Whether you’re a student anxious about your education plans or a working professional having sleepless nights about keeping your job, uncertainty is the underlying common thread right now across all ages.
Moreover, as far as tips on managing stress go, by now you’ve heard it all; whether it’s avoiding the media banter, maintaining a routine, indulging in relaxing activities or speaking to a friend. The fact remains that things can still feel pretty miserable when they go spiralling out of our control.
The key difference between people who cope better than those who struggle with unprecedented circumstances is to do with hacking the mind.
One such way of acing the mind game is applying psychological distancing, an approach where you detach yourself from your current reality and look at your situation from the eyes of an observer. Not only does this help people deal with anxiety better but significantly improves emotion regulation.
Inspired by the principle of Psychological distancing, you can use the following hacks to overcome whatever problem is eating into your sanity:
- The Coach your friend hack: Think of a friend of yours who’s stuck in the same stressful situation you’re in. If he/she had to ask you for some guidance or advice, what would you say?
It’s often easier to come up with solutions when we’re not as immersed in the situation ourselves. Sometimes all you need to do is respond to problems from a detached point of view and the solutions seem to magically appear.
- The Retrospective Perspective hack: We humans are blessed with the unique capability of mental travel where we’re able to reflect on the past and imagine the future. Project yourself into a future that you can imagine, say even 3 years from now and look back at the current situation that’s consuming you presently. Do things feel the same? For one, there should be a realisation in retrospect that no matter how bad things currently seem, you got through this. Creating a proactive distance by switching time frames from present to future or even past, is called temporal distancing.In fact, recollect a crisis you’ve overcome in the past. You’re here today because you passed that test yesterday. Whatever is occupying your mind-space now, should be no different. Adopting the temporal perspective can help ease out the angst and inspire the ability to trust the process. No matter how gloomy things seem, the sunshine always breaks through the clouds!
- The Wise Guru hack- This one certainly calls for wisdom and deeper insight. We often get stuck in our situations with unhealthy tendencies to feel victimised and develop resentment. It is only when we see pain as an opportunity for growth, do we build the resilience to conquer it. Consider asking questions like ‘If this was my educational assignment, what is the lesson I need to learn from this’? The next one’s my favourite from Michael Beckwith- ‘If this situation were to last forever, what quality would I need to give birth to, to have peace of mind?’ The idea is to ask yourself empowering questions, so you deal with things in an empowering way.
Hope the above serve you in some way, shape or form.Remember that you are far greater than any of your reactions, failures or adversities! Don’t let your current circumstances mess with your intrinsic infinite potential.