Last week we wrote about the TikTok health claim that mouthwash can raise blood pressure. Much of TikTok’s health advice is absurd or dangerous, so we like to look into it when it goes viral. That one was backed by science. Another piece of health advice has been making the rounds on TikTok: romanticizing your life can be good for your health. While that doesn’t sound dangerous, is there any merit in it?
We want to start this blog by saying there is no substitute for mental health care. If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, your first step should be to speak to your doctor about your mental well-being. Taking steps in your everyday life to bolster your mood is excellent. But it’s not a replacement for medical care. Self-care needs to go hand-in-hand with medical treatment if you are having a hard time.
For an everyday boost and to add a bit of bounce to your step, romanticizing your life can be beneficial. That’s because romanticizing your life — paying attention to the small details of your day that make you happy and feel good — can be a form of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is practicing staying in the moment and being aware of what is happening around you. Research shows it can lower anxiety and depression and boost mood. Staying present can be difficult. If you start focusing on the small details of your life to find beauty in them, it can be calming and a way of practicing mindfulness.
“We’re often so focused on doing the next thing that we’re not truly noticing what’s happening in front of us,” said licensed clinical social worker Alyssa Mancao. “We’re constantly doing multiple things at once, so it can be really helpful for people to practice slowing down and doing one thing at a time, with awareness.”
It can also help you re-find passion in hobbies or enjoy the small things you do daily that feel good. That can make mundane days bright.
Instead of trying to practice mindfulness, people can just enjoy their lives more. That acts as mindfulness training in and of itself. “As a therapist, I can tell you that convincing someone to add another thing to their to-do list is tough,” said Dr. Rachel Hoffman. “But if you’re someone who naturally takes a walk, for example, you can turn your phone off or maybe listen to something that really calms you down. Or if you’re someone who takes long showers, you can think about how the hot water feels against your skin.”
The TikTok videos that claim you should romanticize your life with crazy skin routines and lavish holidays aren’t helpful advice. Many influencers on TikTok claim you should buy the products they promote to help you romanticize your life. That isn’t the message we are promoting and isn’t backed by science. That is just marketing. However, seeing the beauty in your life and finding joy in everyday things can aid your mood.