Modern life can be stressful even at the best of times, putting pressure on you from every angle, whether it’s holding down work, juggling household chores, or taking care of your kids.
Even if you think you’re coping well, stress can build up without you realizing it.
Meg Arroll, Ph.D., a certified psychologist and author of Tiny Traumas, argues that so-called “minor traumas” can haunt us in our daily lives and build up pressure to make up for the challenges we face. increase.
But what is a “small trauma”? Dr. Meg explained to his FEMAIL how little things can cause big problems down the road and how we can spot them in our lives.
What is a “small trauma”?
Dr. Meg describes minor traumas as “everyday psychological wounds” that continue to accumulate over time. She describes them as “mental damage from a thousand scraps of paper.”
Meg Arroll, Ph.D., a certified psychologist and author of Tiny Traumas, argues that so-called “minor traumas” can haunt us in our daily lives and build up pressure to make up for the challenges we face. (stock image).
“It’s a new way of looking at mental health, and it shows that our psychological health can range from thriving to completely non-functioning.”
Dr. Meg added that people in general tend to be psychologically robust, but when faced with a major trauma or some minor trauma, human emotions “wither and rawer” and “end up.” to,” he added, which could leave people behind. [their] Tether” and “always overwhelmed”.
She said people may suffer from problems such as: “high functioning anxiety, problems falling and staying asleep, emotional eating and life stages. Being stuck, unable to move on, unable to enjoy the simplest pleasures.”
How do minor traumas occur throughout the day?
1. Alarm sounds:
Dr. Meg explained that many people with minor unresolved traumas have trouble sleeping.
She said: “If you’re overly vigilant all day long, it’s hard to switch off at night.
In her new book out today, Dr. Meg describes minor traumas as “everyday psychological wounds” that continue to accumulate over time.
“We are on this alert either because we are highly sensitive people in an anxious, busy, or stimulating world, or because our innate stress response always overrides the urge to sleep. , can make it nearly impossible to fall asleep.
‘I mean, you tried to relax watching a video on your phone last night, but one turned into two, then three, and the TinyT pattern of bedtime revenge procrastination (unconscious on a full-on day without me) rebelled against). -whatever the time), it was early when I finally put down my phone.
She advised people to “stay out of action” during the day.
“Pepper your waking hours with small activities of self-care to limit this self-destructive routine,” she said.
2. Breakfast time:
Dr. Meg explained that breakfast time can be the time when “parental guilt” kicks in for those who have children and continue to work.
She surrounds us with the message that we should be “perfect parents who keep our cool in the chaos of the morning” while at the same time having fulfilling and well-paying careers.
“These unrealistic expectations can act as social TinyTs because they lead to anxiety, chronic worry, guilt, and shame.
“Everybody else seems like they can juggle all areas of their lives, so why can’t I? No one else does!”
According to Dr. Meg, this is the time when work stress starts to build up.
“I got an email from a colleague and it’s pretty confusing,” she said.
On the surface it looks like a compliment, but this person says, “Your report was excellent. Considering your background, don’t you think your work is excellent!”
“Besides frequent interruptions in meetings and how we cross boundaries around personal space, this is a clear pattern of workplace microaggressions and a frequent form of TinyT in modern life.
“While you can challenge microaggressions by rephrasing, seeking clarification, or taking a direct approach, please seek support from the relevant contacts within your organization. This inappropriate behavior should not be tolerated.”
4. Lunch time:
Dr. Meg explained that hearing from a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while can increase stress levels.
“I feel like this friendship at school is pretty one-sided, but every time you try to mention it, she starts ghosting you,” she explained.
“Then some time later, when she seems like she needs something, the breadcrumbs start again. That’s the number of fingers on one hand.
“When you maintain unfulfilled friendships, you’re using up precious space that you can dedicate to someone who nurtures you, rather than gaslighting and draining you with TinyT’s ghosting and breadcrumb behavior.”
A psychologist described her process for dealing with this type of behavior from friends and partners, which she called OWN.
It involves having an open conversation with the person, taking a “surprise and curiosity” approach rather than criticism. She also said it’s important to be willing to say “no” to a friendship if it doesn’t serve your needs.
As the post-lunch slump sets in, many turn to social media to take some time off. However, according to Dr. Meg, this can significantly increase our stress levels.
“You start getting overwhelmed by everything that’s going on in the world,” she said.
“Inhabiting a digital space provokes a constant stress response, so you can create your own TinyT set.
Instead, focus on your personal sphere of influence—the life you directly influence—and limit your news consumption to a short amount of time during the day. ‘
“After such a long day, you start to feel a little panic inside the tube,” Dr. Meg explained.
“The amount of people on the commute and the unrequited love gives me that terrifying scrum feeling I experienced as a kid.
You get frustrated with this because it was a long time ago and no one got hurt. Do not develop coping strategies that could mitigate the harm.
“Using breathing techniques can help in this situation. Repeat, ‘I am safe,’ while using a relaxation app to calm your nervous system in a trigger environment. ”
While it can be a relief to come home, there are still aspects of home life that can cause “small traumas,” Dr. Meg argues.
“Home is a tip and everyone needs to eat,” she said.
There is growing indignation: “Why is cooking always left to me?” Why do you think your other half is glaring at you?
“Then, when he asks you what’s wrong?” I asked if it was.
“This type of person-pleaser often stems from childhood. When you were younger, you needed to be needed. This was your role.” , there must be a better way than this TinyT pattern.
“To work on people-pleasing tendencies, start small and allow others to do their part. This is called a behavioral experiment and is an exercise commonly used in cognitive-behavioral therapy.
“Observe how you feel. In the process, observe the consequences of allowing others to take on some of the burden and be kind to you.”
Tiny Traumas by Dr. Meg Arrol is available for purchase today