We are in the middle of a crisis. That much is certain. In retrospect, a crisis has an end. A very astute supervisor once told me
“Crises come to an end, that’s the good thing about them!”
I have often taken this sentence as an attitude into my work and it helps.
In crises our repertoire of solution mechanisms seems to be insufficient, so it feels like one. We feel helpless, powerless and unimaginative. A turning point for individual paths, for the economy, our freedom, our behaviour?
But what can I do when we are in the middle of it and cannot yet foresee what changes this time will bring? What cognitive technique of “thought-questioning” has helped me in the last days, I describe today.
“We can do it”, we look ahead, we distract ourselves, we mourn and regret, we live. Okay, music helps too, because the lyrics and melodies give us understanding and hope. But I get a great help through personal conversation, i.e. through participation and hope. This is not only my empirical experience of the last days, but also researched working principle in psychotherapies. The therapist’s hope that the client will feel better again is one of the most important criteria for success.
“So our only hope is hope?” – No, the technique of questioning thoughts is a kind of relativization. I break my own “if-then” associations.
And it works like this:
“I don’t work in any systemically relevant profession, hardly make any money and I will probably be impoverished in the foreseeable future.”
This connection is understandable to me and absolutely consistent. (Otherwise I wouldn’t think so.) In order to put myself in a better position and to be freer, more ready to cope with the crisis, I follow the thought and try to find alternative convictions, e.g:
- “I still enjoy the freedom in my independence and I can reposition and develop myself anew just because of this crisis.”
- “I don’t have to limit my desire and competence to coach others to professional life, but can be a support for (system relevant) helpers”.
- “I can rely on myself and have never had to starve.”
- “It was only through the crisis that I realized how important it is to me in my job to support others in their development.” U.s.w.
If you want to get rid of disturbing beliefs and stressful thoughts, practice with a sentence from you. Write down your beliefs and
- find generalizations like “always”, “never”, “every time”, “from nobody”, … and leave them out or turn them around to the opposite
- Swap the connections so that the sentence first becomes something absurd. Find counterexamples.
- Find in all these new, absurd thoughts and contexts three examples in your life, whatever is true.
My completely revised sentence could then be called, for example:
“I work in a systemically important profession and will always earn enough money to live a happy life.”
I find a little truth in it and smile gently. And that’s what it’s all about: to soften the spirit again. The truth is relative, or rather, subjective. But I may use my truths to get through the crisis well.
Try it out! A lot of openness, curiosity and fun!
The next tip for getting to know your own relationship again is already in the works! Until then, stay healthy (especially in your head)