Psychological War

Drawings of Chinese man with face mask on wall

Coronavirus Eating My Brain Away

Times have really changed during the last couple of months. Countries all over the world are battling a viral pandemic that is not only affecting the human body, but the mind as well. The virus is causing great damage to not only the elderly but young folks with no comorbidities. More hospitals in the U.S. and Italy are seeing younger people being admitted and even intubated! This virus is causing panic and skyrocketing anxiety levels; it has become a psychological war.

Store shelves all across the world are emptying at an alarming rate. Walmart and other big chains are decreasing their employee work hours. Countries in Europe such as France, Italy and Spain are under nationwide lockdowns. Public events such as sporting games, concerts and shows have all been canceled.

This virus is now even causing anxiety from one’s home. You don’t even have to leave your living room to feel anxious; your perception on reality is slowly changing. You’re starting to view society as a dangerous place to be. But then again, you don’t want to remain locked inside your home because you want to continue living a normal life.

So you’re gridlocked; you either isolate yourself in your home or you take a chance and go about in society. Either way, your anxiety has never been this high. Psychiatric patients are also suffering more, especially those with a preexisting anxiety disorder or OCD. Those with anxiety are even more worried about their everyday lives and those with OCD are washing their hands until they turn red.

The coronavirus is slowly entering our minds and controlling us. It wants us paralyzed with fear. It whispers to us, “If I can’t get you sick physically, at least I’ll torture you mentally.” Many of us can control our anxiety and go about living our normal lives, but many people are vulnerable to freezing and allowing their preexisting mental illness to get the better half of them.

The most important thing to remember during these types of psychological wars is to remain positive and go about living your normal life without fear. Once you allow fear to plant a seed in your mind, you become a victim before anything even hatches. Take care of your physical health by washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, eating healthy and exercising and maintaining a positive outlook on life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Taking A Break From Yourself

White man standing with silver reflective mask on face in front of yellow lights outside

Giving Your Ego A Break

Your ego is the mask that you put on in the morning, along with your outfit and hair product. While the latter two are necessary, you can leave the former tucked into your bedroom from time to time. Taking a break from yourself is done by giving your ego a break at the same time. The ego is your sense of self-esteem or self-importance.

Taking a break from yourself is important because it helps you to integrate new thoughts, beliefs and information without overloading your state of mind. You can do this by leaving your ego at home from time to time; give it days off where it can relax and take a breather. What holds people back from doing this is the fear of vulnerability without their ego present.

Whenever you are stroking your ego on a consistent basis, you’re contributing to its inflation; it only grows bigger and bigger is not always better. Bigger egos contribute to more emotional insecurity and uncertainty, poorer relationships and riskier behaviors and decision-making. Bigger egos inflate your natural (healthy) narcissistic traits; natural is good, but supernatural is risky.

Over time, you’ll actually feel better about yourself after having given your ego sufficient breaks. So the question arises, “if I’m leaving my ego at home and my ego is my mask, then what will I be wearing today?” This can be answered with, “why do you have to wear something on your face?”

People want to see the authentic you, and nothing shines brighter than your true self minus the ego. The ego is not meant to be worn every day; utilize it when you need it most, like important meetings, dates, job interviews or any situations that require you to put on your best performance.

But these situations should not be every day, and you should learn to utilize your ego less and less, even in high-pressure situations. The more comfortable that you become without your ego, the more confident, relaxed and joyful you will feel. And your ego will also become a better representation of yourself, when given sufficient time to unwind and rest in the comforts of your bedroom.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Reading Body Language

Woman standing in front of man near tent in woods

Mental Health And Body Language

If you take away anything from this article, it’s that body language speaks louder than words. Especially during childhood and adolescence, words and expressions often have a much greater impact on communication than body language does. But reading body language can be mastered even at a young age, such as when girls attempt to show boys that they are not interested in them.

As one ages and matures, body language starts to become more obvious in everyday interactions. But believe it or not, many people don’t master reading body language because they don’t pay attention to it: it either doesn’t come naturally for them or they continue to make the same mistake of carelessly ignoring it.

Reading body language will divulge much more valuable and honest information about one’s character than the words coming out of their mouth. Why is that? Because body language is controlled by the unconscious mind, while words are specifically chosen in the moment.

No one deliberately controls their body language: “I’m going to cross my legs now in order to show someone that I have patience.” Body movements happen on an unconscious level and can be utilized to your advantage to learn more about someone’s character. Think of it like a cheat code: you can abstract information about how someone thinks and feels without even hearing them speak!

Except that it’s not a cheat code: it’s reality. Mental health also comes into play regarding body language. In behavioral health, this is called someone’s “affect”: how you perceive their body language in regards to their mood. One may state that their mood is “depressed” and their affect may by congruent: slouched position, sad face, maybe even tears.

Utilize body language to interpret your family members’ and friends’ mental health. If their posture and the way that they carry themselves is not mood-congruent, then you know that something is up with their mental health. An even more effective tool to add to your social toolbox is listening more than talking, while observing one’s body language!

If you can effectively listen and observe one’s body language without talking too much, you are setting yourself up nicely for understanding one’s character. Always remember that body language speaks louder than words. If you can master reading body language, you will increase your emotional intelligence and prosper in the realm of socialization.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Pattern Recognition

Star constellation in space

Psychological Patterns Of Life

Life is often made more complicated than it has to be. Our emotions get in the way and steer us off course when things were meant to go straight. Sometimes we veer back in the right direction, while other times, we crash and burn. But emotions are normal to experience and must not be suppressed; they will only come back out at a later time.

Rather than suppressing emotions, you must experience them, but without allowing them to fog your lenses. Fogged lenses chip away at life patterns which are meant to help make your life easier and more enjoyable. So first things first: do not allow your emotions to interfere with pattern recognition!

What is psychological pattern recognition? A pattern is a reliable sample of traits, acts, tendencies or behaviors of a person, group or institution. Your unconscious mind recognizes patterns and helps you utilize them in times of need. But the problem is that your unconscious mind has many other responsibilities and does not devote the majority of its time to helping you recognize patterns.

That is where you come in! You must be sharp, wise and observant. Every day is an opportunity for you to recognize a new pattern in life, whether it be related to verbal communication, body language, interactions, conversations, exchanging of information or learning new information.

If you do not recognize patterns, you are doomed to repeat past mistakes and halt your progress in life. A lot of patterns are psychological in nature because they arise in the mind and are related to the mental and emotional states of others. We are surrounded by people every day; thus, we are surrounded by psychological patterns all the time.

Do not live in oblivion. To make your life easier and advance at a smoother pace, you must learn to recognize the many psychological patterns of life. As soon as you start doing this, the dots will start to connect and stars will start to align; even if you cannot see them.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Unconscious Mind

Blue ice cave in the middle of an iceberg floating on body of water

Controlled By The Unknown

The only real glimpse of the unconscious mind is through dreams; even then, it is carefully disguised in vague and bizarre forms. What is the unconscious mind? Is it even ours or are we all connected to some universal program which we tap into? Are we being controlled by someone or something else?

Our behavior, actions, emotions, thoughts and expressions are all a byproduct of our unconscious mind. Visualize an iceberg; the unconscious is everything beneath the surface. The tip of the iceberg is our everyday life. Can you imagine how little we know about ourself?

One begs the question, “can the unconscious be accessed?” The simple answer is yes. One can choose to undergo psychoanalytic or psychodynamic psychotherapy. The goal of these therapies are to bring to light unconscious conflicts which are responsible for our current thoughts and behavior.

A second method to accessing the unconscious is keeping track of your dreams and analyzing them. It starts with keeping a dream diary and recording the dreams within 20 minutes of waking up. This takes much motivation and most likely guidance from a professional trained in dream interpretation. And even then, can we really trust the meaning of dreams?

Some argue that the unconscious mind is where we repress undesirable thoughts and wishes. Some thoughts, being too powerful and uncomfortable for the waking mind are kicked back into a mental compartment for storage; the unconscious mind! But this does not mean that unconscious thoughts are not active. It’s quite the opposite: they are working full-time in ways that may be influencing our behavior.

It can also be argued that our personality is controlled by the unconscious mind. What we say and do and how we think and react may be byproducts of the unconscious mind; like a puppet master pulling the strings. So the goal becomes: accessing the puppet master and taking back control of our mind.

Most people are not in tune with their unconscious mind, nor do they care to become so. That is why the human mind is easily influenceable by the media: news, movies, music, video games, etc. The unconscious mind records everything 24/7. For instance, when you step outside and walk to your car, you may not notice that a bird just flew in your periphery, but your unconscious mind recorded that event!

Therefore, we must all tune in and attempt to discover our unconscious mind. Take control of your life even if it means stepping into the unknown!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)