Digital detox

Anorexia, Social media and Yoga therapy

Anorexia is a mental health disorder which belongs to a group of behavioural disorders. This is because the person is often physically healthy before the onset of the disease. Social media has a lot to answer for regarding an addictive behavioural disorder.

Its symptomatology appears to disturb the normal functioning of a young person in the psychological, family and social settings. Anorexia is, after bulimia, the most common eating disorder in puberty and adolescence. It is mainly a disease of the female population – a disease of women and young girls. The word “anorexia” in free translation means loss of appetite.

Visible physical symptoms are a consequence, not the cause of the disorder

Adolescent girls are increasingly suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia, and social media is largely responsible for this.

Anorexia and social medai
Anorexia in Teenage Girls

 Soothe social media habits with Yoga therapy

Experts have found that young people have become dependent on social networks which undoubtedly negatively affects health. This is both physically and mentally and Yoga therapy can help to reverse these impacts.

There are more teenage girls who are unhappy with their appearance. They will compare their body to the people and celebrities they see online. As a result severe dieting regimes can be adopted. And so more and more suffer from anorexia or bulimia.

Several researchers have highlighted that spending too much time on social media leads to a one-sided focus on appearance, habits and behaviour. Teens feel like they need to look and behave in the same way as girls who they follow Instagram.

Orthorexia healthy nutrition
Self-image and Social Media

Girls visit websites in search of diets

Experts have found that more and more girls visit websites in search of diets. The most disturbing, is the fact that some people visit pages that encourage people to have an eating disorder. Consequently, they can ask for advice on how to starve and how to get into the state of extreme skinny-ness.

There was also a series of social media sites that target anorexia called so-called Pro-Ana (for anorexia) and Pro-Mia (for bulimia). For the purpose of persuading girls and women to persevere in their disorder. As well as inspire them to achieve weight loss. Here they can find pictures of models and celebrities looking like skeletons. As well as tips and techniques to stay dangerously skinny.

To protect teenagers and their platform (from future litigation) some social media sites like Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest have actually banned the hashtags from their platform. As well as turning off the number of likes on some posts. Recently social media platforms have turned into publishers and block certain posts and sites from exposure to direct the consumer in line with their own views.

Read what Instagram hashtags such as #thinspo for thin inspiration have been banned here.

anorexia social media

The “most dangerous” part of the Internet is precisely the social media community. Namely, the girls, through communication with others, receive great support and strong encouragement for extreme forms of behaviour. Girls with eating disorders feel ashamed and flee from their real environment. Also on the Internet there are whole groups of like-minded people who will “understand” them. The danger is they are probably further encouraging unhealthy and dangerous behaviour.

Orthorexia obsession with healthy nutrition

Healthy nutrition has been gaining momentum in all life spheres in recent years. Firstly, the media bombards followers with articles and research on the positive effects of eating natural foods. Such as vegetables, fruits, eating high-quality meat or reducing meat intake, industrial foods, and foods rich in sugar. This is really good until it becomes an obsession where anorexia or orthorexia sets in. Like any other obsession, the obsession with eating healthy foods has got its name – orthorexia.

We are not talking about people who choose to lead a healthy lifestyle when it comes to their diet. Also there is an obsession with fast-food, the complete opposite. Even more than the dependence on healthy eating is what happens if they ingest a “forbidden” food into their body.

Orthorexia or anorexia are a based on a need to control life

Most people who suffer from orthorexia appear skinny in the same way as anorexic people do. As a result, the term orthorexia can be confused with anorexia. However they do have several common consequences on the human body. Those with anorexia and orthorexia restrict the intake of food into the body. Both follow various diets. In contrast people with orthorexia consume exclusively healthy foods in order to be “healthier”.

But as with anorexia, a person suffering from orthorexia wants complete control of their life. Likewise they desire a certain weight (which is often imposed on them by others and which they have accepted). This is all in attempt to raise self-confidence to feel better about themselves.

Orthorexia an obsession with healthy nutrition

Exactly the opposite happens and the self confidence can crash. When finally putting down social media a rush of blocked emotions rise to the surface followed by anxiety. This can result in self medicating by controlling their food intake.

When food becomes the central topic, at any given time and orthorexia develops, the quality of a person’s life deteriorates. This behaviour can become isolating and further exacerbate feelings of anxiety and behavioural problems.

orthorexia healthy nutrition

What Can We Do?

Epidemiological studies by the NIH suggest that the incidence of eating disorders among adolescent girls has increased over the last 50 years read more.

Parents need to be aware that an entire online community can stand behind the problem encouraging their daughter’s diet while negatively effecting their mental health. As well as in some way, regulating access to sites that encourage negative and unhealthy behaviour.

Parents have the potential and ability to prevent the development of eating disorders in young addicts on social media

If you wish to know more about this rather serious subject, please check out the video below:

How Yoga helps you with anxiety

It is so important to develop an awareness of yourself, so as not to alienate yourself from your teenager. With Yoga, Ayurveda and Meditation you will have the opportunity to connect to your feelings and the wisdom of intuition. You will recognise the pause between the inhalation and exhalation and inhalation and develop skills to create pauses in your mind and life. As a result this space in your life provides choice to temper your re-actions.

Problems are exacerbated when feelings or emotions are blocked. Yoga provides the opportunity to meet and uncover blocked emotions in a gentle and loving way.

As a parent serious issues are best not to be neglected or push under the carpet

Social media is very natural for teenagers as they are so used to connecting with others in a digital world (which is less confrontational) – and plays an important role in their lives often perceived as a lifeline. Any confrontation brings out a survival instinct. Real life situations can trigger reactive behaviour and blocked emotions can erupt. Learning to manage thoughts, feelings and emotions is difficult for everyone and a lifelong quest. As a parent role modelling is very powerful way to offer support.

Yoga therapy and overuse of technology

Teenagers can struggle with real life confrontation, especially after spending time in a virtual world with their friends. Some parents have likened the over re-action from the teenager when asked to put down the device, similar to an addiction. Likewise they may only know how to express themselves online and have not developed the skills to manage life’s inevitable experiences.

Yoga therapy provides tools to access emotions and feelings plus an awareness of a need to digitally detox. Managing overuse of technology improves sleep and anxiety is released. This then calms the nervous system. It is not just teenagers who struggle with over using technology. And we have many older people who come to us for help.

As a Hi-Tech-Yogi I am very familiar with both Yoga and Technology. Therefore we address topics such as:-multi-tasking, over using technology and the effects on the pineal gland. Ayurveda the science of life recognises each person is as unique as their DNA. Also each person and relationship with social media requires different tools, strategies and goals.

Yoga Therapy live-online classes

Good Morning Yoga therapy class helps to get your body ready for the day in the right way. Set an intention, stretch, strengthen and increase your immunity.

Lunchtime Chair Yoga therapy class brings a welcome break into the middle of your day to connect with your breathing, body posture and the present moment.

Sleepy Time Yoga therapy class is a relaxed and soothing way to clear your mind, calm your nervous system, a form of sleep hygiene to prepare for a restful nights sleep.

Our Yoga Works for Over 40s provides you with a natural relief to anxiety.

We believe it’s important to address these topics with the aim to calming yourself as the parent. Learn to come from a centred and grounded place when dealing with your teenager. Develop strategies to model and integrate technology into every day life in a balanced and responsible way.

Yoga Works for Over 40s has ‘live-online’ classes as well as Yoga Therapy one-on-one practices. Classes address the individual needs of each person.

By Zoe

Yoga Ayurveda Therapist | Computer Coach Australia - Modern day women using the ancient tools and techniques to bring balance in the digital world