Safeguarding mental health amidst socio-political unrest
Dr. Samant Darshi
Consultant – Psychaiatrist ,Psymate Noida.
Often the waves of any form of socio-political turbulence in a country are paralleled by roaring waves of angst and worry in normal citizens. During such times the mass consciousness resonates a dread of any unprecedented or unexpected event. Particularly in today’s time when the use of social networking is pervasive, all forms of information and misinformation spread rampantly.
The digital devices instantly navigate us to a virtual world making any form of information about unrest and violence readily available and believable. This is a manifestation of an information epidemic – Infodemic which means that there is an excess of information – some accurate and some not so accurate – that makes it hard for individuals to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.
Because of the way information is readily disseminated in the current world, any form of political and social unrest in a country can be instrumental in promptly creating feelings of uncertainty, grief and anxiety. Often present polarising point of view on political issues cause negative emotions in individuals. Often you may find it difficult to agree with another person who has a different opinion on a political issue which may lead to disagreement and conflict.
Here are some ways to shield your mental health from any stressor arising from socio-political scenarios
*It is great to be updated with the ongoing affairs however taking a break from excess information can prove to be effective in safeguarding one’s own mental health. Constant inflow of information can be overwhelming and in order to protect one’s mental health one needs to curtail the news exposure.
If you are unable to handle the unrest, it is best to limit your news time. Assign a designated place and time for watching the news. It is of utmost importance to differentiate between information and misinformation. It is both our moral and ethical obligation to be very responsible while sharing any information.
*Moreover, the social networking platforms have algorithms backed by artificial intelligence and are designed in a way that they selectively present information to the receiver. Such information is in-synch with the existing worldviews of the viewer and it further reinforces and solidifies their opinions.
*Moreover, it is always advisable to understand the other perspective as well in order to mitigate any strong negative emotion that one is experiencing.
*It is absolutely necessary to remember it is your mental health that matters the most. Take time off from what is going on around you and engage in calming activities like meditation, yoga or exercising.
(Dr. Samant Darshi is a Consultant – Psychaiatrist, Psymate Noida)