Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How to deal more effectively with emotionally challenging events.

The way we think and feel, our way of dealing with events, our defense mechanisms, our ability to remain happy and healthy must impinge on the question: "Who am I?" It must seek to address the nature of our uniquely individual personality our distinctive pattern of thought, emotions and behavior which characterize our style. 

Consider an ordinary event to see how your interpretation of an event has a bearing on 'your child has failed the final exam'. Depending on how you explain this event to yourself, will determine whether it will be a major source of trauma for you and for your child. Whether you judge it as your inability to devote enough time to your child, or his reluctance to work, or put it down to the fact that you moved house around the time of the exams, will decide the stress factor posed by this event. It is not the event itself that is stressful; rather it is your perception of it that makes it so. 

Suppose you react strongly to the failure, giving full vent to your anger at the sight of the report card; notice your physical reactions. Your explosive outburst will immediately bring about bodily changes (in the heart rate, blood pressure, breath count, tense muscles) in both you and your child. Even long after the event you may notice such psychological reactions as anxiety, anger and aggression, apathy and depression, and an inability to think clearly. In fact, in time you might not even connect the residual bad feeling, which may persist with the event that originally caused it. Months later you may wonder at the cause for your child's persistent apathy or aggression. Our bodies obviously react deeply to the way we think and feel about different happenings that touch our lives. 

Topping the list of the countless events, which may jolt our mental balance, are natural and man-made disasters, life events like the death of a spouse, divorce, marital separation, marital reconciliation and even marriage itself. Other events that strongly affect our psyche include the death of a close family member, personal injury or illness, losing a job, and retiring can trigger off bad feelings—be it getting stuck in traffic, a forthcoming examination, an argument with your boss, a telephone disconnection for nonpayment of an incorrect bill. 

Strong emotional reactions to 'negative' life-changing events or even cutting off all responses by blocking or suppressing emotions can sap motivation, corrode interest in life, weigh one down with negative thoughts and cause disturbance and disharmony at the body levels, often resulting in sleep disruption, loss of appetite, and fatigue. At a deeper level it can begin to play havoc with your immune system and make you prey to serious illness. The more life-changes you experience, the harder you need to work to stay well. 

Psychologists have found that people could be trained to improve their resistance to disease by recognizing the mind-body link in disease and learning to deal more effectively with emotionally challenging events. 

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