The Triple Psychological Pandemic: Anxiety, Stress And Depression

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We are witnessing a silent pandemic that does not appear on the news and is wreaking havoc: the triad of anxiety, stress and depression spreads widely in this society, which is the perfect breeding ground for its proliferation. If you fear suffering from it, you are right, because it is estimated that all of us at some point in our lives have fallen or will fall into its clutches. So prevention is better than cure, because yes, there is a vaccine. And if you have not been vaccinated and you already suffer from it, nothing happens, the vaccine can work as an antidote if we catch it in time. Let’s see how.

The mental health pandemic and the triple A vaccine

We have created the perfect ecosystem for this 21st century flu; the multitasking society, social networks, information excess, the global village, planned obsolescence, etc. And our psyche has not evolved at the same pace, it is like a computer with a lot of apps and windows open, no matter how good a processor you have, no matter how many updates you make, it will crash.

That is, too much time supporting the cognitive and emotional overweight of your daily tasks (stress), and worrying about everything that may also come to you (anxiety) causes wear and tear that, sooner or later, will generate collapse due to exhaustion. (depression). So as you can see, these three characters get along very well, if you invite one of them, the rest will probably join the party.

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Once they attack you, each of them has a different, but complementary, modus operandi: Stress intoxicates you with the present, anxiety with the future and depression with the past. Faced with these problems, the solution is not to go on a life diet (which you already do, when you go on vacation, for example) but you already know that it only works in the short term. So the definitive solution is to train your basal emotional state throughout the year. Training your mind is the vaccine. And it is a triple A vaccine:

1. Self-pity

When you catch yourself in your internal mental dialogue talking down to yourself, criticizing yourself, scolding yourself for having made a mistake, that is, treating yourself like your worst enemy, pause and confront everything you are saying to yourself and rephrase it all so that you begin to talk to you like your best friend would. It can help you to give that little evil voice a name and address it to silence it and question it. In essence, take care of yourself, love yourself and pamper yourself. Starting with how you address yourself within. With this mental attitude you will begin to treat yourself better, and your self-esteem will increase.

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2. Acceptance

To cultivate acceptance the best mental exercise is to meditate. Sit quietly for at least 5 or 10 minutes a day and just observe what happens without trying to change anything. Meditating is not about blanking your mind or reaching altered states of consciousness as they tell you in the movies. Meditating is sitting and observing how everything happens, everything arrives and everything changes, and with this you develop a mental state of consciousness and equanimity that will accompany you for the rest of the day.

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So if you don’t relax or hallucinate when meditating, but over time you manage to shift the quality of your mind more often from autopilot mode to presence mode, you will have gotten your vaccine. When life’s events bring you problems, your immune system will be at its best to face whatever comes. If you can change things, you will fight; If you cannot change them, you will flow without resistance.

3. Gratitude

A grateful mind is a resilient mind, it has the ability to see the stars at night. You can also work. I propose the following technique for you to do before going to bed every night: close your eyes and remember something nice from today, the simpler and more novel the better, it could be a word, a smile, a ray of sunshine, etc. Recover that moment with great detail inside, relive it.

When you have it, be grateful for this opportunity to re-experience it. Feel gratitude throughout your body as an energy that floods you and permeates you entirely. Bring another memory and do the same: relive it and be grateful. And a third time, with this last one, in addition to feeling grateful for the memory, feel grateful for being grateful, and keep yourself completely bathed in this feeling of gratitude flowing throughout your body before opening your eyes and finishing the exercise.

That pleasant feeling is what is produced by the serotonin pulsating inside you, which is responsible for your happiness. With this exercise you will become good friends, and over time, you will not wait for the evening exercise, naturally, your mind will be receptive and grateful for the small pleasant gestures all day.

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And as you may have imagined, these three elements are your triple A vaccine because together they work better than separately against the anxiety/stress/depression triad. I suggest you start right now and try it either as a vaccine or as an antidote.

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