Leeds '˜stressbuster' reveals biggest cause of angst... Facebook

Users get down comparing their own lives with those of their friends.

A Leeds ‘stressbuster’ has revealed Facebook is causing untold misery – because users think their friends are leading better lives.

Dr Mike Scanlan, who runs courses to help people with anxiety, said social media was often a major factor.

“I can’t tell you how many people we’ve seen who say their stress is caused by Facebook,” he said.

“It’s often because they’ve been unfriended or have put something on there that others have reacted badly to.

“A lot of people tell us, ‘I look at my life and look at the lives of other people on Facebook and they all seem so much happier than me’.”

The increasing amount of time people spend on social media has also seen a spike in online criticism and abuse, further knocking the confidence of those on the receiving end.

Mike added: “People have become so much more self-critical and judgemental about how life should be because they see an idealised version on television and social media.”

The stress busting course is being run in conjunction with Leeds IAPT Service which helps NHS patients suffering from anxiety and depression.

Mike, who has been working with people to help them to recover from feelings of sadness and worry for over 20 years, says work-related stress is still a massive issue too.

“We found that people with work stress spent far more time thinking about work which is often out of kilter with the value of that work. They get home and don’t switch off, they just keep worrying about things.”

The courses – which can be viewed on the web – focus on mindfulness, which teaches people to live ‘in the moment’ through simple meditation techniques.

For more information call 0113 8434388 or 07738 148439.