Life before the COVID-19 pandemic looked very different for everyone. But ever since the pandemic, we have been getting used to what is popularly called the “new normal”. The greatest asset that we use in dealing with changes and challenges around us is the ability to cope and evolve with time. Our mindset determines how the journey to our desired goal will be.
Psychology Professor Barbara Fredrickson proposed a theory called Broaden and Build theory. The theory speaks about how positive emotions such as joy, happiness, gratitude, love, etc can have a positive impact on our relationships, health, and personal growth.
It means, that if you are feeling positive, it reflects in the important areas of your life as well. When you feel positive emotions, it opens up an array of new ideas and perspectives allowing you to experiment more and in more innovative ways. That is why artists focus more on creating a healthy environment around that that can boost their creativity, motivation, and imagination.
One of the fields that’s growing more awareness and popularity in the field of Psychology is sports psychology. A sports psychologist is someone who focuses on managing stress, equipping athletes with coping tools, and overcoming factors such as anxiety or stress that may interfere with their performance.
This results in athletes having better emotional support systems to help them navigate through challenging times. Improved mental wellbeing also allows athletes to bounce back more swiftly from adversities. A research study by Kendall & colleagues indicated that a combination of imagery rehearsals, relaxation, and self-talk had a very positive impact on improving basketball skills during games among athletes.
Many athletes have started opening up about their mental health and how their low days affected their performance on the ground. On the other hand, when they worked on their mental health and paid attention to their emotional needs, it allowed them to perform better and face adversities with more ease. Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli also spoke about the same in his interview where he mentioned he was afraid of touching the bat to play for a really long time.
Austrian Psychiatrist and world-famous author of the book “Man’s Search for a Meaning” was sent to a concentration camp along with his family. His father died of starvation and pneumonia while his mother and brother were murdered in the gas chamber.
Viktor Frankl spent 3 years inside the concentration camp and while his world came crumbling down around him, he found something to hold on to. He focused on what meaning could be made out of all that suffering around him. He used his observations and knowledge of psychiatry to help those around him who were suffering.
He said that everything can be taken from a man except for his freedom to choose his attitude to any given situation. In simpler words, he meant your attitude can determine a lot for you. Viktor Frankl’s utmost positive and patient attitude during his tough years in the concentration camp, allowed him to come up with a therapy called ‘Logotherapy’ that helped people find their ‘Logos’ i.e. Greek word for ‘meaning’. Ultimately Frankl survived the Holocaust because he overcame his mind and that helped him tremendously with the resilience.
Multiple tools can help one maintain their calm and manage their emotions. Let’s learn about a few of them.
Positive Affirmations: These are positive statements or phrases that can counter negative self-talk or unhealthy thoughts. For example, positive affirmations would be “You are doing your best” or “You got this”.
Visualization: Many a time, when things are uncertain or unclear in our head, it can lead to a lot of chaos and confusion internally. A technique or tool that can help during such times is visualizing or imagining that you have successfully made it and achieved your desired goal. You can imagine and play the scenario in your mind with as many details as possible. It allows your mind to focus on the positives and also focus on what your life will be like once you achieve these goals. This then allows you to narrow down your focus and pay more attention to what is more important.
Meditation: Meditation is one of the most versatile forms of self-reflection. There are various kinds of meditation like breathing meditation, mindfulness meditation etc. The act of turning your attention inward and focusing on your thoughts can be intimidating but also cleansing. It can help your body and mind to calm down and in the long run, build mental strength that enables you to remain calm in any situation.
Journaling: Journaling is one of the best ways to de-clutter your over-stimulated mind. The speed and flow of our thoughts can sometimes feel extremely overwhelming. But when you sit down to compartmentalize them through journaling, it allows your thoughts to slow down and untangle. This process can offer you a space to vent out as well as clear your mind.
Professional help: Talking to a professional can be a great navigator that can signal you to the right path and also offer you the required emotional support.
There are many other helpful tools available and you can access all of them at Manahverse.