3 Simple Steps to Be More Resilient in Any Awful Situation
Do you feel like you’re cracking under the stress? When did you start losing it? Was it when the pandemic hit? When the lockdown dragged on and on? When the economic devastation took root? Or when the social unrest exploded? For many of us, our ability to cope with the multiple traumas of these uncertain times went out the window at some point.
Why You Might be Cracking from the Stress
What makes some people able to cope with the most abominable situations while others struggle? Researchers have found that in high-stress situations, people who can’t weather the storm typically believe 3 things:
- The situation is permanent.
- The situation is global.
- You have no control over the situation.
With the current pandemic and the ensuing fallout, plus the protests over social injustice, there is a lot of this type of thinking going on.
You may fear the threat of illness or death from COVID-19 will always be with us and that the economy will never recover. The pandemic, as well as the social unrest, have already spread worldwide, and you may be worried things will never go back to normal. And you may be feeling like you’re utterly powerless to change the situation.
The Power of TLC in the Face of Trauma
Researchers have discovered that people who are more resilient in the most desperate times tend to believe in TLC. This is a strategy that flips your thinking to help you calm stress and anxiety and feel more hopeful about the future.
Here’s what TLC stands for:
- Temporary: Seeing the situation as temporary.
- Local: Seeing the situation as local.
- Control: Believing you have some control over the situation.
In terms of our current environment, here’s how TLC can help you cope.
Temporary: The coronavirus pandemic will not last forever. Think about all the pandemics from the past—the Spanish Influenza, bubonic plague, and cholera, for example. They all eventually resolved. This will pass too. And every time our economy has dipped into a recession, it has rebounded. The same goes for social unrest, which has already calmed down in most areas of the country.
Local: Although COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, the illness has not hit every street in every neighborhood in every city in every country of the world. According to the latest statistics, there have been over 9 million confirmed cases worldwide and over 473,000 deaths. Those are certainly heartbreaking numbers, but remember that there are 7.7 billion people on earth, which means the vast majority of people have not developed the virus.
Control: Always remember that you can control your own behavior and thought processes. Focus on what you can control and understand that the solutions for health and wellness lie in 4 circles—biological, psychological, social, and spiritual.
- In the biological circle, this means washing your hands frequently, but it also means eating right, exercising, getting adequate sleep, and shoring up your immune system with vitamins D and C and zinc.
- In the psychological circle, you need to practice mental hygiene and disinfect your thoughts. Your head may be filled with ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) that lie to you and making you feel anxious, angry, stressed, and depressed. Every time you feel mad, sad, nervous, or out of control, write down what you’re thinking and ask yourself if it is true.
- In the social circle, you need to know what you want out of life and if your behavior is helping you or hurting you. It’s also important to connect with people—safely—who help you become the best version of yourself.
- In the spiritual circle, think about why you are on this planet and consider giving back in some way to help your community.
No matter how awful a situation is, if you believe in and practice TLC, you can strengthen your resilience to get through it.
Anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and other mental health issues can’t wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to “normal” is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.
At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834. If all our specialists are busy helping others, you can also schedule a time to talk.
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