The mind trick to keep negative thoughts at bay

One of the side effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the world is the deep mark that it is leaving and will leave in the mental health of many people. After spending more than two months confined at home and at the gates of that "new normal" of which they speak, the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the quarantine become more than evident. That is why many experts already predict a "tsunami" of psychiatric illnesses caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Feeling of isolation or loneliness, loss of employment, fear and uncertainty about what will happen … are some of the feelings that have prevailed the most throughout these months locked up. How to overcome all these bad vibes? The first of all is knowing how to identify and accept them. So don't deny or hide them from yourself, pretending to be okay. Second, it is best to ask for help or in any case, have someone who knows how to listen. Opening up and commenting on your concerns to others (even if you may not be able to understand them at times) will be key to addressing the problem.

The more you develop a compassionate and thoughtful inner voice, the more positive and balanced you become mentally

But in any case, the most urgent and necessary thing is that all those doubts or fears that assail you for the future are handled with calm and serenity by yourself. After all, you're the only person you're going to spend the rest of your life with, so you better be patient with yourself. If you speak to yourself from a very critical or negative perspective, it will make you feel worse and you will not find a remedy soon that will stop all these thoughts.

"There is no intrinsic harm in recognizing your weaknesses or deficiencies," he says. Hans Watson, American psychiatrist, in the magazine 'Best Life'. "There is only harm if you don't recognize things that you also do well." Logically, it is very difficult that in those moments of sadness or low find nothing to hold on to. But if you dive a little into yourself you will discover how you at least reap beautiful memories in which you yourself left very difficult situations. And that, somehow, should make you aware that the problems you have now can also be solved, that you have the ability to solve them.

There are some psychologists who recognize the usefulness of talking to oneself, both in good times and bad. All this responds to a positive theory that comes to preach the maxim of "being your best friend". Without falling into absurd and abstract positivism, so fashionable nowadays, you should try to be critical of yourself but also in an affirmative sense, and not just negative. "Be kind to yourself when you go through difficult times," he advises. Toni Bernhard, psychologist and author of a book on the subject.

"The more you develop a compassionate and reflective inner voice, the more positive and balanced you become mentally," he says. Carla Manly, Clinical psychologist and author of 'Joy from Fear: Create the Life of Your Dreams'. "This makes a lot of sense from a neurobiological point of view. Anything that we routinely think about, whether compassionate or critical, connects to the brain and is difficult to get out. A compassionate internal monologue can raise the level of neurochemicals to feel good, like for example serotonin, and decrease stress hormones, such as cortisol or adrenaline. "

Be objective

Hence the importance of finding a balance. "Every time we recognize that we have done something right, the part of the frontal lobe that allows us to have motivation is stimulated necessary to keep doing better things, "says Watson." You get your dopamine release, you become somewhat addicted to success once you recognize its positive effects. "

How to achieve this level of communication with yourself that is beneficial and equitable between good and bad? The first thing is try to strip what you perceive of the connotations that it usually has. This may sound a bit strange, but it basically consists of functioning as a mere observer of what happens. Without trying to change anything, without judging absolutely anything, just look.

Little by little you will begin to notice the changes and how those things that we have around us are filling with meaning for us, which we must manage. Working on the inner monologue is very important and it is worth the effort, since you can not only trust the outside. To be good with others, the first thing you should do is be comfortable with yourself.