To date, more than 2.2 million people worldwide have died from the coronavirus. In Spain, the third wave has caused terrible deaths for several days. Marisa Páez, PhD in psychology and director of the ACT Institute, tells us why society seems to be troubled by the number of this epidemic.
In Madrid and other cities, there are people on this street.It seems after get off work – Many bars advocate drinking in the afternoon – on Sunday brunch, go shopping on the terrace or gather in the square to drink, hang out or line up to take advantage of the sales.This Illegal party Which instruments are not being complied with or time limitEven company meetings Precaution.
How is this going? Do these numbers affect us? 400, 500, or 700 people die every day. Doesn’t it hurt us anymore?We don’t care anymore Hospital saturation Go infection Continue to give birth in a nursing home?Did we underestimate this degree Third wave?
Yes, it will not be easy to remain vigilant a year from now.Society is tired of Number of pandemicsIn the distortion of the standard, too much information and wrong information are confused: things are no longer suitable for us.under these circumstances Conspiracy theory And the rise of interpretation and use Pseudo-scientific therapy They spread rapidly across the network at the speed of the virus itself.
For people with cognitive abilities Continuity of things is crucial, They suit us. Therefore, everyone is doing their best and doing their best to prove the reality that is so dystopian for us today.concept Mental stiffness It can help us understand these human and scientifically understandable attitudes.
It’s about The concept that has developed and grown in recent years Today, it allows us to understand many Problematic human phenomenon: Because it happened at anxiety, Lack of activity Frustrated, To maintain the troubles in post-traumatic stress; even the relationship problems between husband and wife, communication with children or the performance of elite athletes more or less.
This rigidity is formed by two main processes: Cognitive fusion and experience avoidance The first category of suffering refers to being bound by our own thoughts, ideas, or feelings. In other words, we believe that everything we think about or let ourselves be swallowed up by the pleasure of the present, desire or fear. For its part, the second aspect has to do with what we do, so as not to think, not feel our feelings or minimize what we are experiencing, especially in situations of uncertainty or pain .
Cognitive fusion behind euphoria
Especially in the short term, these two processes Mental stiffness They protect us, help us face pain, fear, stress, pain, and provide logical and coherent forms for things we don’t understand.
For example, cognitive fusion may lead us to About the pleasure of vaccinationAlthough we know or should know that the current vaccine will protect us from the most serious forms of disease, we still cannot end the pandemic at this time, but we believe that the final solution has arrived and will take effect immediately. This is also to believe in pseudo-scientific therapy or to deceive ourselves into thinking that covid-19 will not touch our foundation, because this is entirely a problem for the elderly.
This process may also cause us to be confused by the current emotions and attend the party. Or feel omnipotent about our ability to heal patients, such as medical staff who are ultimately exhausted because they cannot stop or realize their limits.
Similarly, in many cases, the fear of the combination of this process may lead us to over-limit ourselves, force hand washing or remain vigilant in the face of mild symptoms.
During this difficult year, there have been many studies on how resilience affects mental health. / PNG
Avoid getting rid of pain
For its part, Experience avoidance It helps us understand the smallest risks, “This will not happen to me”, get rid of hundreds of daily loss pains, transform them into pure numbers without any related emotions, and don’t want to see what’s going on.” This is The annual flu”, or deny the non-citizen behavior that we sometimes engage in.
Of course, both of these processes can protect us from suffering and current uncertainty and help us move forward and do things day in and day out, but this is just Useful at first.
Over time, these coping strategies can be harmful because they consume a lot of attention and energy. In addition, we have lost sensitivity, disconnected from the present, and emotions, and our ability to learn and adapt to new environmental conditions is limited.
Worst of all, it can cause us to ignore valuable aspects of life, such as self-care, connection with others, empathy, and actively seeking alternatives or common interests. In short, we can now stop doing what we have to do (minimize social contact, be exposed to the virus in a closed space or use masks properly) or trust and adapt to our requirements as citizens.
The good news is that the stiff counterpart is called Mental flexibility, This is what we usually call Elasticity. It is about the ability to build a satisfying life, or the ability to build oneself when facing adversity when life imposes restrictions on us, facing pain or changing direction. Regarding the pandemic, Several studies These skills and how they affect Mental health, stress management and quality of life During childbirth and throughout the difficult year, both mentally and physically.
The most interesting is Mental flexibility This skill can be trained by increasing awareness and concentration, being open to difficult emotions, and participating in behaviors that are consistent with what is important to everyone.
Improving these skills will help us adapt to the crisis we are going through in a balanced way: improve our awareness of risks, improve our resilience and attention, and respond effectively to new needs in work, academic or social environments, And successfully implement new behaviors that adapt to what happened.
Similarly, I will optimize our Frustration management, Our helplessness and anger, connect more fluently with the suffering of others, improve our empathy, social connection and unity, and focus on what is most important and truly most important to everyone.
We are doing our best and we know what to do. The lack of coherence, uncertainty, contradiction or loss that we humans do not like. On the contrary, it hurts us, makes us uncomfortable and puts pressure on us, and we all react to it.What is clear is Flexible behavior can protect usHelp us adapt to change; although rigidity limits us, it keeps us in the same place.
We hope that many psychologists believe that this crisis will help us value the importance of learning about mental health. Emotion management From a scientific point of view: if we can “flexibly” face the uncertain world in which we are going to live, we can build a better society.
Marisa Paez Is a doctor and director of psychology ACT Academy.