With social distancing becoming the new normal, there is anxiety and stress at their peak. The media is replete with instances of the vast majority of instances with even celebrities resorting to suicide, let alone common people. Well, I am not going to delve deep into the subject of suicide but I do intend to discuss about anxiety and stress. Anxiety by definition is the feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations,sweating and feeling of stress.
Stress, on the other hand is a physical, mental or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Wait for a second! Have you been experiencing something similar lately and felt trapped in those moments? Psychologists have named these invalidated as “thought holes.”
So what are thought holes?
Thoughts as defined are the skewed perceptions of reality. To simplify they are classified mainly into six categories:
- JUMPING TO THE CONCLUSIONS- This is when we judge a situation based on assumptions as opposed to definitive facts.
- MENTAL FILTERING: Paying attention to the negative details in a situation while ignoring the positive.
- MAGNIFYING: This is when we make mountain out of a molehill.
- PERSONALIZING: Taking the blame for problems even when you are not responsible.
- OVER-GENERALIZING: Concluding that one bad incidents will lead to a cascade of other misfortunes.
- EMOTIONAL REASONING: When you paint your negative emotions into reality.
(source- gozen.com )
Next comes stress. Very often, we mistakenly traps ourselves into thinking that we are the only ones. But believe me when I say,” that the idea of stress occurring only to us is an entirely flawed concept.” Interestingly, stress is not always detrimental. Let’s know what are the most common stress:
- GOOD STRESS: This is what we need to maintain the vitality of our brain. It helps us to evaluate and analyze our day to day decisions.
- TOLERABLE STRESS: In this we take stress as a stimulus to achieve our goals. It can be seen when we have multiple competitions coming.
- TOXIC STRESS: You can also call it as the most lethal one as it pushes people to fall into the well of loneliness and self-harm.
HOW TO DEAL?
So is there a way out? The answer to this is affirmative. By now you must have realized that just by naming your thoughts and stress, it becomes easy for you to accept them to a point where they no longer disturbs you. Finally ,below are some tips about how to deal with these thought holes and stress.
- FIND OUT THE PROBLEM: As described above, naming your problems make it easy for you to understand them.
- WRITING THERAPY: Write it out in a journal.
- CONNECT TO YOUR GREATER SELF: Engage in some kind of meditative exercises.
- BREATHE: Try to concentrate on your breathing.
- READ: Immersing yourself in some good piece of writing have shown to an increase in levels of feel-good hormones.
- LASTLY:If the above measures fail then go for the cognitive behavioral therapy and seek expert help. I would like to end by quoting a line I recently read:
“When it comes to mental health, we are all children.”(Renee Jain, psychologist)
All the best till next time and take care of yourself.