On what consequences stress can cause and how to avoid it, our expert is a psychologist, Professor Yu. V. Shcherbatykh.
Today everyone is talking about the economic crisis. Many have already been affected by its consequences - they have reduced their salaries, and some have been fired altogether. Of course, these troubles cannot but touch us, we get upset, sometimes even excessively, exaggerating the degree of grief.
Stress is a clearly unhe althy thing, and prolonged stress can deplete the immune system and, according to experts, cause various diseases - from cardiovascular to oncological. What does the word “crisis” mean to you personally? Do you feel its consequences, how do you experience them? Let's discuss the article, we also invite you to talk on this topic in our forum.
Psychological stress, according to some experts, causes up to 70% of all cardiovascular diseases. Stress can lead to genetic disorders, increasing the likelihood of cancer. However, scientists have found that stress reactions can cause not only real events, but also those that have not yet happened, but the onset of which a person is afraid. How to avoid this, our expert - a psychologist, Professor Yu. V. Shcherbatykh
The most dangerous are not strong and short stresses, but long ones, even if not so strong. Short-term severe stress activates a person, as if shaking him, after which all body indicators return to normal. And prolonged stress depletes strength, and especially the immune system. Therefore, our task is not to bring stress to a chronic stage, to try to solve problems immediately, even with maximum effort. After all, sometimes we get so used to stress that we don’t feel its effects. We get used to our gloomy face, tightly clenched teeth, head, going into the shoulders, tense, sometimes painful, muscles. But we can and must resist stress, especially since psychological science has developed many ways to overcome it. But first, you must definitely find out what kind of stress you are facing, and only then select funds from it.
Stress we can't control
What is this? This includes many of the annoyances of our lives - from a car that splashed mud on your favorite coat, or a boss reprimand to being fired from work or the bank where your savings collapsed. If your problem cannot be solved, accept it with your soul as a given and try to live calmly and with dignity with it. Such acceptance will help you calm down and direct your energy not to getting rid of the problem (which is no longer possible), but to fully living it. If the trouble is born by the shortcomings of others (stupidity, anger, envy), do not take it to heart, these are not your problems, but other people's. Do not exaggerate the boundaries of grief. Everything is relative, and what seems to you the collapse of the world, for other people - the usual stress. Wars, epidemics, natural disasters and many other terrible misfortunes have befallen mankind for centuries, but people have survived if their courage did not betray them. Remember that we survived perestroika and the collapse of the USSR in 1991, and then the default of 1998 - and yet we are alive and well, and those who were too worried about these events have already left this world.
How to behave?
1. Pull back. Imagine that an unpleasant situation was filmed and you are viewing this recording as an outside observer. How did it look from the outside, where were you, what did you do, how did you move, etc. Have you tried it? Good. Now make the image black and white and mentally run the film over again. Do you feel your emotions fade away? Turn the volume down and the picture down, and your unpleasant experiences will also fade away and be far away from you.
2. Manage emotions through the body. When a person is stressed, their muscles tighten and their heart beats faster, which only increases the overall stress of the body.
If a person manages to relax his muscles and calm his breathing, then his brain will calm down, and then emotions will subside. Try to think about something that is not very pleasant, that makes you annoyed, sad, or irritated, such as a possible pay cut. Thought? Now put a smile on your face and hold it for a couple of minutes. At the same time, evaluate how your emotions will change. They will surely change, and for the better.
Now, if someone is trying to spoil your mood, tell yourself “stop!”, then remember some pleasant episode from your life. Smile and keep smiling for five minutes. Then draw more air into your lungs and exhale slowly, mentally getting rid of the remnants of negative emotions.
Stress we can influence
What is this? For example, let's say your organization is about to lay off staff and you're nervous about the possibility of being fired. In this case, do not passively wait for the verdict, but do everything in your power in advance to minimize the risk of reduction.
How to behave?
1. Try to understand the problems of the company, the concerns and needs of the leader. Remember what qualities and skills management values most, and subtly demonstrate them at every opportunity. Become a truly essential worker. If you can do something useful for your company, do not miss the chance.
2. Don't be a sufferer and a workaholic. Try to be fun and casual. Even if colleagues are trying to sit each other down and look like a wolf, smile! Cheer up those who feel bad. Use humor and show optimism. Such people are loved and appreciated, especially in difficult times. But arrogant people and whiners are always the first candidates for dismissal.
3. Read labor laws. Perhaps you are going to be fired illegally, in which case you can insist on receiving the due payments and compensation. In any case, consult with a lawyer to find out what rights you have and what you need to do to exercise them.
Do not succumb to provocations and do not rush to write a statement "of your own free will" just because the employer insists on it. Bargain and manipulate - you have the moral right to do so, especially in difficult times.
Stress created by the imagination
What is this? A picture of the surrounding world is created in the head of each person - his model. This model, by definition, will be incomplete (since it is impossible to fit the infinite world into one, even a very smart head) and distorted (since information about the world comes mostly in an indirect form - from other people, from books, television, as a result of inferences etc). Therefore, if we see that the world gives us too many problems and stresses, then most likely the problem is not in the world, but in us. You can, of course, fight what we consider unfair and die in this struggle, or you can change your view of the world and live more happily and calmly.
How to behave?
1. Live "here and now"! 75% of our fears are related to future events, 25% - to the past, and only 5% - to the present. Cut off 95% of your anxiety for the simple reason that as you read this, most of your stressors don't concern you at all! Do not give in to anxiety if the trouble has not yet occurred. Live in the present, for the future is changeable, and until trouble occurs, it is foolish to start crying ahead of time.
Remember that in this world no one owes you anything! Do not demand from others excessively good attitude towards yourself, and no one will be able to upset you. Those who rely on the state, bosses or business partners sooner or later run the risk of experiencing disappointment or resentment, and those who do not expect gifts from life rejoice even at the smallest.
You, by the way, don't owe anything to anyone either. Learn to refuse others what you have to do through force, and not at the behest of the soul.
2. Avoid negative ratings. There is nothing completely good or completely bad in this world. Therefore, try to distribute less negative reviews. Remove from your vocabulary words that carry negative energy: “terrible”, “bad”, “disgusting”, etc. At the same time, do not skimp on compliments to people and life circumstances. Find reasons to exclaim “great!”, “great!”, “interesting!”, “amazing!”.
3. Look for the positive in any situation, learn to benefit from everything. Benefits can be found everywhere - you just need to look. Remember that there are no absolute failures. There is only feedback, through which the world gives you signs that tell you how you need to change your behavior. Learn to recognize them - and you will achieve a lot in life.
4. Don't hesitate to wait. Blows and gifts of fate alternate naturally. Do not go ahead against fate, and she will thank you.
5. Imagine that everything has already happened. A very efficient method. Imagine for 10 minutes that everything you feared has already happened. Get into your new position. Feel bitterness and despair for a while, and then wash yourself with cold water and make a plan of your actions in the new conditions. It turns out that it is quite possible to live like this! Moreover, you will surely feel some relief, as the fear of the unknown and the stress of waiting will disappear. And then realize that all these troubles you made up, that they have not happened yet and maybe they will not happen at all if you take certain measures.
In general, see your life as one and only. You have been given a unique chance to be born on this Earth - appreciate it. The Lord did not let you get bored, sending both joys and trials, and only after experiencing them, you will learn to adequately endure the first and appreciate the second. Life full of stress is unbearable, but life without stress is boring. You need to find a golden mean, and life will be full of positive emotions. Make your motto the words of Hans Selye: “Stress is the flavor and taste of life. Since stress is associated with any activity, only those who do nothing can avoid it. But who enjoys life without daring, without success, without mistakes? Therefore, it is important to learn not to avoid stress, but to find pleasure in it.”
If you got fired
If you are fired, do not let despair enter your soul. It is possible that, on the contrary, this is a chance to start a new life, master another speci alty, rethink your career, meet new people, etc.
What was life like before you got fired? House - transport - work - transport - home. The middle link in this chain “ate” 10 hours of your life every day. How you manage this time is up to you, but it is given to you, and crying about it is not very reasonable.
American psychologist Joseph Wolpe believes that there are three activities that are incompatible with stress: sex, food and relaxation exercises. But the "medicines" from this list are not always available and useful. Therefore, I advise you to make your own list.
Here is a list of "anti-stress activities" compiled by participants in one of my stress management workshops: