How we cope with stress can have a huge impact on our lives. We can deal with stress from many different sources. It can come from family problems, our work, school, and money woes, and it can build up little by little through our everyday experiences. However, one source of stress that perhaps doesn’t get talked about often enough is the relatively new dynamic that we have with the internet. If you are beginning to suspect that your internet use is affecting your mental and emotional state negatively, here are a few things you can do.

Curate your social media feeds

It seems like social media, in particular, has gotten particularly contentious, as of late, and is constantly being bombarded with conflict and incendiary opinions and posts don’t have the eye-opening and viewpoint-expanding effect that you might think. Especially since, on the major platforms, people have a financial incentive to start fights, get on the algorithm, and offend as many people as possible. There are ways to curate your social media feeds so that you’re more likely to see things that you care about, things that you like and, most importantly, things you actually want to see in the first place. Use the block button liberally.

Make it more convenient to use

Stress isn’t always caused by conflict, suffering, or any great difficulty. Sometimes, simply the experience of dealing with little annoyances while you’re trying to go about your daily business can build up. This is especially true if you work online. Getting constant roadblocks in the form of ads or sites that you can’t visit due to regional access rules can start to grate on you. To that end, finding the right Safari ad blocker can help you smooth your online experience a lot. A good VPN can help you get more unrestricted access to regionally blocked sites and content, too.

Take some time away from screens

It might sound like a digital detox is impractical advice to some. Some of us need to be online for our work or to stay in touch with people we care about who are far away, and others simply don’t want to have to take the nuclear option. However, you don’t have to give up on it entirely, simply taking some time in your day to be away from screens can offer some distance and space with your own thoughts that can be valuable. You should definitely be sure that you’re not spending a lot of time with screens before bed, as the blue light from digital displays can worsen your sleep quality, which in turn will increase feelings of stress.

There is something of a trend, lately, of people jumping to blame aspects of modern mental health issues on the internet, which can often be overblown. However, if you do use it a lot, and you feel like you are more stressed than usual, then altering how you use it may have some impacts, regardless of whether it could truly be called “the cause” of your stress or not.