And get through tough times
People react to stress in different ways: some panic and can not collect their thoughts, while others manage to keep a cool head even in the most difficult situations.
The level of stress resistance depends on innate qualities. And also from life circumstances: the atmosphere in the family in the early years of life, the presence of traumatic experiences.
But nevertheless, numerous studies show that resilience can be developed by anyone. In fact, it is a psychological skill that helps you adapt quickly to all situations and not let anger or fear get the better of you. It allows you to cope with problems faster, make adequate decisions and help yourself and others more effectively. Here are some tips on how to become more resilient to stress.
Take care of your body
Stress is the body's physiological response to danger. This reaction includes increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, cortisol release and many other changes. Therefore, it is important to reduce stress and increase stress tolerance through physiological methods. It is a well-known fact that physically exhausted people have less control over their emotions, experience more problems, exhaust themselves more quickly and have a harder time with cognitive tasks.
So one of the best ways to increase resilience is to get into habits that replenish, rather than waste, the body's resources. You have known these habits for a long time, but perhaps in turbulent times like these, you will be more motivated to incorporate them into your life.
1. Eat a balanced diet. According to the WHO, it is important to include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains in your diet. Salt, sugar and saturated fats can be eaten, but in limited quantities. We wrote more about this here.
2. Get enough sleep. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every day, going to bed and getting up at the same time. Sleep is critical for mental health and the proper functioning of almost all body systems.
Be physically active. Studies show that physical activity helps keep your brain healthy and manage stress and negative thoughts. But you don't have to go to the gym: you can just take a walk to feel better.
Train your inner locus of control
The internal locus of control is a person's confidence that his successes and failures depend largely on his own actions and not only on external forces. A person with a strong locus of control does not deny that there are circumstances that he cannot overcome.
But at the same time he does not doubt that there are no absolutely hopeless situations, and it is always possible to improve the situation at least a little.
Such an attitude teaches one to take responsibility, to be active and not to run away from problems. In addition, the internal locus of control allows you to better cope with emotions and increases resistance to stress - it's all from the feeling that life can be influenced.
Here are a few techniques to develop an internal locus of control:
1. Even in difficult situations, take a proactive stance. Try to make some choices or make some - even if not the most ambitious - decisions. For example, in a crisis you decided to learn English - this will increase your chances on the labor market, no matter how the situation develops. Such a decision will bring back a basic sense of control, and then the belief that you are still in control of your life.
2. If it feels like you are trapped, make a list of actions you can take to get out of it. This will calm down a little bit the part of your brain responsible for anxiety and triggering the stress response. And turn on the part of the brain that knows how to plan, analyze, and come up with solutions to problems.
3. When something has gone wrong, think of exactly what you can do to avoid the problem in the future.
Use the method of radical acceptance
It was developed by Marsha Linehan, the creator of dialectical-behavioral therapy. The title fully captures the essence: it is important to accept the circumstances that you are unable to change. This does not mean that you accept what is happening and passively go with the flow. On the contrary, you stop wasting time talking about how unbearable and unfair things are, and move into action.
Watch for dramatic phrases like "I can't take it anymore," "This is unbearable," "This shouldn't have happened. In essence, they indicate a stage of denial - you're not ready to accept that these events really happened, no matter how unfair they may have been. To begin to act, it's more important to say to yourself, "This did happen, and I'm depressed about it, but there's something I can do to make me and my loved ones feel better."
Learn the growth mindset
Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, believes that those who cope best with the challenges of life are those who have adopted a growth mindset. It's a way of looking at the world that emphasizes perseverance.
Everyone is different, but each of us can develop and improve our skills if we put in the effort. It sounds trite. But in reality, many people underestimate their ability to develop and write off their difficulties to a lack of talent, difficult circumstances, or a humanitarian mindset.
Dweck does not urge us to believe that anyone can achieve anything. Of course, both talent and social background affect the kind of success we have. Still, it is possible to improve your skills at least a little in almost any field. And sometimes very significantly so.
According to research conducted by a team of psychologists, the greatest creative successes are achieved by those who perceive failures along the way not as failures, but simply as a kind of puzzle to be solved. This flexibility of mind allows you to try new ways to get closer to the desired result instead of bemoaning their failure. It also allows you to increase your stress tolerance.
1. Always analyze your mistakes. Being fired, not high enough business performance or bad grades does not say that a person is not smart or not talented. Rather, it indicates that his or her potential has not been reached. And that failure is very valuable information about yourself. You can analyze which of your actions didn't work or under which conditions you failed to open up. And then work on them. It's also important not to be afraid to ask for feedback from the people you interact with.
2. Try to focus on the process, not the outcome. Praise yourself for trying - trust me, many people don't even get to this step. Not giving up is already a big deal.
3. Try to capture negative thoughts about yourself and restate them. For example, replace "I'll never make it" with "I haven't made it yet. Thoughts predetermine our actions, which means we need them to help, not hinder.
Develop social connections
The more sociable a person is, the more confident he feels in any circumstances of life. The reason is in the subconscious confidence of such people that in case of something numerous friends will not deny them help and support. Even introverts need social connections, but in this case you can take not quantity but quality.
2. Don't be shy about asking for help. Consult with friends and colleagues if you need to make a decision. Not only can this solve a problem, but it can also strengthen bonds, because in fact, people are often very happy to help.
3. look for new people. Common interests with someone are prerequisites for friendship, so it's a good time to think of hobbies. Drama courses, volleyball classes, book clubs - choose what interests you most and be open to new people.