Long-term holiday. You lie on the couch, trying to get worries and worries out of your head. But it doesn’t come out. «Rest! We convince ourselves. “Experience joy!” But nothing comes out. What to do with it?
To rejoice and have fun — it would seem that it could be easier and more pleasant? But for many of us, this task is beyond our power. Why?
“Some people generally find it difficult to feel joy because of their neuroorganization, they experience positive emotions in a below-average range,” explains clinical psychologist Yulia Zakharova. — Many people are prevented from rejoicing by the beliefs learned in childhood about the world and about themselves — schemes. So, for example, people with the negativism/pessimism schema are convinced that “it will not end well.” They focus on potential problems, on what can go wrong.”
According to Yulia Zakharova, if there is a vulnerability scheme in addition, then people are convinced that bad things can happen suddenly, at any moment: it is quite difficult to feel joy literally “on the edge of the abyss”.
At the same time, those who tend to suppress feelings are sure that it is generally dangerous to show emotions. And any: not only negative, but also positive. According to the cognitive-behavioral therapist, “magical” thinking plays a big role in this story: often people are simply afraid to be happy!
The idea that «if you laugh hard, then you have to cry hard» seems quite logical to them.
“Therefore, trying to avoid uncertainty and problems, people try to be less happy — no matter what happens,” the expert continues. “So it seems to them that they are in control of something, paying for the illusion of control by giving up the joys of life.”
According to Yulia Zakharova, often these deep-seated beliefs cover all spheres of life: sometimes beliefs are more actively manifested in one of the spheres of life, for example, in the family. But does this mean that we are unhappy in relationships?
“Of course, unsatisfactory parent-child and partnership relationships can also be the cause of depression. Also, one cannot discount the high household load, ”the specialist is convinced.
According to the observations of a clinical psychologist, people who do not know how to relax in everyday life often experience difficulties on vacation, as well as on weekends. “The habit of keeping oneself “in good shape”, anxiety and tension “migrate” from weekdays to holidays,” Yulia Zakharova explains. — At the same time, only the subject of anxiety changes — after all, on vacation there is also something to worry about and worry about. And it is on vacation that people most often notice that they can’t relax “at a click.”
Is it possible to fight these feelings and switch yourself to joy? “Unfortunately, our brain is designed in such a way that the struggle with emotions paradoxically only strengthens them,” the psychologist emphasizes. “But we can try to counter them with something.”
1. Don’t get mad at yourself for not being able to relax.
Your anger at yourself will not help, but will only increase the tension. Treat your condition with understanding: you did not choose it. Try comforting yourself as if you were comforting a close friend.
2. Try breathing techniques to switch
For example, abdominal (deep or abdominal) breathing. Set a timer for three to four minutes, sit up straight, close your eyes, and try to observe your breathing. Inhale through your nose, pause, exhale slowly through your mouth. As you inhale, the abdominal wall should bulge forward, control this movement by keeping your hand on your stomach.
Of course, you will be distracted from thinking about breathing to thinking about business and problems. This is fine! Don’t beat yourself up, just bring your attention back to your breath. By exercising several times a day for at least three weeks, you will develop the habit of relaxing and switching with this simple practice.
3. Work on your beliefs
This usually takes a long time. However, you can now try to take them critically, considering how true they are and how relevant to the current life context.
You can and should learn to be happy. Set aside time for this, try new things, experiment and surprise yourself.