Mental health key to surviving Covid fear, say psychologists

PATNA: The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is taking a toll on the mental health of people, psychologists and counsellors have warned and suggest that mental health is key to survive this scourge is more important now than ever.
Patna University’s psychology department head Md Iftekhar Hussain says people should not allow negative thoughts to linger. “Several people have indeed been infected by the Covid-19 pandemic in the recent past, but it is also true that a vast majority of them have fully recovered. So dwelling only on the negatives is not helpful,” he says.

Hussain suggests that people should hold onto simpler joys of life and keep in contact with friends and do basic things that will keep them positive. They should read interesting books of their choice and watch movies, especially comedies to keep themselves engaged.
“With the overwhelming amount of coverage surrounding this pandemic on social media, TV and the radio, it is pretty easy to pick up on the fear pandemic that runs alongside this virus. It’s very frustrating that there’s no active power from the leading authorities to encourage a more positive approach alongside this challenging time,” Hussain adds.
Patna College psychology department’s professor Sheo Sagar Prasad holds that the fear psychosis arising from the pandemic is limited to urban people mostly. Labourers, industry workers and farmers are least concerned about the pandemic and they are leading a carefree life. He

feels people should limit their media intake. Being completely absorbed in the media during this time will do them no good. There are very few people that can spend hours and hours in front of negativity without feeling the impact, he says.
“Fear will not change the situation, it will only weaken our fight against the situation. We should protect ourselves as much as we can from conversations, environments and technology that engulf us in these negative frequencies,” Prasad adds.
Retired civil surgeon and, mental health counsellor, Dr Kumkum Prasad says that instead of reading or watching saddening news, people should focus on positives as much as they can. On social media, they should share posts, captions and comments that are positive. Positive thoughts and emotions are known to boost our immune system, also giving us an increased power in overcoming the virus should it come our way.

If people find spare time, they should try to learn a new language online or buy an online cookbook and try some new healthy, immune-boosting recipes. They can also join some online yoga classes or mediation sessions and remain free from all anxieties of the world, Prasad adds.
Psychological counsellor R N Chaturvedi suggests that people should take up yogic exercises and meditation besides following their hobbies more vigorously as they have got plenty of free time now. They should always keep themselves busy in some constructive works and never allow any negative thoughts to creep in. They should take not of only positive developments going on both at local and global level and try to stay happy. “Be aesthetic and believe in God,” he adds.

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