Hey everyone!! My name is Liv, I’m 21 and I live in Lincoln! I’ve just finished my 3 years at uni studying Forensic Science and I’m hoping to go on to do a master at Lincoln too!
My personal story of comparing myself to others, and subsequently its negative affect on my mental health, started since as far as I can remember … unfortunately my/current generations are consumed with comparisons - be it on Instagram, magazines, TV programmes, it can be difficult to avoid. Especially when you already have a low image of yourself.
In December 2019 I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression (finally after fighting it since around 2014). I was at an all time low in my final year of uni and everything was on top of me. I couldn’t go one day without trolling through my social media feeds and comparing myself to everyone else - how they looked, what they were doing, what grades they were getting, etc… Even now I still struggle and that’s okay; it’s just human nature.
However, a couple of months ago I decided to make some changes to the way I thought about these things and tried to actively change my mindset towards a healthier and happier place. The first huge step for me was drastically changing my Instagram. I changed my username to ‘@liv.positively’ and started to unfollow people/pages that didn’t make me feel good about myself. It’s as simple as that!! You don’t need to stress about it, take control and do it for you. I immediately felt better and empowered!
Next, I decided to follow & contact some more positive people/pages - ones that were advocates for body positivity, mental health, self love and self care. The algorithms for my suggested follows and explore page started to change. I was finally seeing the beautiful side of Instagram, one that I didn’t have to compare myself to in a negative light. So many people have reached out to me about the things I share (after I ultimately stopped caring so much about whether people would judge what I share on my profile and posted things that would just make me happy) and how they helped them in some way or that they just enjoy the positive vibes and messages I put out! This was the best feeling.
Comparing yourself to others is so so hard to overcome and of course I still have my bad days like everyone else. But I promise you, you can overcome it and you can change your mindset for the better with just a few active steps that really aren’t difficult at all. At the end of the day if you’re consuming yourself with negative thoughts and bad vibes, you end up feeling bitter looking and comparing yourself to everyone else and talking badly to/about yourself and hating yourself, pause and just think; would you ever talk that way to someone you love or about someone you love? No. So why talk yourself down, treating yourself so badly? Learn to love yourself. You are fully capable. Take the baby steps towards positivity and watch yourself begin to flourish!! Try some yoga, daily self affirmations, or reading some self help books! Each day for me is a little easier now. I have learnt my self-love language, I am beginning to accept myself, flaws and all, and I am happy.
You can be too.