Do You Pin? 2 Reasons Why Using Pinterest Can Be Good for You!

If you’re not already on Pinterest.com, chances are, you’ve been asked at some point or another if you “pin”, or overheard friends sharing recipes or decorating tips that they found on “boards”.

Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that people use to collect ideas for their different projects and interests. It can be utilized on its own or linked to the users Facebook account.

People create and share collections (“boards”) of visual bookmarks (“Pins”) that they use to do things like learn new recipes, plan upcoming trips, organize events and more.

While many people may think of the website as “just another time waster” or even as “one more way for businesses to market their products to you”, utilizing Pinterest can actually be good for you.

Here’s why.

1.  “Me” Time Can Reduce Your Stress

You may think that we already live in a “me” society, one that often encourages and even rewards narcissistic behavior.  While this isn’t necessarily untrue, instead of encouraging the “over-sharing of un-interesting or annoying daily experiences” of others (ahem, Facebook, cough*Instagram*cough), Pinterest instead gives the average individual an outlet throughout which to express themselves and find new ways in order to do so.

The Huffington Post wrote a fantastic article on the benefits of “me time” and how it can actually reduce ones levels of stress.

Think about it. Pinning takes minimal time and minimal effort-it can be done on a cell phone while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store.  It enriches your life by helping your organize current interests and develop new ones.  While you are pinning you are focusing solely on yourself and not on what your friends or colleagues are buying or experiencing.  It’s all about you.

Not only that, but using Pinterest gives you permission to “veg” out with less of the guilt: you’re doing something for you, but it is also productive (ie the organizational aspect of pinning).  It is the modern day equivalent of old fashioned collages and takes much less time.

2.  Pinterest Can Be Used as a Self Realization Tool

If you’re anything like me, you have at some time in your life hit a point where you suddenly realize that you don’t know who you are anymore.  You question what your real passions are in life and find it difficult to answer the simple questions of what you like to do in your spare time or what kind of things that you’re interested in.

These feelings are not unlike what can be expressed during a mid-life crisis, but unlike a mid-life crisis, do not always occur later in life. Some people say that these feelings are the sign of a personality disorder, but in this day and age can be a very common sentiment and is not always linked to a disorder.

A loss of self can stem from under-challenging yourself on a personal level, working so much that you forget to “play”, or from being caught up in a relationship, be it romantic or maternal/paternal, that doesn’t always allow you to pursue your initial interests.  On the other hand, it could be a matter of simply growing older and the natural progression of your likes and dislikes changing, but not yet knowing what they have changed into.

Psych Central says that journaling can be a good way to get to know yourself again.  Beyond serving as an organizational tool, Pinterest is like a visual journal and can serve as a tool for self-realization, or the knowing of yourself in body, mind and soul. How so?

After you have a solid collection of Pins, which as we established above concentrates solely on your own personal needs, desires and likes on a conscious and subconscious level, take a step back and look at your profile objectively for patterns.

Pretend this is no longer your account.  Pretend this is the Pinterest account of a total stranger.  Identify the patterns: Are a majority of the pins or boards focusing on a particular topic or interest? Do you notice repetition in the types of images that have been selected?

These can be small, but much needed clues to evaluate on your road to self-discovery.