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We all experience stress, and there are many ways to manage it. Even though we would rather not feel it, it can’t be avoided. Keep in mind that we have what we need to manage unpleasant situations, but it requires effort: the effort of allowing yourself to experience emotions as they arise and to express them honestly.
We don’t want to bother people. We have nothing new to report. It’ll be fine or it’ll pass. These ideas increase our sense of isolation, even before the pandemic. Asking how is it going? is a societal norm. Answering honestly comes less naturally. While many of us are feeling the strain of solitude, keep in mind that honest interactions can bring us closer together. Forming meaningful social connections feels good… for everyone.
Not everyone reacts the same way to a similar problem. That’s normal. But when someone is experiencing “negative emotions,” a common reflex is to run away from them or want to control them. But every emotion has a reason for being. Emotions teach us about ourselves; our expectations, values, needs, etc. Keep in mind that by welcoming your emotions as they present themselves and naming them, it is easier to adapt to situations you experience.
Do it for your health! After hearing recommendations over and over again, you get a good idea of what is good for you. But is that enough reason to change your behaviour? Sometimes motivation results from action and sometimes through the value we place on the benefits of that action. Keep in mind, you have everything you need to improve your well-being. A starting point is understanding your sources of motivation.
The familiar “little voice,” our inner discourse, can be more active in times of stress. Our perceptions can have a negative effect on our mental health, not reality itself. Keep in mind, we don’t necessarily have control of events, but we do have some power over how we see and react to them. We can start by taking a step back, adjusting our internal discourse, and sitting ourselves down for a frank talk.