Coping with emerging and instant situations22/09/2022 0 By indiafreenotes
This is part of why emotion-focused coping can be quite valuable—shifting how we experience potential stressors in our lives can reduce their negative impact. With emotion-focused coping, we don’t need to wait for our lives to change or work on changing the inevitable.
We can simply find ways to accept what we face right now, and not let it bother us. This can cut down on chronic stress, as it gives the body a chance to recover from what might otherwise be too-high levels of stress.
Another advantage of emotion-focused coping is that it allows us to think more clearly and access solutions that may not be available if we are feeling overwhelmed. Because stressed people do not always make the most effective decisions, emotion-focused coping can be a strategy to get into a better frame of mind before working on problem-focused techniques.
In this way, emotion-focused coping can help with both emotions and solutions. And the two types of coping strategies work well together in this way. While problem-focused strategies need to fit well with the specific stressors they are addressing, emotion-focused coping techniques work well with most stressors and need only fit the individual needs of the person using them.
Meditation can help you to separate yourself from your thoughts as you react to stress. So, you can stand back and choose a response rather than react out of panic or fear.
Meditation also allows you to relax your body, which can reverse your stress response as well. Those who practice meditation tend to be less reactive to stress, too, so meditation is well worth the effort it takes to practice.
Cognitive reframing allows you to shift the way you see a problem, which can actually make the difference between whether or not you feel stressed by facing it. Reframing techniques aren’t about “tricking yourself out of being stressed,” or pretending your stressors don’t exist; reframing is more about seeing solutions, benefits, and new perspectives.
Journaling allows you to manage emotions in several ways. It can provide an emotional outlet for stressful feelings. It also can enable you to brainstorm solutions to problems you face.
Journaling also helps you to cultivate more positive feelings, which can help you to feel less stressed. It also brings other benefits for wellness and stress management, making it a great emotion-focused coping technique.
Being an optimist involves specific ways of perceiving problems ways that maximize your power in a situation, and keep you in touch with your options. Both of these things can reduce your experience of stress, and help you to feel empowered in situations that might otherwise overwhelm you.
Recognizing the way the mind might naturally alter what we see, what we tell ourselves about what we are experiencing, and the ways in which we may unknowingly contribute to our own problems can allow us to change these patterns. Become aware of common cognitive distortions, and you’ll be able to catch yourself when you do this, and will be able to recognize and understand when others may be doing it as well.
Stages of Reacting to Change
Change can be difficult because it can challenge how we think, how we work, the quality of our relationships, and even our physical security or sense of identity. We usually react to change in four stages:
- Shock and disorientation.
- Anger and other emotional responses.
- Coming to terms with the “New normal.”
- Acceptance and moving forward.
But our progression through these stages is rarely simple or linear. We might get stuck in one stage, or advance quickly but then regress. And there’s often no clear-cut, decisive move from one stage to another. Shock can change to anger, for example, with no obvious break between the two.
Stage 1: Shock and Disorientation
Experiencing a sudden, big change can feel like a physical blow. For example, a global financial crisis may result in significant losses and redundancies. This may sweep away roles and relationships that you’ve cultivated for years, leading to instability. Or, a sudden bereavement or health issue may change your fundamental outlook on life.
In the initial stage of coping, you’ll likely feel confused and uncertain. Your first priority should be to seek reliable information and to make sense of the situation.
Stage 2: Anger and Other Emotional Responses
Initial disorientation at the prospect of change usually gives way to a wave of strong emotions. You might be angry about a downgrade of your role, or fearful about the impact that a layoff will have on your family.
Even if the change in your circumstances is something that you’ve instigated yourself, you may find yourself swinging between optimism and pessimism. This is quite natural, and it’s a normal step on the way to resolving your situation.
It’s important to avoid suppressing your emotions, but it’s equally key to manage them. So, acknowledge the way you feel, but be sure to assess what you can express openly (such as general comments about a project’s progress) and what you should probably keep to yourself (opinions about a colleague’s performance, for example).
Stage 3: Coming to Terms with the “New Normal“
During this stage, your focus will likely start to shift away from what you’ve lost and toward what’s new. This process may be slow, and you might be reluctant to acknowledge it, but it’s an essential part of coping with change. The key here is to make a commitment to move on.
Start to explore more deeply what the change means. Your instinct may be to behave resentfully and to be unwilling to cooperate, but this may cause yourself and others harm. So, search for and emphasize the positive aspects of your developing situation. At the same time, is patient. Remember, coming to terms with change is a gradual process.
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