|Yerkes Dodson Law dreamstime.com|
In counseling, one of the most important concepts and ideas we use to psycho educate our patients is this stress curve. There is an optimal amount of stress for any given context. That’s where it’s difficult. How can we titrate it?
Too little stress and we are not performing. Too much, and we run the risk of burning out. Stress and anxiety is not bad. What’s “bad” is our inability to titrate that stress effectively for any given situation. That’s where the struggle is.
I don’t think we as humans have evolved to do this well as yet. So what can we do in the meantime to improve our situation?
1 Medication or a chemical solution to help us titrate. The problem for this is that it’s hard to get the titration right. It’s not as if we can measure stress objectively like BSL, and give the right dose of a drug like SSRI for any given situation. We are very far away from having a “SSRI pump” (like an insulin pump) aren’t we?
2 Have better emotional literacy and awareness around the level of fusion, defusion, and detachment from our thoughts and feelings.
The more we fused with our thoughts and feelings, the more stress and urge to act we have with those thoughts and feelings. The more detached we are from our thoughts and feelings, the less stress and urge to act we have with those thoughts and feelings. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do, but that’s the “goal posts”.