According to statistics, after the pandemic, the number of people experiencing depression has increased. And it’s not even a job loss or a past illness, but how abruptly we were pulled out of our familiar environment and forced to get used to a completely new way of life. And so twice. The need to turn off the beaten track is stressful - and there is no escape from it. Actually, there is no need to go away. It is better to live these emotions fully, to understand how you feel, only then can you truly free yourself from them. Understanding the algorithms for effective self-help in a stressful situation.
Clinical psychologist, Ph.D
In stress management there is such a concept - coping behavior. “Cope” in English means to cope, to overcome. The term “coping” in the Russian-language psychological literature means overcoming behavior, that is, the efforts that we make to experience a difficult moment.
A person is stressed if he feels that he is in danger. What strategy should you choose to deal with the situation? In fact, there are only two coping strategies. The first is active, aimed at solving the problem. It is effective if we believe that we can make a difference. The second is passive, aimed at managing yourself, your own emotions. It makes sense to choose this strategy when control over the situation is impossible. Of course, the problem will not disappear anywhere, but we can at least ease our worries about it. And it also happens that, having reduced emotional stress, we begin to see a solution to the problem, that is, we can move from a passive strategy to an active one.
Some people react more calmly to stress and recover more easily, others in a similar situation feel depressed and sick for a long time. What determines a person's resistance to stress? First of all - from his personal coping resources.
All our resources can be divided into external and internal. External ones are social support, material wealth. Internal - these are personal qualities, physical condition, lifestyle.
Unfortunately, we are not always aware of our personal resources, and sometimes we simply cannot get access to them due to some psychological barriers. For example, past negative experiences make us expect failure in a similar situation in advance, or we are paralyzed by inadequate parenting attitudes. If you feel that you are not making full use of your resources, find a training session where you can upgrade your falling skills. Or contact a psychologist if possible.
And, of course, you need to take care of your physical shape. We all know how much the state of health affects the emotional background. Even the same situation can be stressful in one case, but not in another, depending on how we are feeling at the moment.
In modern society, the cult of a rational attitude to life is being implanted, but for a person this is not natural. We need emotions to survive and thrive. And at the same time, if given to them uncontrollably, they can destroy us.
How do you deal with strong negative emotions? Let's look at an algorithm for effective self-help in a stressful situation.
- Become aware of how you are feeling at the moment. To do this, it is necessary to recognize the existence of an emotion, no matter how negative it may be. The hardest part is to recognize emotions that are contrary to social norms. For example, I hate my father, but you have to love him. I envy my colleagues, but it's customary to be happy for them!
- Identify and verbalize your state as accurately as possible. If you’re mad and say “I’m upset,” it will not help relieve stress. Find a definition that is as appropriate as possible. Don't be afraid to take the time to find the right word. By analyzing your condition, you will learn more about yourself, and in the future this knowledge will help you better understand the emotions of other people.
- Accept the named emotion and assign it to yourself. Say to yourself, "Yes, I'm mad" or "Yes, I'm scared."
- React and take some action: share your feelings with someone or use special relaxation techniques, or beat a punching bag and let off steam. Find a relaxation method that's right for you, and be sure to use it in stressful situations. Don't suppress your emotions! This is a sure path to depression and the development of somatic diseases.
Analysis of your emotional state must be carried out regularly. This is especially important for people working in the social sphere. No matter how busy we are, we need to find time to put our nerves in order. Remember the rule of motorists - regularly undergo technical inspection. If you miss THAT, you get a major overhaul. Taking care of your mental health is an essential part of your lifestyle. Do THAT so that you don't have to get up for a major overhaul!
By the way, if you liked the topic, other free webinars of the Institute for Additional Professional Education of Social Workers about emotional intelligence can be viewed here.