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We all know that spending too much time on sites like Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook can be harmful — and it can take a toll on our mental health. In a recent Healthline survey, 25% of the participants said that too much time on social media negatively affected their mental health, while 53% admitted that spending less time scrolling through social media posts would probably help their mental state. Indeed, research indicates that taking breaks from what’s happening online improves our headspace. A small 2018 study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology revealed that limiting time on social media reduced feelings of depression and loneliness.

Experts recommend taking small breaks from social media, and suggest that limiting our scrolling time to just 30 minutes a day can improve our mental health (via Insider). But new research shows that even longer breaks can do wonders for our mental state.

Well-being, depression, and anxiety improve significantly

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The recent study, published in the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, surveyed 154 participants with a mean age of 29.6 who used social media for a combined total of 8 hours per week. Participants were split into two groups: the first group was instructed to stop using social media for one week, and the second group continued using social media as usual. Scores gathered at the end of the week found a beneficial impact on well-being and depression, as well as positive outcomes on life satisfaction and emotional stability. The researchers deemed the effects as "significant" in their ability to improve mental health.

If you feel that you spend too much time on social media, and want to take a break, there are plenty of other things to do. Healthline recommends taking a walk, hiking, gardening, doing yoga, or some other form of relaxation like reading a book, crafting, or listening to music. When you return, unfollow accounts that add negativity to your life, and focus on the positive aspects of social media.