Saturday, August 28, 2021

Protective factors in life

Challenges and struggles are an integral part of human life. There are very few people who easily get what they wish for, however the majority of people have to stretch themselves and have to come out of their comfort zone. To live life and make it happy is an internal state of mind. There are millions of people who wake up early in the morning, go to their job, (now during a pandemic, log in on the computer while working from home), listen to their managers, get the job done. The reasons behind going to the job are different. Some People want to live a happy life by achieving more, some want to give the education to their kids, and some run for loans. Everybody chases their dreams. During this process, people get success and failure. People live with a big burden on their shoulders. Stress, work pressure bring disappointments and frustrations. Everybody becomes part of the rat race; they may not like to be the rat in the rat race, but they are unable to find another option. We are not rats; we are human beings. Unfortunately, very few people in the society have the right ecosystem to support them. The problem is that both success, and failures bring stress. The overall scenario is impacting mental health. Organizations are investing in their people to support them in their life, however is it enough?    

Image from internet
Finally, it is you, who has to take actions for your good life. How to do this? The best way is to find out those protective factors in our life. Protective factors are your defense system, in case your mental health is affected because of struggles and challenges in your personal and professional life. It helps you to bounce back in setbacks and to be resilient. We need to develop those protective factors in our life. Unfortunately, in the rat race, we forget to take those protective factors along with us. In fact, we totally ignore those factors. 

Those protective factors can be classified as under:

Social factors: Generally speaking, this is society around us. All of society may not be useful for you. Sometimes people don’t recognize your success because of their jealousy.  Jealous people don’t want to see you better than them. And hence it is very important to identify those relationships which would support you in case of setbacks and challenges. It includes relationships, family members, friends, teachers, coach, and mentors. However sometimes this also may not work. Hence many protective factors are out of the control. Your protective factor only works when there is the respect and unconditional intentions of the next person. Find out those close family members and friends to whom you can speak about your problem without any fear. Their ability to understand you will determine how effective they are. This also depends upon the level of support you are looking for. Parents, spouse, and children are natural protective factors and then comes your family and friends.

Coping skills: It is said that you are the first person to help you. This is your ability to manage uncomfortable emotions in a healthy way. Resilient is one of the skills which helps you to manage setbacks. Emotional Intelligence is the key part of coping skills. Ask the questions yourself, are you aware of your own emotions & feelings? Do you recognize the impact of the same on your behaviour?

Health: Physical health is very important. Proper exercise, healthy diet and enough physical activities including simple walk or cycling keep you fit. More you fit, the more your ability to manage stress, failure, and struggles. The benefits of physical activities are amazing. That’s why our ancestors told us, “Health is wealth.”

Purpose: It is the reason for being. If you have a strong purpose, your power increases, you become passionate and then struggles become tiny. This is a great protective factor in our life. Finding the meaning in life will help you fulfill the purpose and goals in life. We can’t live life as it comes. There should be the reasons you get up in the morning. If you have a purpose, it can guide life decisions, influence behaviour, shape goals, offer a sense of direction, and create meaning in life. The overall process makes you strong.

Thinking: Albert Einstein quoted, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking”. You become what you think. Healthy thinking is one of the protective factors in your life. We all are the victims of cognitive distortions. Every event in our life triggers irrational thoughts in our mind. Those thoughts influence our behaviour. Everybody experiences those thoughts but if it is more extreme then, it is harmful for us. Identify those irrational thoughts. Think how you can use your strengths and weaknesses rationally in life. Thinking clearly by understanding different biases, irrational thoughts will make a stronger self.

There is another protective factor like hobbies. Hobbies give you energy. Pursue your hobby and make life easier.

Check the level of those protective factors currently you have and make your plan to make it stronger. Remember the stronger your protective factors, stronger you are. Protective factors are your immune system which helps you to keep you healthy mentally. 

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. Income from books is used for social cause. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great thoughts

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