Saturday, 24 September 2022

“Positive thinking. How to deal with and overcome stress ”. Journey into the human mind to manage a common problem in the new book by the psychiatrist Pasquale Romeo

Do the processes of the mind affect human attitudes and behaviors and the well-being of the person?

The writer Pasquale Romeo in Trieste on tour for the presentation of the book "Positive thinking"

It is certain that no one is exempt from mental processes that, in one way or another, can affect their life, feelings and emotions, both positively and negatively. Mind and thoughts, when used well, play a particular role in stressful situations, facilitating people's success. The psychiatrist and psychotherapist Pasquale Romeo in “Positive thinking. How to deal with and overcome stress "(Diarkos Editore), released in bookstores and online book stores, adds another personal and scientific approach to specific specialist subjects in the disciplinary field. The writer increases his lively literary production which has more than twenty-six books under his belt and in the last twelve years he has also seen the birth of "Love and chaos. Protagonists and victims of emotional life "(Publisher Rubbettino) and" Tradire. The other side of love "(Bastogi Editrice Italiana).

Image 2 - The cover of the book "Positive thinking"

The author of the book knows the processes of the mind very well. With this last work he analyzes them from a different point of view, especially from the side of the elaboration of positive thinking. He has already dealt with various topics, which affect the spheres of the human psyche, on TV and newspaper broadcasts and columns; he  explained and studied them in depth as the national head of Forensic Medicine for the psychiatric discipline of the Research Group of the University of Siena and he also disseminated them, holding the role of editorial director of the magazine "Research".

In recent years, together with the important theory of scientific research in psychiatry and neuroscience, modeling has also been developed, well-structured and functional schemes in which people regardless of sex, whether men or women, have brilliantly overcome causes of stress and restlessness. They know how to better organize and plan their lives, they rebuild, rather than blame fate, fundamental aspects of their existence, not waiting but acting.

The volume "Il Pensieroitivo" in the bookshop

Modeling, therefore, have proved useful for personal growth and to improve people's lives and are not, therefore, only models intended for the training of university students who are about to graduate in psychotherapy or psychiatry.

Was this book of yours really needed to explore the intricacies of the mind again?

"Yes, there was a need - says Romeo - to discover more positivity, which transmits such an energy that we cannot but accept It. Stress

and all its different facets can only be faced with great positivity and confidence in life. This book was necessary because I believe in creative processes and in the value that ideas have ”.

Is it a book for everyone?

"One way to be in a relationship certainly involves the fact of being accessible to everyone. I don't particularly like 'niche' comparisons, I like being with people and talking to people from any social and cultural background. If a book is not born thinking of everyone, in order to belong to everyone, it risks being only of the writer: self-referential ".

Are more men or women, in the post-modern era, to suffer the effects of restlessness, anxiety and stress?

- The volume "Il Pensieroitivo" in the bookshop

“It is a collective phenomenon, a child of our age. To the point that it also affects children, such as separation anxiety and selective mutism. It concerns anyone who works in the psychological sector, but also simply those who work in helping professions such as teachers, lawyers and doctors. Of course, we are led to think that it is more women who suffer the effects of restlessness and anxiety and stress, and so it is clear from the scientific data on depression and anxiety. But I believe that women are only more courageous to declare it, to let themselves be seen by the world. The process is also valid for men, only they are less aware ”.

Why do so many live as if everything were a continuous trauma?

"Most of all because there is an extreme structural rigidity of the human being in this era. A tendency to grow and have grown up with stiffness, with little love of freedom and with an excessive love of comfort. The image of the man in front of the television with slippers and chips was deleterious. Anxiety is activated when we lose our comfort zone, which unfortunately is very large. Anxiety is a process that we know well on a physical level; think of when we have a chronic contraction and we are touched or stimulated on the part of the contracted muscles: we feel bad. Not only does the body contract, but the mind also becomes painful and traumatized ”. The difference that makes the difference in everyday life, the difference between who wins and who loses, is the attitude to get up after a bad experience. Romeo highlighted this at the presentation of his book in Reggio Calabria and housed in the headquarters of the "Dante Alighieri" University for Foreigners. It is precisely when we decide within ourselves not to activate a reaction in the face of certain episodes or unpleasant events in life that we lose the ability to learn even from our mistakes. If one remains in such a disadvantageous situation, that is, that of not reacting, even though it may apparently seem normal, one runs the risk of leaving a door open to psychological and psychopathological consequences that deeply affect the practical consequences that one experiences in daily life.

How can negative experiences be processed?

“Certainly by making sure to retrace some particularly difficult and sometimes very painful episodes or phases of life. It is a process - observes Romeo - that allows us to 're-feel', to soften ourselves emotionally to assimilate and make some experiences our own,  making them become 'me'. It is also important to let go of what we do not need, useless things, without ever forgetting one thing: knowledge as an end in itself is useless, perhaps it can be good for intellectual salons; knowledge is useful when it becomes the support base for action, for change. Primum movens awareness, then determination and action “.

Is the human mind still an incredible resource? An organ capable of generating multiple capabilities and extraordinary strength?

The audience at the "Dante Alighieri" University for Foreigners at the first presentation in Reggio Calabria of the book "Positive thinking"”

"The human mind is always an incredible resource. Many years ago I wrote the book 'Wake up the giant in you'. Energy is released as long as we are able to express our creative and innovative abilities; in this condition the human mind truly has an extraordinary, decisive  strength. Often, however, it is harnessed, stiffened and thus cannot express its ability to guide the body in dealing with life and making it a unique and enormously fascinating process ".

In everyday life, unexpected events or banalities, why do they often affect the balance of the mind and psycho-physical well-being in such a negative way?

“Because even if we may not realize it, difficulties and unforeseen events affect our comfort area, this is the first point. The second is

that the difficulty that presents itself before us could intervene on organisms that are already in difficulty, let's think of pre-existing psychopathologies. It is curious that difficulties, from an external eye, are defined as 'banality': from an objective point of view they are, from a subjective point of view they are enormous problems for the person. This difference is largely due to the way they are perceived and then to the way they are dealt with. Here the concept of 'resilience' emerges ".

What is resilience and how can it be managed?

The first presentation in Reggio Calabria, at the "Dante Alighieri" University, of the book "Positive thinking"

"Resilience is the key element that distinguishes a person and his reaction to stress. If we want to enter into resilience, in a profound way, it is essential to speak of a sense of coherence and resources of resistance; here we could better describe these parameters analytically and with peculiarities: the sense of coherence, characterized by a confidence that things will go as the individual hopes, is made up of three parameters, namely understanding, motivation, planning or signification. The cognitive dimension allows us to understand what we are going to do to provide an assessment of the dangers (Sense of Understanding); the motivational dimension, the Sense of Affordability, is closely related to self-esteem; the dimension that serves to follow up with the facts what has been understood is the Sense of Significance. Closely related to the Sense of Coherence are the resources of resistance; coping strategies can be identified, the adaptation systems that the individual, or generally a community, puts in place to cope with stressful events; each individual, of course, interacts in a particular way with events and on the basis of his/ her internal 'software'. We can think, for example, of those who face humanitarian missions, who fight wars and overcome traumas worthy of the name and who manage to return to their loved ones without manifesting any psychological consequences, post-traumatic disorder or panic attacks. Those I speak of are 'special' people, but for most of those who populate the Earth the trauma is inherent in the daily difficulties of life which, very often, in reality, are mere banalities ".

Can “positive thinking” be trained?

"Of course. First of all, we must begin to question ourselves again, question ourselves and then change and get better. The food for thought present in the book offers, in fact, a path, a path for everyone to be able to develop 'positive thinking' ".

Three tips to successfully overcome stressful, complicated and painful situations in life.

The psychiatrist Pasquale Romeo during a lecture at the University of Siena

"First of all, consider that you are constantly changing, never believe those who say that 'you can’t change'. Then we must give a lot of importance to creativity, which is not only that of artists but concerns everyday life and these days, in my opinion,  school is not teaching much creativity. To be successful in the face of situations that worry us, we must always evaluate the situation on an emotional level and activate the level of emotional intelligence and believe that what emerges within us is important. Life is not only rational understanding, therefore cognition, but it is also emotion; intervening on both fields makes the difference. It is essential to always have courage, that is determination, even if changing, doing something different, is always a little scary ".

What would you like the next book to do with you?

“Certainly - concludes Romeo - in praise of defeat. Together with other colleagues, I am preparing a conference on this topic. I believe it is necessary to educate the new generations to the value of defeat. In this world of vulgar and dishonest winners, of doers who occupy power for themselves and not for others, who snatch the future let alone the present, we must educate ourselves to reconcile ourselves to the 'sacred' little and, in this little there is, it's a lot!".

  • Photo Source: Pasquale Romeo