What Instagram is Secretly Doing to your Mental Health: Things that Make Me Crazy in the Health and Wellness Industry.

Seems a flippant topic to cover, things that make me crazy in the health and wellness industry, doesn’t it? But seeing as this week (the 14th-20th of May) is Mental Health Awareness Week, the time couldn’t be more fitting for this article. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Things that Make Me Crazy in the Health and Wellness Industry


Instagram Fitness Pages 

Fitness “celebrities” showing us tantalizing images of their bodies and faces in some thinly veiled attempt at convincing us that it’s health-related. No information is transmitted, it’s just a culture built upon feeding off other people’s insecurities and a constant game of one-upmanship.

Perfect angles, filters and the right light, and every type of camouflage and “filter” available, a snapshot capturing a perfect existence.

I read recently that children are, on average, taking up to 45 mins trying to get a selfie perfect before posting it on social media. I wonder if people stop to ponder this, but I doubt it. Concentrations spans are waning.

Motivation does not exist for more than a moment. It’s a fleeting emotion. This is why you feel spurred on by music and images that remind you of greatness. It’s not there every day, present in every moment. What we need is a word that scares many.



Discipline is what separates people. Discipline feeds habits, and habits create lifestyles.

We need confidence and self-belief to create discipline.

At what point do people think that photographic perfection leads to anything more than jealousy and self-doubt for the most part? Especially for people who are just starting on their own personal journey of self-development.

We now live in a headspace where people gravitate to this naturally. It’s not their fault, they have grown up in this reality. And it’s somewhere in between addiction and therapy for the players.

Even if people don’t work in the fitness space, they have fitness-related accounts that provide us with nothing. Narcissism reigns, so ingrained in our current reality that to me it’s honestly frightening.

There is nothing wrong with looking great, with being proud of your achievements. But we achieved them without the applause of onlookers for an eternity before the social media platform arose.

We are facing an epidemic of bad health, obesity and millions of people not fit enough physically or mentally to give back to society. The UK is seen as the most obese society in Western Europe. Levels of depression and mental health are sky-rocketing. In 4 years, cases of anxiety and depression have increased by a third among working men and women. 33%. Do I attribute that to social media? Not entirely, but there must be a level of responsibility.

Nobody cares about me or anyone else ranting, but neither do they care how good your glutes look either. If you work in the industry, think what builds it, what powers it?

I shall tell you.  Normal people. You and I, and our clients.

Where could we be going wrong? 

The people who join gyms and never make it past the 3rd hurdle. The emotional eaters, the people who skip the food and can’t bear to face the mirror. The weaker, the less self-confident. Those recovering from illness and injury.

The fact is these are the types of people you are going to help if you run a training or coaching facility. Not ‘celebrities’, glamour models, walking examples of human perfection. And I will tell you why not – because it is a facade, not a reality.

We are about to have a revolution of consciousness. The world is going to be split by those, myself included, who will step back from the blue light, except for using it as a tool for giving, helping, working and learning.

If we step back, we need to worry about ‘working in’ not just working out, in the worlds of the great Paul Chek.

In a world that seems to be so focused on the extrinsic, we must focus on the intrinsic. We need to create, not just consume.

To do this we need to be mentors, not just disciples. Outliers and not followers.

And what’s the fix, Coach? 

When was the last time you took your shoes off and stood on the earth or curled your toes in the bare grass, waded into the lake, lay naked in the sun? Meditated, helped someone, cried without worrying what anyone thought? Laughed at nothing or just stopped and listen to yourself breathe, or watch a sunrise?

But without the urge to tell anyone except for perhaps those you truly love. That moment doesn’t have to be captured or doctored, it just needs to happen.

All that matters is the now, not what happened yesterday, or what we are going to do tomorrow.

Talk, write, share, smile, laugh, love and don’t take your selves so seriously. Nobody gives two cents what you look like or what you lift, and everybody is beautiful.

Happiness is fleeting and, unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Broaden your horizons, read the articles, research and upskill, read great works of science and fiction. Open books and use the chalk on a blackboard.

Stay away from the instant gratification, and instead help people – it’s possibly the most empowering thing you can ever do.

If I ever watch my close friends or check Instagram or Facebook accounts, it’s mostly information and appreciation of other people’s success. You’re tapping into the matrix when you do this, so stop polluting it and instead feed it with something pure.

Then marvel at what we can accomplish by teaching others. Try having an opinion. Show us what you learnt today.

My Take Away

The Internet is the most versatile tool outside of the human brain that the average man or woman is aware of and interacts with daily.  Yet it seems to be slowly reducing our consciousness.

If you want to leave a legacy, leave it as something we can learn from.

Stay strong,

Coach Fletch.

Author - Fletcher Dalrymple - Personal Trainer & Mentor

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