Today’s post concludes the posts on Antonovsky’s concept Sense of Coherence.
What determines whether stress will be harmful or not is whether or not the stress violates our sense of coherence.
The sense of coherence is the extent to which one has a pervasive, enduring and dynamic feeling of confidence that stressful situations are:
This can be strengthened in many ways, including by ensuring that we have access to general sources of information and strategies for finding specific resources aimed at specific stressors when needed.
Following activities can help in strengthening the sense of coherence:
I) Strive to understand the stressor and its likely development by asking questions about:
1 What is happening
2 Why, including its source, cause and possible consequences
3 Who is involved
II) Problem solve:
– Split the problem up in parts
– Analyse which information is needed to understand more dimensions of each
– Identify possible options for handling the problematic situation, including the advantages and disadvantages of each
– Identify which resources could be helpful
– List helpful activities
– Do the actions
III) Involve others, such as close ones, experts etc. in analysing, getting access to resources and carrying out the needed activities.
IV) Work on your frame of mind and attitude:
– Practice acceptance of the situation and those dimensions you right now cannot understand, control or impact
– Strengthen the belief that the stressor, or at least other dimensions in life, are interesting and satisfying
– Focus on developing and pursuing other goals in life that still are important
– Live according to your inner values and behave in a way that you will be proud of
– Continuously explore how the experience possibly can be worthwhile and care about what happens
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