Stressed and scrolling? Why it’s a dangerous combo

It’s been a long, stressful day.

Perhaps you overslept… you hurt your knee while exercising… or you forgot to grab a carton of eggs during your grocery store haul.

Whatever the reason, you need to turn your mind OFF—and fast.

So, you reach for your phone—or your laptop—and open social media.

Because after the day you had, it can’t hurt, right?

Or can it?

Hidden disease link

I’ve reported before how daily “doom-scrolling” can impact your mental health.

But did you know researchers have also linked social media use to chronic inflammation

The No. 1 root cause of chronic disease?

Researchers from the University of Buffalo recruited over 250 undergraduate studies between the ages of 18 and 24.

Subjects submitted self-reports of physical health and social media usage. In addition, researchers collected blood samples.

And get this…

Those who used social media exclusively had higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP)—the very same marker that points to chronic inflammation and plays a role in everything from diabetes and heart disease, to cancer.

Plus, results show that high social media use correlated with more health issues in general… like headaches, chest pain, and back pain—as well as more frequent healthcare visits due to illness.

If this is what’s happening to the younger population—remember, these are college kids—just imagine how the same habits might be affecting OUR health!

Stress and inflammation

At the end of the day, these results simply show a correlation—meaning they don’t prove that social media causes chronic inflammation, disease, and poor health outcomes.

But the red flags are there. And I recommend acknowledging them.

Start monitoring your social media use accordingly. Take scheduled breaks and be sure to fill that time with a different hobby.

Because, while I agree social media can be a great way to connect to others—and to bond over shared interests, like cooking—there’s a price of becoming too dependent on it. Especially if you’re trying to combat a stressful day with mindful scrolling.

Instead, I encourage making time for some in-person connection. Recruit a walking buddy, take a cooking class with your spouse, or start a book club.

If you’re still feeling stressed—and let’s be real, we’re bombarded by internal and external stressors these days—you might also turn to the support of ashwagandha and saffron.

Because in my view, anything that can help naturally alleviate stress (and therefore, lower inflammation) is worth trying.

And for a more comprehensive guide to fighting the stealth culprit behind aging and disease, check out my online learning tool, my Essential Guide to Combating Inflammation.


“Social media use tied to poor physical health.” ScienceDaily, 01/24/2022. (