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What’s happening to me? Part 1


What’s happening to me? Part 1. The most common emotional response to stress and what to do with them.

Author: Dariia Serdiuk

Fear, sadness, guilt – why it is normal and how to deal with them.

In the first part of the search for answers to the question “What’s happening to me?” let’s talk about emotions, why they arise, how they help and what we can do.

The war, forced movement, separation and loss. The psyche of Ukrainians is experiencing a lot of stress today. In the struggle for your future in difficult times, it is important not to get lost. Therefore, we answer the common question “What is happening to me?” and tell you how to help yourself.

There are no right or wrong stress reactions. Everyone faces a unique experience and reacts in their own way. However, psychologists identify the most common experiences that occur in response to a stunning blow.

What are the most common reactions and what are their benefits? It is always important to feel and allow yourself to experience emotions. Even negative emotions are necessary, because they help to cope with the situation. People who have been forced to leave their homes and radically change their lives face the following experiences:

Uncertainty helps to prepare yourself for the unknown, reduces the negative effects of possible failures and difficulties.

Fear is one of the main survival helpers. The emotion of fear mobilizes the body, forces it to act, helps protect yourself and loved ones.

Sadness arises as a reaction to loss. It is most often run through crying, apathy or isolation. It may seem that sadness only immobilizes a person. In fact, it promotes introspection, encourages the search for support, and interaction with others. Most of all – the experience of sadness allows you to handle and cope with loss.

Anger and frustration signal to us that the situation is overstepping. These emotions do not allow us to remain passive and motivated to action.

Guilt is the body’s attempt to regain control of the situation. Finding what could be done to fix what happened. Remember, you did everything in your power. Feeling guilty and being guilty it’s not the same.

Feeling nothing is another way for the body to cope with experiences that are too strong for it. This mechanism can be compared to faint triggered by pain. It may seem that you do not care. Because of it there is a sense of guilt, misunderstanding of your emotions. Try not to judge yourself: this is not indifference, but a protective reaction of the psyche.

How to deal with your emotions?
  • Normalize emotions
  • Do not bottle yourself
  • Find a safe way out of emotions

Normalize emotions. Allow yourself to feel. Your experiences are a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. Be kind and patient with yourself.

Do not bottle yourself. Looking for support. Talk, share your experiences with those you trust. In this way you help not only yourself, but also allow others to feel their significance and express their emotions.

Find a safe way out of emotions. Take a walk, take a bath, listen to music, go for a run, dedicate time to hobbies. Allow yourself to relax, enjoy the moment.

Remember that you can always help yourself, ask for help from relatives or professionals. Ukrainians can find free psychological help here.