(From left) Dr. Oz (Mehmet Cengiz Öz) Turkish American television personality, Arianna Huffington Founder of The Huffington Post and David M Clark, Professor of Experimental Psychology at University of Oxford,UK at a session on the opening day of World Government Summit 2019 in Dubai Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Arianna Huffington, author and founder of Thrive Global said that social media influences mental health negatively.

She said: “Women, especially young women are more prone to depression because of the constant comparison that goes on, before their sense of identity can be created and formed.”

People are always comparing their lives to others. “People are comparing the messy reality of their life, with someone’s curated life” and this becomes a cause for stress.

She added that if people are given the tools to be more resilient, they will be able to handle things better.

Huffington was a part of a panel, which discussed the importance of balancing stress, getting enough sleep and how not doing so can affect one’s mental health.

Huffington added that depression anxiety is separate, and sometimes people suffer from mental health issues but their circumstances make it difficult for someone to understand why they are feeling that way. They don’t have to be in conflict zones. People’s levels of stress lead them to anxiety.

While Huffington agreed that it would be difficult to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health overnight, she said that taking “micro steps“ can make a big difference.

She said: “People need to transform the way they deal with stress... I follow two steps for this. I pick a time and I mark that as the end of my day. You can never have a real end to your working day. You could be working all night... which is why people have to declare an artificial end to their day.”

She added that charging your phone outside your room helps. The businesswoman said that when she gets less hours of sleep it affects her productivity, and she feels less empathetic and creative. “Even I don’t want to be around me when I’m like this.”

She advises people to wake up in the morning and before you go to your phone, remember what you are grateful for. Start your day with recognising what you want from the day. She said: “It’s very significant how the UAE has a Minister of Happiness.”

Dr Oz from the Dr Oz Show and Professor David Clark we’re also speakers at the session.