Today’s post continues with Antonovsky’s concept Sense of Coherence that focuses on handling stressors and how health can be increased (see link to Mittelmark et al in earlier posts for research in this field).
What determines whether stress will be harmful or not is whether or not the stress violates our sense of coherence.
This can be strengthened in different ways, both by general resistance resources, GRRs and specific resources, SRRs.
The GRRs are already available in the society we live in. The SRRs are available to be picked up and used as needed in specific stressful situations. The more SRRs we develop ourselves, the more tools and strategies we have to choose from in a crisis.
The sense of coherence is the extent to which one has a pervasive, enduring and dynamic feeling of confidence that stressful situations are:
Today’s post is about how to strengthen 3) meaningful.
To make a stressful situation more meaningful, it can be helpful to:
– work on dimensions that will aid in developing and strengthening the belief that the stressor, or at least other dimensions in life, are interesting and satisfying
– seek out others who can help in this process such as close ones, experts etc.
– try to identify how the experience can be worthwhile and potentially good reasons or purpose to care about what happens regardless of how challenging physically or emotionally it is
– practice acceptance focusing on developing and pursuing other dimensions and goals in life that still are important and worthwhile pursuing
According to Antonovsky, the third element Meaningful is the most important for positive health outcomes.
If person believes there is no reason to persist, survive and confront challenges, if having no sense of meaning, there will be too low motivation for reframing and managing events.