Do you regularly find yourself scrolling through social media platforms and measuring your achievements, appearance, progress, and success against those of others around you? Or maybe you often compare your relationship, children, family, to what you hear about other people’s relationships, children and so on? Perhaps this may seem unimpactful or harmless- but constant comparison can in fact take a toll on our mental health and impact wellbeing. The following are some examples of how this can happen.
Impact on Self-Esteem
Constant comparison often leads to lowered self-esteem, creating a perception that others lead perfect, problem-free lives. This comparison may leave individuals doubting their worth, feeling inadequate, and questioning their journey. Research by Sirois and Kitner (2015) highlights the link between regular social comparison and increased stress and anxiety, affecting not only the individual but also those in close relationships.
Losing Track of Your Path
Frequent comparison shifts focus away from personal goals and growth. By constantly measuring against others, individuals risk losing sight of their unique path and aspirations. This creates a cycle where energy invested in comparison detracts from personal development, leading to dissatisfaction and further reinforcing the belief that others have better lives.
Moving Forward: Strategies for Change
Breaking free from constant comparison is challenging but achievable. Establishing a supportive system, practicing patience, and fostering gratitude are essential steps. By embracing what already exists in one’s life and accepting unattainable aspects, individuals can shift their mindset. This, coupled with a focus on realistic personal goals, enables a healthier perspective and improved well-being.
Conclusion: Embracing Gratitude and Realistic Growth
It’s essential to recognize the adverse effects of constant comparison on mental health. By breaking free from this cycle, individuals can cultivate gratitude for existing blessings, accept limitations, and adopt a mindset conducive to attainable and realistic personal growth. With a supportive system and patience, one can navigate away from constant comparison towards a more fulfilling and mentally healthy lifestyle.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.