Table of contents:
- Thousands of articles and self-help books, hundreds of scientific conferences and trainings are devoted to the topic of psychological stability, self-regulation and stress management. Many are ready to give up untold wealth for the chance to continue plowing at the same volume and pace, but at the same time feel good. Well, you have to upset you in advance: no one has yet invented a magic remedy that would make the body's resources endless. Nevertheless, each of us is capable of arranging our life so that it is easier to cope with difficulties
- Choose your parents wisely
- What can be done
- Do you want to live - be flexible
- Accept and stop fighting
Video: Features Of Psychologically Strong People - Self-development
Thousands of articles and self-help books, hundreds of scientific conferences and trainings are devoted to the topic of psychological stability, self-regulation and stress management. Many are ready to give up untold wealth for the chance to continue plowing at the same volume and pace, but at the same time feel good. Well, you have to upset you in advance: no one has yet invented a magic remedy that would make the body's resources endless. Nevertheless, each of us is capable of arranging our life so that it is easier to cope with difficulties
When foreign experts talk about psychological resilience, they use the wonderful English word resilience. It is difficult to translate it word for word, because it includes three important aspects at once:
- resistance to external influences - resilience, inflexibility, the ability to stay on your own, no matter what hurricanes of stress try to knock you down;
- endurance - the ability to withstand heavy loads with the least damage to health, that is, during overloads, remain as full of strength as possible;
- recovery potential - the speed with which you come to your senses when all the hardest is finally over.
Considering the rhythm of life we live in, how much responsibility, uncertainty and stress factors each of us has, a pinch of that very resilience would be useful to us all. But where do you get it from? How to become a psychologically strong person?
Choose your parents wisely
More and more research confirms that the experience of our intrauterine development and the first months or even days after birth lays the foundation for stress resistance for the rest of our lives.
Heredity, the way our parents or guardians treat us, the characteristics of the environment in which we were born - all this determines how resilient our body will be, what emotions we will have, what diseases we will be susceptible to and how long we will live.
Robert Sapolsky, a famous American biologist and specialist in the physiology and psychology of stress, notes with irony: "As for people who want to cope with stress and ensure healthy aging, they need to choose parents with good genes and high socio-economic status." … Well, in the next life we will definitely try!
Moreover, Daniel Siegel, a renowned child psychiatrist, neurobiologist and researcher of contemplative practices, argues that the development of a child's psychological stability is directly dependent on the parent-child relationship. Safety, calmness, attention, tenderness are the key aspects of a relationship that are necessary to strengthen the nervous system of a small person. How babies respond to stress and how quickly they return to a state of mental balance after it also depends on how parents handle their own experiences.
Have the adults figured out their lives? Are they aware of their own emotions and do they understand the reasons for their occurrence? Can they describe in words the nature of a person's inner world? Can they themselves return to balance after emotional outbursts? As they say, first go to a psychologist yourself, and then put on an oxygen mask on your child.
Obviously, none of us chose our parents, cultural and economic environment or era. None of us chose our genes or planned in advance the first days of life. As Paul Gilbert, clinical psychologist and founder of compassion-centered psychotherapy, says, we all just find ourselves in a stream of life that can cause pain and suffering.
We have no way of influencing the structure of our own brain or how the world works. Nevertheless, we have the ability to be aware of our place in this flow, to take into account our characteristics and, based on this, choose ways to take care of ourselves and others.
What can be done
In fact, we are amazing creatures. There are so many contradictions in us that go and figure out what is good for us and what only aggravates the situation. However, Sapolsky is quick to inspire us: "We can change the way we are able to deal with stress - both physiologically and psychologically." Based on numerous studies, he concludes that for this it is necessary to work in several directions, and in each of them to achieve a golden mean:
- Control: People with an internal locus of control (that is, those who acknowledge their responsibility for what is happening in their lives, and do not blame fate and other people for everything) cope better with stressful situations, since they are less susceptible to feelings of acquired helplessness. Control, however, has a downside: the stronger the stressor, the more harmful it is to believe that you are responsible for the result, because then the feeling of guilt is inevitable that you did not do everything possible, even if objectively nothing depended on you. … So it's best to regain a sense of control over the daily little things that generate constant background stress.
- Predictability: The more likely something might go wrong, the more we become anxious and tense - this is logical. Therefore, it is normal to prepare in advance for possible complications. However, a completely predictable life is devoid of pleasure (this is, again, scientifically proven), so in the interests of psychological well-being, you can take care to develop your tolerance for uncertainty and look for your charm in it.
- Social support: modern psychology pays tremendous attention to the development of healthy relationships between people. Social support weakens the effect of stress - the main thing is to figure out whose it is. Safe, trusting relationships, the ability to share experiences with like-minded people and be heard are the key to our resilience, endurance and ability to recover. Remember that providing support is just as good for your health as it is receiving it.
- Ways to release nervous tension: many animals relieve their stress by taking out aggression on their relatives weaker, but I still want to hope for the development of a society of mutual respect and empathy, so let's try to resort to more peaceful means. Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, is a universal option for weakening the response to psychological stress. And the secret is not only regularity, but also a sincere desire to do them. Stick sports do not have the same healing effect on the body as enjoyable exercise.
- Subjective perception of the life situation: we have an amazing gift - in our own head we are able to inflate a small stressor to the scale of an elephant, thereby exposing ourselves to inadequate physiological overload. Therefore, psychotherapy, coaching, meditation, bodily practices, and other forms of self-knowledge and self-regulation help us figure out how to perceive reality and ourselves in it for the benefit of our health and well-being.
Do you want to live - be flexible
What image comes to your mind when you say resilience? Many associate this quality with a mountain (therefore, for example, in many meditations this image is used to create a feeling of inner balance and groundedness). But there is a problem: we are still living people, not mountains, so stability is not inherent in us by nature. We are 60–70% water. Our emotions fluctuate almost every minute in response to external influences or our own thoughts. Even our life principles and beliefs can change. And it is this variability that can play into your hands if you learn to use it.
In one of the modern trends in cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), special attention is paid to the development of psychological flexibility. It is about the ability to stay in touch with any of your experiences, even with the most unpleasant thoughts, feelings and sensations, and at the same time make your life more and more meaningful.
This is especially important these days, because we easily lose contact with what we experience from moment to moment and what is really important to us - in other words, with our values. When this happens (and it happens to all of us to one degree or another in different periods of life), then there is a feeling that life loses its meaning and turns into a continuous struggle or painful service.
The essence of psychological flexibility is to stop fighting what you find unbearable. Russ Harris, one of the leading ACT practitioners and advocates of the field, explains: “If you find a certain emotion positive, you may be trying it again; if you write it down as negative, you will be even more desperate to get rid of it. Thus, evaluating emotions sets you up to deal with them … Making evaluations is the most common way that the mind aggravates our emotional discomfort. "
Accept and stop fighting
We all sometimes ask ourselves why we feel so bad and why all these troubles are falling upon us, we convince ourselves that we are not able to cope with them, or indulge in fruitless dreams of an alternative reality in which all this is not. But all this plunges us only into a state of helplessness and hopelessness, self-criticism and denial.
Instead, we have the opportunity to develop an inner observer who is able to look at any experience without judgment and simply turn off the inner struggle with them. Russ Harris offers a convenient metaphor for this. Imagine that you have such a lever in your head - a "struggle switch". When it's ON, emotions escalate - for example, we worry and get angry about being anxious and angry. Or we get scared from the fact that we are in pain, and then we also blame ourselves for such cowardice. This naturally exacerbates the physiological responses of stress, making us more vulnerable and less resilient.
If the struggle switch is on "OFF", emotions become weaker and change faster, which means that they cause less intense reactions: worries me. " We feel better accepting our reactions rather than fighting them. If you are stuck in the quicksand of stress, excitement and adversity, stop floundering - you can only get out if you accept the reality around you and act without haste.
After all, this is what awareness is all about. Notice without responding impulsively. Slow down without succumbing to autopilot habits. Treat your experiences with a non-judgmental and curious attitude, without adding fuel to the fire of resistance. To regain control over what is really within our control - and let it go where nothing depends on us. And return to what is truly important, not allowing the hurricane of life's difficulties to lead us astray.