Build an Immunity for Your Heart Against Stress and Depression

dealing with stress during COVID-19

The COVID-19 global pandemic that has been going on for almost two years and shows no sign of ending is killing millions of people and causing tremendous stress, ever-increasing burden and suffering for people at the cost of their health and economic well-being. To survive this crisis we need to look inside ourselves, explore our mental strength, and give ourselves a pep talk.  Then, we can create positive energy from within to relieve the pain and suffering before it spreads to the people around us and society at large.

Four techniques to reduce cumulative stress

Here are four ways to help explore the mind and practice building a mental immunity against life stress, especially during the pandemic.

Technique 1 – Deal with Problems Properly

How to properly approach problems when we are upset should regularly be explored and practiced.  Coping with the problems is recognizing and assessing the situations and arising problems as they are, while always understanding that we can fix them with the intellectual capital that we have. This technique is divided into two methods:

Problem-focused coping

concentrates directly on the root cause of the problem starting with gathering relevant information, plan and set problem-solving goals while applying life experience in considering the right solutions. Then we can proceed to fix the problems, which also includes changing our attitude.

Emotion-focused coping

is used in situations that we cannot change. Instead, we should control our emotions, alleviate the feelings that arise, be it fear, anger, sadness, or frustration.  One possible way to express emotions is by confiding in someone.

Technique 2- Resilience to beat stress

The ability to be resilient is based on the premise that everyone who falls can always get up. All human beings have to face inevitable problems, and so do we.  The ability to regain strength is like a crutch for us to stand up again and finally overcome the problems.

This technique consists of three key concepts:

I Have

Recognize what we have and who we can rely on or ask for help, or people who understand us, see our value, and give us emotional support like family members, friends, and lovers.

I Am

Recognize our self-worth, strengths, or potentials, such as honesty, patience, the importance of our existence, and value to those around us.

I Can

Recognize our abilities to think, act, talk or ask questions to be able to get things done, including asking for help and believing that we will eventually get through the problems. This ability is an important skill to overcome difficult problems. It also means being able to learn from those problems.

Technique 3 – Have self-compassion

Self-compassion — a non-judgmental look at oneself — is a new perspective that everyone should have. This technique guides us to accept and appreciate ourselves as we do others.  It may be called being kind to ourselves as we are kind to others, and don’t beat ourselves up for mistakes or disappointments. Know how to forgive ourselves, and recognize that mistakes that happen to us can also happen to others.

Technique 4 – Gratitude

The feeling of gratitude should also be practiced. Each day, we may try to feel gratitude for various things that give us happiness even during difficult times, whether it be people, pets, belongings, and food.  The desired outcome is a positive feeling and encouragement which will affect our relationships with others.

Wave after wave of outbreaks is a situation that we cannot control. If we keep worrying, we’d become depressed, exhausted, and unable to deal with other problems in life. Those who start to feel stressed about the situation may try to follow the advice above, such as stop what they’re doing, trying to move and change the posture, taking a break for a moment and trying another, more relaxing activity, or stepping away from the same environment all of which are a good start in order to reduce stress.

Source: Chulalongkorn University

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