If you've ever found yourself knee-deep in someone's Instagram or Facebook, obsessing over how perfect their life, job, boyfriend, body, style, or whatever is, don't fret. Everyone falls into that rabbit hole at some point. But, keep this in mind the next time you're on Instagram and getting into your "her life is so much better than mine" mindset: Social media is an amazing tool to use for inspiration. It shouldn't be a platform that breeds self-hate and feeds into your insecurities.
Here are some tips from life coach Christine Hassler to help you discover ways to celebrate yourself.
1. Realize there's plenty of happiness, beauty, and success to go around. Just because you see someone else having a great life doesn't mean your life isn't great or you can't have as awesome of a life. The more greatness in the world, the merrier.
2. Shift from self-criticism to inspiration. Say someone pops up on your feed who you think has better style than you. Instead of using that as fuel to beat yourself up, figure out how you can use her photos as a source of inspiration. Whatever you're seeing in that other person is something you have too; you're just not stepping into it. Pinpoint what it is you like about that girl's outfit, for example, and use it as a point of reference to create your own version of it.
3. Make a list of things you're grateful for. Gratitude beats comparison. If you notice you're comparing yourself in a negative way, shift to something you're grateful for and write it down. Refer back to it when you need to be reminded of these things.
4. Realize that social media is the highlight reel, not the behind-the-scenes. Say you follow someone with a really amazing job who posts photos of the exciting thing they're doing that day while you're stuck at your desk. Realize that that person is probably working her ass off too but doesn't Instagram photos of herself doing the dirty work. Every job has upsides and downsides. Stop focusing on your downsides and realize that you have amazing career highlights that maybe you just haven't noticed before.
5. Make a list of the moments in life, however big or small, that give you joy. Once you realize exactly which moments of the day or week are most important to you (walks with your boyfriend, shopping with your friend, etc.), make time for it, and don't flake on yourself. Treat it like an important meeting and don't try to reschedule it. Filling your day with more moments that make you happy will attract more positive feelings and leave you with a more positive outlook on your life.
6. Be proactive instead of reactive. When you start comparing yourself to others in a negative way, you're only reacting to the situation. Instead of feeling down about the way your life is going, do something! Decide what your goal is, and then take steps in the direction that will get you to that end goal. Even doing one small thing like updating your résumé or starting a blog will instantly lift your spirits.
7. Get creative. Put together new outfits, make a DIY craft with your friends, or experiment with a new recipe. Make something original. Creativity is a wonderful way to combat low moments because creative self-expression is one of the ways you can tap back into that sense of accomplishment and empowerment. Remind yourself how talented you are in your own unique way.
8. Send the person you're comparing yourself to even more love and good vibes. Comparison oftentimes comes from a negative place of judgment and criticism. When you're genuinely happy for people and grateful, even if you don't know them, you'll shift the energy to a positive place.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.