Fear and anxiety usually arise in response to events that could affect our safety. On Saturday, the anxiety levels of many Russians escalated and destabilized. And what we felt is the very signal: “Something dangerous is happening now, look here, be careful.” How to align your emotional state, react correctly to stress and not regret your actions? Elizaveta Radina, certified trainer in emotional intelligence development, expert in the field of personnel development and management, shared her advice with the Inc-News portal.
Fight, run or freeze?
When under stress, we intuitively begin to follow the three most common reactions: fight, run, or freeze. Even if you think not. For example, on Saturday:
someone noticed how he began to quarrel with his family, conflicts arose that should not have surfaced – this is the reaction of the “beat”; someone bought tickets to Turkey for 200,000 rubles or got into a car and drove away from the events – this is the “race” reaction; someone felt emptiness, confusion and “froze”, putting everything off, not understanding what to do. Weakness has come, a “transparent mind” and the feeling that you can’t do anything at all – this is the “freeze” reaction.
All these 3 states are “sewn” into our subcortex. But at the same time, they do not allow a sober assessment of the situation and often push them to impulsive actions. Therefore, it is important to be able to work with them so as not to “extinguish” from life or make mistakes.
Emotions are signals that must be managed
According to the psychoevolutionary theory of emotions developed by Robert Plutchik, the fear and anxiety that many felt after the news on Saturday are mechanisms intended to protect us. And it does not matter whether they are accompanied by high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, confused thoughts, illogical actions, increased aggression or apathy. It’s always a defense mechanism.
Another issue is that you need to be able to work with this. Because emotions are signals that arise when we have a certain attitude towards what is happening. For example, has a pleasant event happened to you? The emotion of joy comes. It comes as a signal – “you like what’s happening now”.
The same goes for fear and anxiety. They intervene in response to events likely to affect our security. And what we felt on Saturday is the same signal: “something dangerous is happening now, look here, be careful.”
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How to work with your emotions?
In order to correctly read the signals that the psyche gives us, not to succumb to their influence and not to commit illogical acts, emotions must be controlled. How to do?
Tip number 1. To reduce the physical manifestations of anxiety, you must remember that emotion is a signal and a signal can not harm. You may say to yourself, “So, hello anxiety. I see you, and I see what you’re pointing out to me. I understand what is happening. You are small, I am tall, and I will understand it. I will analyze and make the right decision to protect myself. In this case, the alarm goes away, having performed its function – it warned you. And it is no longer anxiety and fear that control your actions, but you influence the intensity of these emotions. So you can analyze, take facts into account and think critically.
Tip number 2. Anxiety occurs when there is no certainty and control over the situation. On the contrary, a person feels calm when he can control events and his life. Therefore, to calm down, start doing what is in your area of responsibility. For example, you can search the closet, clean, focus on small tasks and problems.
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