Positive thinking takes you half way through in fighting the deadly virus

May 14, 2021, 11:45 a.m.

By:Reshma Jain

At the outset, with humility and respect, we salute all the martyrs and their kith and kin and friends who have undergone real hardships and so courageously fought through their anxieties, misinformation as well as genuine hurdles on the ground. While the second wave of Covid has gripped the county, the fight is on and all of us need to come together to emerge victorious. Dr C Radhakanth, M.D.(Psych), a Professor and HOD of Psychiatry, NRI Institute of Medical Sciences, Visakhapatnam gives insights to help people cope with situations around.

  • Stress needs to be dealt with at 3 levels – by changing negative thinking to positive, doing psychophysiological techniques like relaxation, pranayama, yoga etc. and by dealing with the situation that is causing anxiety by protecting oneself, getting help and solving the problem at least partially.
  • The left brain can analyse the problem, acquire facts and think through them. The right brain can come up with creative ways of generating alternatives. The emotional brain reacts emotionally ostensibly to provide motivation to solve the problem. Hyper emotionality upsets the ability of the left brain to calmly think and the right brain to be creative. So, it is important to dampen the emotional brain responses so that an effective solution can be found by the Left and Right Hemispheres of the brain.
  • No single individual can face and solve all problems alone all the time. Creating an active support group from friends, relatives, medical experts, administrators and influencers can help you far more than trying to psychologically isolate yourself when called upon to physically isolate. You can use electronic devices to communicate with them.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and expect as an entitlement all help from a single source e.g., government agencies. Use other available resources in the community like NGOs and good Samaritans who are literally supporting the society in these difficult times.
  • If you believe in God, pray, puja, and religious/cultural rituals can psychologically strengthen your self-belief and improve self-efficacy. If you are an atheist or agnostic, structure your life so that you can have some moments of pleasure whether in watching funny clips or chatting with friends or having your favourite dish. Pleasure is the antidote to psychological pain.
  • Have patience and hang on there, don’t give up. Try your best as there is a 99 percent chance that you will fight it through.

Meanwhile, District Clinical psychologist, DMHP Vizag, Dr Bhavani also shared a few pointers to benefit people at large.

  • Coronophobia- The universe is experiencing it right now, hence the panic situation. We need to fight the fears that have been created. There is a lot of panic due to the spread of fake news and death news. It’s important to understand about the virus instead to create panic among people around you.
  • Measures such as social distancing, wearing double masks, sanitising, avoiding public gatherings, avoiding outside food/ frozen food, minimising the use of ACs, etc need to be followed.
  • If you are tested positive, isolate yourself and seek medical attention immediately.
  • During self-isolation, one might feel anxious and tense. To cope with negative thoughts and emotions, following a schedule is very important.
  • Make a list of the activities that you can possibly do in the quarantine period and follow them wisely.
  • Make a regular diet and sleep pattern.
  • Practising yoga, breathing exercises, physical exercises help a lot. It improves blood circulation and releases happy hormones like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.
  • The quality of your thinking process helps in healing your mind and body naturally. So always think positive and do not let negativity thrive on you. A positive mental health definitely helps in a speedy recovery.
  • Listening to good music, reading books, painting, learning a new language, and improving soft skills can be added to your schedule to make yourself productive and keep your mind engaged.
  • Keep in touch with your loved ones

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