laptops. This involves enacting easy steps such as deactivating one or more social networks, logging onto them once or twice every couple of hours, leaving your gadget on in a different room when going to sleep, and self-discipline by not holding your device during mealtime. These self-made rules and regulations enable you to be focused on physical relations, thereby reduction of dependency on social networks. Social media addicts portray nervousness and anxiousness after being away from social media platforms. You may also isolate yourself from your peers and family and a loss of enthusiasm in hobbies you once treasured.

8 Tell-tale Signs of Addiction:

1. Lying on the Duration Spent on Social Networks

The majority of social media addicts tend to feel guilt and shame as you spend a lot of time on social platforms. To cover this up, you opt to lie to your peers and family on time spent on networks since you can’t moderate your behavior as much as you are aware of its wrong.

2. Isolation from Peers and Family

Gradually, social media addiction increasingly consumes your time as an individual. Due to this, you may isolate and withdraw from your loved ones and participate actively in social platforms. man in red crew neck sleeping on a laptop, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles

3. Loss Of Enthusiasm In Activities You once Loved

As social media participation progresses, as an addict, you increase your duration spent on social networks. This overindulgence takes up the time that you pursue other interests and hobbies you once loved.

4. Scorning Work and School to Spend Time on Social Networks

Since social media addicts over indulge on social networks actively, you may tend to abscond duties like work and school assignments. This is because you are unable to moderate your time and energy and prioritize other important key areas.

5. Feeling Stressed and Finding Life Meaningless

As an addict, at a certain point, you may feel as if life is meaningless due to boredom. Take into consideration that whatever you see on the social networks by the influencers and celebrities is barely a third of their lives. Also, they mostly highlight spectacular events in their lives, and they also have tight schedules of social networks. Most importantly, keep in mind that you have to work to maintain your lifestyle as well as learn and step out to experience the beauty of life.

6. Interruption of Talks to Log Onto Social Networks

As an addict, you are compelled by social platforms to the extent that you become restless and have difficulty concentrating during conversations with friends and family. Many a time, you may seem distracted and frequently check your smartphone for updates and notifications.

7. Anxiousness, Irritability and Mood Changes

Due to the inability to control your feelings, as an addict, you tend to feel anxious when you can’t regularly check your devices for updates and notifications. As much as you feel guilt afterward, you still do that over and over again.

8. Interferences in Professional and Personal Activities

As an addict, if you are schooling, you may experience poor grades, and missing out deadlines may be shown in the workplace. If you experience the specified signs, it is advisable to consult mental health services to be assessed and get individualized treatment.

Riviera Sober Living

Riviera Recovery is a health and wellness center that helps men and women recover from drug and substance use, mental health disorders as well as co-occurring disorders. Our team of expert health professionals is available 24/7 as needed, and our clients can participate in mandatory house meetings and other social activities. We have a sober living house in Southern California and sober living in West Los Angeles. At our sober living house Los Angeles, we offer services such as couples sober living as well as upscale sober living facilities. Riviera sober living has two house locations that are Pacific Palisades house and the Barrington house.  The Pacific Palisades house offers serenity with beautiful ocean views under the Santa Monica Mountains. It is also co-ed and has separate bathrooms for every gender. The Barrington House is an all-male facility with close proximity to several parks and shops. It has a cozy lounge area and a BBQ at the outdoor patio.  Clients can visit museums, gyms, yoga, and meditation classes since it’s centrally located to Beverly Hills, LAX, and Santa Monica.   men and women at the beach, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles At our sober house Los Angeles, we also provide treatment for alcoholism. Alcoholics seeking help for alcohol treatment Los Angeles, 90067, can turn to us to begin your recovery journey. Our medical team of experts facilitate sober living in Los Angeles and is there with you throughout your journey, and they monitor your progress over time. Reach out today to get our help.

Conclusion

As much as anyone can suffer from food addiction, genes play a significant role in an individual’s likelihood of addiction. Factors such as ethnicity and gender also increase food addiction risks. Environmental factors like peer pressure, lack of parental guidance, and economic status also increase addiction likelihood.  Just like any addiction type, food addiction can be mitigated and treated. To increase the chances of full recovery and reduce relapse after some years, a twelve-step program and abstinence from the addictive foods should be considered by medical experts.  Since addicts react differently, even upon using similar foods, medical experts use personalized treatment plans for each person. As an addict, consult your medical service provider for help as soon as possible and start the recovery process
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Professional Self Care

Anyone who has worked a day in their life will likely know a thing about the stress that working day-in and day-out brings. Second only to worries concerning financial matters, one’s work life is the second-biggest cause of stress in the US, an even more impressive number when considering how inextricably linked are our finances and profession. In an effort to understand today’s workplace culture, The American Institute of Stress reported that among other concerning statistics, over half interviewed stated that they often spend 12-hour days on work-related duties and an equal number frequently skip lunch because of the stress of job demands. Without attention to our professional self-care, we run the risk of becoming more self-critical, less focused and stressed. Procrastination of tasks and getting distracted can make employees feel like they are stagnant, overwhelmed, and unable to get out from under a massive workload.

For Yourself

Ideally, you will have found yourself on a career path where you have been able to cultivate an opportunity to ‘Love what you do, and do what you love’. True, working in an environment or a field that doesn’t fit your personality and your goals can cause burnout, depression, and anxiety. However this is not always the case, and we are not always so lucky. While you may need to contemplate a career change, take the time to first think about what you are putting into your current situation. In any given day, identify the aspects of the job that you find most exciting or are most passionate about. Use these as rewards for completing more menial tasks. Best practice suggests setting manageable goals each day and giving yourself 2-3 prioritized tasks to focus on. When you feel overwhelmed, remember that it is often all in our mindset. When we procrastinate, the magnitude of what we need to accomplish appears to only grow until it seems impossible. However, remind yourself that you are capable and it is possible. Divide it up into smaller tasks, and complete the smallest bit until you work up your confidence to achieve more.

Your Workspace

Take pride in the space that you work in. Whether that means a minimalist and organized work station, or one filled with motivational quotes and mantras; remember that where you spend your time affects the way that you feel about yourself and your work. Perhaps taking the time to clean up an overflowing mail pile seems tedious, however, it might be that this is the task needed to truly clear your mind. Maybe it’s bringing in a new set of sticky notes or your favorite pens; incorporate things into your work life that bring excitement and rejuvenate your spirit.   Arrange your workspace so that it is comfortable and inviting, and don’t be afraid to mix it up, especially if yours is the type of job where you are able to do work from home or at a coffee shop a couple of hours or days a week.

Throughout Your Day

Remember that a balanced day is the key to a balanced life. Give yourself permission to schedule in “white space”, or time to decompress. Take regular breaks, especially after completing difficult tasks, whether this looks like chatting with your colleagues, a walk to the coffee shop, having lunch outside and away from your desk, or taking a walk around the block to ‘get your steps in’.   In all these ways, self-care is vital for individuals that are prone to feeling burnout, especially when other areas of life are suffering. The steps to alleviating this are simple: first, identify when you are starting to feel overwhelmed and tempted to resort to procrastination. Start small, build on existing routines and good habits you already have in place, and remember that self-care is a practice rather than a quick fix.   Our physical, mental and social health are often threatened by a world that prioritizes productivity over the needs of individuals. To counter this phenomenon and achieve an overall state of wellness, it is therefore important to structure your life in ways that suggest the importance of self-care through developing habits that improve your physical, intellectual (psychological, emotional and spiritual) and social well-being (relational and professional).   At Riviera Recovery, we are dedicated to helping you develop the habits that you need to succeed in life. Give us a call today to find out more!

Spiritual Self Care

Many people might overlook this aspect of self-care, despite its absolute importance for maintaining our mental health. pea Regardless of your religious beliefs, do not fall into the error of reading this section quickly or skipping it completely. Indeed, taking care of oneself spiritually is not only about simply believing in a deity but about the connection with something greater than ourselves, and applies to atheists, agnostics and non-religious people. True, due to a rise in modern reliance on reason over faith, Americans seem to be looking less and less to religious institutions to define their social, cultural, and moral identities. A growing share of Americans is beginning to define themselves as “spiritual but not religious”, at an increase of 8% between 2012 and 2017. This, according to the Pew Research Center does not describe a moral deficit, but rather, new expressions of one’s spirituality.

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual self-care corresponds to maintaining contact with your values ​​and what really matters to you. This type of self-care allows you to have long-term goals in life and to develop a sense of belonging to a noble and important cause. Here are the main tips to increase attention towards your spiritual self-care:

Engage in Regular Reflection.

Whether it is through meditation or prayer, take the time to think about the ultimate goal of your existence, and what you are seeking out of life.

Be open to inspiration

Allow yourself to be inspired. Seek out inspirational videos or Ted Talks, read inspirational literature or quotes, or even listen to that podcast of that famous person you admire. Find ways to lean into your optimism and hope for the future, and allow that to inform your daily identity.

Be open to not knowing

Try at times not to not have to be in charge or to be the expert. Allow yourself to learn from others, ask questions, and admit that you don’t have it all figured out. Find the courage to ask for help, and embrace your own vulnerability.

Be open to creativity

Be creative, whether through art, music, writing or anything else. Sing your heart out, or pour yourself fully into the art of making.

Engage in Meaning-Making.

Lean into the nonmaterial aspects of life: spend time in thought about what you are passionate about, whether it is a relationship, person, or project. Identify what is means to you and notice its place in your life, whether that is spending time with children, nurturing a connection to a spiritual community, or contributing to causes in which you believe. Give of yourself, and volunteer as often as possible.

Engage in Thoughtful Thinking.

If you believe in a specific religion, find out more about the roots of your beliefs and perhaps even explore the shared beliefs and nuances of other religions as well. Read poetry from similar time periods or track philosophical thought throughout the ages. And while it’s important to take time to think critically about religion, also allow yourself to get lost in its message. Spend time in nature, and allow yourself to get swept up into experiences of awe and wonder. If you missed it, check out Self Care: An Introduction; The importance of Physical Self Care; Psychological Self Care and Emotional Self Care Next Up: Relational Self-Care 

Relational Self Care

We know that the human being is a highly social creature. However, even in the ultra-connected era in which we live, while connectivity is at an all-time high, a true connection seems to be lacking. While social networks certainly allow us access to more people, these connections are often superficial and insignificant. Yohann Hari, in his book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions, states,  “The Internet was born into a world where many people had already lost their sense of connection to each other. The collapse had already been taking place for decades by then. The web arrived offering them a kind of parody of what they were losing—Facebook friends in place of neighbors, video games in place of meaningful work, status updates in place of status in the world.”

Relational Health

Our well-being depends very closely on the quality of our relationships. Thus, when subject to a life absent of healthy relationships, we lose our sense of self-esteem, our capacity for empathy and compassion, and our mutual support. This often leaves room for a focus on individualism that encourages isolation and creates conflicts.  Under our current economic system, we are often rewarded for these behaviors as well, but more on that in our next segment. Here are some tips for improving the quality of your relationships:

In General:

Smile More.

The easiest and most effective advice to follow to improve your relationships with others is to smile. Smiling reduces aggressiveness, hacks your brain’s reward system to release dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin, and tends to help others’ have more positive perceptions of you.

Compliment People More Often & Be Sincere.

Keep track and notice the positive changes or the progress made by the people around you. Sharing with someone the ways that they have made a positive impact on your life, or even that you admired the way they handled a situation, can be a powerful gift, for you and for them. Taking the time to expand your focus onto others can have a huge ripple effect in your relationships.

Meet New People.

There is nothing quite like the intoxicating feeling of getting to know someone new, and connecting over a shared interest. C.S. Lewis’ famous quote reads, “Friendship is born at the moment where one man says to another, ‘What, you too? I thought I was the only one…’”

Nurture Important Relationships.

Spend time with people that you like, or time connecting with them via phone or writing and sharing updates. Check in with family members as well, and nurture your ability to ask for help.  This also includes being the one to take initiative in organizing activities with these people to increase the quality of time spent with them.

Complete a Digital Detox.

Digital detox refers to a period of time during which a person abstains from using electronic connecting devices such as smartphones and computers. Regardless of the length of the detox, it is considered an opportunity to reduce stress or to increase focus on social interactions in the physical world. Benefits include increased awareness, decreased anxiety, a better appreciation of one’s environment, and approaching the world in a more person-centered way.

In Close Relationships:

Spend Alone Time with Your Romantic Partner.

Firstly, see ‘digital detox’ above. More than just spending alone time together, engage one another in stimulating conversations, continue to seek understanding of the complex inner world of the other. Try not to spend all of your time together “doing” and cultivate a practice of just “being” together.

Develop Your Listening Skills.

It is absolutely impossible to achieve good long-term relationships when you are unable to listen. Embrace the fundamental idea that ‘you do not need to agree with what is being said to listen to what is being said’. Try to stay out of fixing the problem, invalidating feelings, or stealing the focus of the conversation.

Admit Your Wrongs.

One surefire way to make sure that you avoid happiness is to “be right, always right. Be the only one who is always right and be rigid in your rightness.” On the other hand, willingness to admit your shortcomings tends to go a long way in creating authentic and lasting relationships. While by no means is this an exhaustive list for how to have a good relationship, shifting focus to some of these practices will certainly help to increase relational wellbeing and overall life satisfaction. Next up: Professional Self Care.  

Emotional Self Care

This is the fourth blog in our series about the importance of Self Care. Make sure to check out the importance of physical self-care and psychological self-care as these two constructs, body and mind, set the stage for our ability to have good emotional regulation and emotional self-care. Together with these other foundational practices, as the primary rings of self-care and the main focus of cognitive behavioral therapy, these three elements are important to master in order to move on to the deeper realms of spiritual, relational and professional self-care.

Emotional Well-being

Emotional well-being can be defined as the overall state of one’s emotions, as well as their sense of purpose, and ability to pursue meaningful goals. However, emotional well-being is not the absence of emotions, but rather, the ability to understand the value of your emotions as signals of what is happening internally, and to use them to propel your life forward. Becoming an emotionally mature adult involves first taking responsibility for the way that we feel, and the way that we communicate those messages to others. It involves ridding our vocabulary of the phrasing, “you made me angry! (frustrated, sad, violent, etc.)” or in essence, “you made me react that way!” In this process, it is imperative that we remember that emotions are not “good” or “bad”, and it is truly only our attitude and reactions that matter. Often considered as a taboo subject in today’s culture, this aspect of our person is an intimate constituent of our happiness as indeed, taking care of your emotions is a delicate process. However, it remains a necessary process, and involves the following considerations:

Love Yourself.

Practice giving yourself affirmations and praising yourself for a job well done. Set yourself up for success by planning out several small tasks throughout the day which you know that you can accomplish, this will help to boost your self-esteem and help to feel good about yourself. Start with making your bed.

Listen To Your Needs.

Pay attention to what might be going on in your emotional world, and seek out healing activities to bring comfort to the storm raging inside of you. Reconnect with your inner child by reading your favorite books again, or re-watch your favorite movies and leave space for yourself to connect with any and all feelings that arise.

Identify with Your Feelings.

In her book, Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown speaks of her practice of writing permission slips to herself as she goes about her daily life. This advice is useful for those of us who have a hard time expressing emotions. Give yourself permission:
  • To be sad
  • To be excited
  • To Cry
  • To act goofy
  • To laugh boldly
  • To have fun
  • To express your political or social outrage

Create a Healthy Support System

Make an effort to stay in contact with important people in your life, and balance your schedule to make time to be with friends or family members who really understand you. Devote time and energy to these and other relationships that bring you joy.

Embrace Vulnerability

Although many people aren’t comfortable talking about their feelings, or what’s going on in their emotional worlds, we know that it is through our ability to have an honest connection with others that we are able to find true healing. Opening up about personal issues is never easy but can have huge effects. Whether in a community support group or with a therapist, talking it out and processing through your emotions can reduce your sense of helplessness and provide relief in the shared burden of your struggles. Stay Tuned for the next installment in the Self-Care Series: Spiritual Self-Care.

Psychological Self Care

After establishing physical practices to take care of your body, the next important aspect of self-care to master is in learning to take care of your mind. Both physical and psychological well being lay the foundation for one’s ability to have good emotion regulation and experience emotional wellbeing. Thus, psychological or ‘cognitive’ self-care is another important pillar of mental health, focused on control over one’s thoughts and mental state. Psychological self-care is the practice of paying attention. When you are able to become aware of the details of the sensations around you, it is easier to live in the present moment; and when you are in the present, you can more effectively abandon the resentment of the past or anxieties about the future. Here are some ways to increase your mental well-being:
  1. Make time for Reflection.

So often, life can be lived on autopilot, where we may be constantly moving from one activity to the next, never truly stopping to take stock of our current reality or to pay attention to the thoughts rattling around in our minds. One of the most important elements of learning to take care of our minds is to stop and give them a voice, to take a moment to listen, and to adjust our course of action as needed. Writing in a journal can help to begin to notice and identify patterns of thinking, or other thought errors, or even simply serve to quiet the racket of thoughts screaming for our attention. Participating in your own personal psychotherapy can also assist in cultivating this practice of paying attention, and also may provide you with some feedback about factors outside of your awareness.

2. Practice Meditation and Relaxation.

An important aspect of psychological well being often seen in meditation techniques and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), is to practice non-attachment to our thoughts. Russ Harris, a proponent of ACT, states that mindfulness is “Consciously bringing awareness to your here-and-now experience, with openness, interest, and receptiveness.” When we engage as an observer or even researcher of our thoughts, we are able to truly notice our inner experience—listen to our thoughts, judgments, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings without the burden of defense. Focus on the movements of your own breathing, and become aware of your bodily sensations.

3. Explore Different Sides of Yourself.

Get to know yourself, and let others know different aspects of you. Experiment with your relationship with control, either by practicing your ability to receive help from others or by showing up and taking charge, even if it is just in some small way. Try letting someone else be the “expert”, or see what it might be like not to have the pressure to be the one in the family who brings the comedic relief. Increase your awareness of the role that you serve in the important contexts of your life, and decide whether you are happy with it.

4. Be Curious.

Spend some time trying on some new hobbies or attending events that help you engage your intelligence in a new way, whether that is going to a history exhibit, science center, sports event or theatre performance. Say “yes” to something you may be hesitant about, and give yourself the permission to try. Read literature or contemplate a work of art. Maybe even get in touch with the inner artist inside you.

5. Get Focused.

When was the last time you gave your full focus to something?  Say “no” to extra responsibilities sometimes so that you can truly focus on what brings you joy. Regardless if it is completing a jigsaw or sudoku puzzle, reading a book, or working on a paint-by-number, engage in an activity that requires your full focused attention. Again, give yourself permission to miss that phone call or text, and relax into the knowledge that there is nothing else you need to do and no one that you need to respond to for a while. Continue reading our series about the importance of self-care. Next up: Emotional Self Care.

Coping with Stress

You’re running late, you have an overwhelming workload, you’re suffering under unrealistic expectations, feeling burnt out, exhausted, and on top of all of this, you are HANGRY. What does all of this lead to? Headaches, tension, restlessness, and a low sex drive, all of which are caused by stress. We’ve all been there. In fact, most of us are probably enduring some amount or form of stress this very moment. It is not uncommon. But how can we overcome this stress rather than letting it occupy every fiber of our being? It seems simple, but let’s face it, with only 24 hours in a day, life can sometimes have the upper hand on how you spend your time. The challenging part in all of this is taking time to prioritize and eliminate even the smallest of things that do not serve you in order to make time for yourself. Let’s look at a few of the ways that we can have power over the stress that can so easily tie us down to unwelcomed discomfort. Relax. Close your eyes and breathe. Find a way to pull yourself out of whatever environment is causing you to stress or causing you to think about the weighing pressures in your life. Perhaps turning down the lights and taking a bubble bath or hot shower with candles and essential oils sound relaxing to you. Or you may find a sunny day on a secluded beach listening to the repetitious calming sounds of the waves and feeling the warm breeze tingle on your skin. Maybe a float in a swimming pool. A walk in nature. A walk around the block. Simply shutting your eyes and breathing. Yes, this all requires time, which we all know there is never enough of. However, managing and organizing your time will allow you to phase out the things that are otherwise avoidable causes of stress. Put down the phone, pick up a book. Disconnecting from the world wide web and social media platforms will eliminate any distractions and unnecessary clutter in your head. In today’s culture, it feels obligatory to be plugged in at all times to some sort of technology. We scroll through other’s feeds, watch shows, download movies, check emails, etc. Somehow, we are almost always faced to screen in some way or another. Just for a while, put it away. Open a book to read, or a notebook to a journal, color or draw in. Engage your mind in activities that do not require you to focus on a screen. It may be unrealistic to say that this can be done over an extended period given that most of our work and social lives depend on technology, however, boundaries can be set to help limit the usage of your devices. At the end of the day, rather than staying connected and checking your emails after hours of mindlessly scrolling, put your phone away and immerse yourself into a good book or puzzle. Invest in you. It is so easy to resort to binge eating, drinking alcohol, or participating in other self-destructive behaviors when we feel stressed out. In fact, it is what a large majority turn to. But is this a long term beneficial resort? Absolutely not. These decisions will only increase and intensify the level of stress we feel once the temporary comfort of these substances or behaviors fade. Rather than turning to unhealthy habits, consciously decide to take time for self- care. This could include yoga, walking, running, swimming or any other form of exercise in addition to engaging in a healthy diet. You do not need to be a health nut in order to take interest in your body and mind. You simply have to set a little bit of time aside to look after yourself. The simple act of moving in whatever way you choose is scientifically proven to reduce the level of stress hormones in your brain. Who wants to argue with science? The bottom line is, stress is unavoidable. There is very little that we can do to prevent stress in our lives, otherwise there would never be any. What we can do is take measures to avoid letting stress get the best of us. Recognize your limitations. Accept what is in your control. Find the positive rather than the negatives in situations that you have no control over. Give yourself a break. Take the time to appreciate how much you do achieve and persevere. And lastly, don’t forget to prioritize your time in order to make room for habits that will actually benefit and serve you.