The complex security situation and the attacks happening right now are really affecting us, after a long period of tension and worry in the country.
In complex times, many of us experience difficult feelings like fear, sadness and anger. It's important that we're tuned in to our feelings, but also that we know how to express them effectively so we can calm down.
To deal with these feelings, here are a number of tools that will help you and those close to you to relax a little, quiet the mind, and help you express feelings in a healthier and more efficient way:
Pay attention to what you feel
Pay attention to what you feel and how it makes you behave. Make sure to be in places that you find safe and calming, and be with family or friends.
Incorporate into your day, and especially towards night, relaxing and fun activities that help you get away from the situation a little.
Try to name your emotion and rate it on a scale (angry at a level of seven out of 10, worry eight out of 10); if it's too powerful, adopt one of these methods of relaxation.
If you feel too much anger or stress, try to cool down the emotion. Drink a glass of water, wash your face, take a shower or bath, breathe cold air from the freezer, or even put an ice cube in your mouth.
How to ease anxiety
If you're too anxious, try to combine actions that will lead you to greater relaxation:
• To relax your breathing: Take deep breaths calmly and make sure to exhale slowly. Breathe in like you're smelling a flower, exhale like you're blowing out a candle or blowing up a balloon.• In order to relax the muscles, contract each muscle one by one and then let go. We can't immediately make the muscles relax, but if we contract and release the muscles they'll relax, and some tension we feel will go away.• To calm down, keep your hands busy with a sponge ball, squeeze a soft toy, doodle or express your feelings in a journal.• Do something physical during the day, which will help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and anger.
Translate your emotion into words, and be sure to use balanced and moderate speech; avoid extreme or violent rhetoric.
Talk to the people close to you, share your feelings with them and give them space to express their feelings, even if they differ from yours. The goal is not to convince but to share and support.
In the face of emotional load and anger, try to think what you would advise a family member or good friend to do if they were in a similar situation.
Remember, every feeling of stress, anxiety and severe worry makes it difficult for us and causes us to feel a lack of control. To mitigate this try to influence the areas of life you can control.
Stick to the things you can control even while helping yourself and those around you. The more one works to create calmness, the more serene one will be.
Dr. Sharon Pelagi is a psychologist for Maccabi Health Services.