Under Stress, We All Regress

“Regress”, in this sense, means to fall into a reaction pattern that we likely learned a long time ago. Learned reactions live deep inside our muscle memories and are often not even verbally articulated- we might not have words for them. Often the way we learned to react a long time ago no longer serves our highest self in our current situation. (That’s what therapy can help with- changing patterns.)

But, even when we know better, we go through our old reaction patterns when we get triggered- it is a reaction, almost a reflex- it is not well thought out. And nothing triggers us more than uncontrollable threats.

We are all currently under at least some level of negative stress. Even if COVID-19 is not happening in your own personal life, it is happening as the background to everything for everybody everywhere. And that makes everything and every person a little bit different. Including you, those you love, and those you depend on.

Hang in there- it might get even worse for each of us personally, locally, nationally, or globally.

Or not. We humans really don’t do well with uncertainty- for most of us, uncertainty creates anxiety.

Here’s a link to a nice article about a couple’s therapist helping her client get unstuck about how her client’s family was regressing from the pressure of the pandemic.

My family and I have had our own moments of regression during this lockdown- We mental health workers and our families are not immune to pandemic pressure.

Under stress, I regress, too. My goal when I am under pressure is to react to my regression more wisely, to get unstuck more quickly. Do something wiser, do it sooner. Easier said than done, right?

One day at a time.

Hang in there, y’all. We’ll get through it.

Give this a read if you are so inclined. It is perhaps a 5-10 minute read. I think it is worth the time.

Click here to read the article.

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