The news has not been encouraging at all lately, but few people can afford the “luxury” to completely abandon them. Even if you don’t watch TV, the information will “catch up” with you on social media. How to stay calm and not become a victim of doomscrolling, tells psychologist Olga Romaniv.
1. Have days without news and social networks
The constant scrolling of the news feed, or the so-called doom scrolling, has recently become a part of the life of most Internet users. On the one hand, we want to be aware of all the news, especially bad news, on the other hand, this condition can be called painful. Because it brings certain harm to our psychological state.
Since the end of February of this year, the number of calls to specialists – psychologists and psychiatrists – has been steadily growing. Also, statistics show that the demand for antidepressants and sedatives has increased significantly. It is clear that in the short term there is no need to wait for good news, so the concern for morale falls on our own shoulders.
If you want to maintain mental health, then arrange days without news at all! Do it forcibly, because at first it can be difficult to introduce this habit. For example, on weekends do not go to social networks, do not turn on the computer, do not watch TV. Just block any information. You will still recognize her on Monday, remember that.
2. Use the “small deed theory”
Renowned psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who at one time was a prisoner of Auschwitz, wrote a book on how to survive in difficult, inhuman conditions. His main advice was “the theory of small things”. Every day we get up and we have a certain list of tasks that we need to complete in order to keep ourselves and our psychological state: make breakfast, take a shower, go to work, go to the store, play with a child, chat with parents, call a friend or girlfriend, etc. Everyone has their own list of household chores, which, no matter what anyone says, helps us stay afloat and does not allow us to lose a sense of reality.
The most important thing is to remain human and find the strength in yourself to do something even in difficult conditions, work on yourself, focus on yourself, your loved ones and fulfilling the primary tasks. This will help keep you from going crazy with worry and losing your sense of reality.
3. Keep working
Don’t quit your job! Moreover, take on some additional responsibilities. This will allow you to switch, think about specific pressing tasks, they will definitely not allow you to view news feeds.
4. Do what you love
Even in difficult conditions, you can find an outlet in what you have always loved – music, poetry, literature, cinema. The therapeutic effect is guaranteed if you really like it. No matter how nervous you are, force yourself to do what you love. Buy movie tickets – now there are retrospectives of good films: for 1.5-2 hours you are guaranteed to be distracted from the negative. Concerts, theater, performances by your favorite artists – let yourself relax.
Use various breathing practices (pranayama), in combination with yoga or on its own. One of the simplest techniques: sit in a comfortable position, you can even on a chair, but in this position, the feet must be firmly planted on the floor. Straighten your back, place the index and middle fingers of your right hand on a point in the center of your forehead, cover your right nostril with your thumb and try to breathe with your left for at least one minute. Observe your breath, trying to stretch your inhalations and exhalations. After a minute, open the right nostril, cover the left with the ring finger and breathe again. At the end, observe your condition.
Another way to switch attention can be considered pronouncing your disturbing thoughts and discussing the situation. But here it is important to find like-minded people. Because dialogue with those who do not share your views will only add nerves and depression. Unfortunately, today not everyone can count on support even within their own family. Talk with friends, you can find communication in the same social networks, where everyone is focused not only on the news, but is also ready to joke, share something important or unimportant. Life goes on, and we should not focus on one thing, try to keep it as diverse as possible.
7. Do not forbid yourself to laugh and joke
Don’t forget about humor. If you can’t find something funny, someone definitely has a joke, a meme, a story about what is happening, but with a touch of humor. Humor helps to survive in the most difficult situations: if we laugh at something, we have almost conquered our fear.