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Regular version of the site

Manage Stress through Using Psycho-Dramas, Photo Collages and the 'Life Balance Wheel'

December 21 saw HSE hold its first psychology festival 'Offload FEST', in which specialists from the HSE's Psychological Counseling Center talked about the various different ways of achieving understanding, fighting stress and coping with problems. Below we list some of their very useful advice.

Share your problems,and resolve them using the 'Life Balance Wheel' method – in which you divide your life into separate spheres: health, work, family, etc. As soon as you see your life divided up like this that sense of 'it's all terrible' vanishes, and you start to see where the problems are. Then you can start to solve them.

Free your body.There's a theory that says that how we interact, our behavior and emotions are directly linked to how our bodies feel, and vice versa – all your body's stresses and strains are linked to things we are feeling. We suppress negative emotions but our bodies respond to them, tensing up, and end up almost wooden – but we stop noticing it. Two zones are most vulnerable to this, the neck and shoulders, and the base of our spine. Our shoulders carry the burden of our responsibilities, and the base of our spine takes the weight of all the resentment, anger, and fear. Psychological massage can help locate these knots of physical tension and free them from their emotional cause. At the same time, listening to these feelings can help the body relax. Yoga therapy according to Gert Van Leuween's Critical Alignment theory can also help. If you're interested in finding out more about that, then the HSE's Psychological Counseling Center can help.

Turn your problems into characters. We each have real-time dramas playing out within us. In these 'psycho-dramas' we are involved in an endless discussion with ourselves. Why couldn't I make a decision? Why don't I understand that person? How can I get out of this situation? All these questions have answers, which you can find if you split your reactions to particular themes. Turn your worries into characters, think up a script, and start the show. Visualizing problems can help us find answers to many different questions. Of course, you will not know exactly which faculty to enroll in, but you will understand why you couldn't decide.

'Photograph' your subconscious. With this method, you'll need some like-minded people to help. First, take a bundle of old newspapers and magazines with striking photographs and start doing a photo-collage. This will be the visualization of your wants and needs, reflecting what's going on in your head. Cut out the pictures you're drawn to, and create a general picture of your internal world. Discuss this with your friends, focusing on the feelings that each picture sparks in you, the life-events it's linked to, and listen to their advice and comments. This will help you systematize your thoughts and feelings, and you'll understand how they seem from the outside.

Watch a film, to understand yourself. Film has healing powers, if you don't just watch it with a bucket of popcorn, but use it to try to help you through your problems. Think of your problem, and watch the film as if you're in it. How would you act? What could change, if you were there instead of the lead character? Discuss the film with your friends, and explain the character's actions from your own point of view – and you'll get to know yourself better.

Look into the future. Look back at 2014, it's brightest moments and achievements. Then imagine you're already looking back at 2015, and remembering what you were able to achieve. Think about each sphere of life separately: health, career, finances, relationships, hobbies. This will help you build a clear plan for the next year, and to understand how to acheive your goals.

See also:

Defending Personal Boundaries: How Birth Order Affects Children’s Psychological Sovereignty

HSE psychologists have studied how the presence or absence of siblings, as well as birth order, affect children’s ability to maintainpersonal boundaries. The results showed that only children and second-born children have the strongest sense of personal boundaries, while first-born children have the least. However, as children become adults, their ability to balance between their own needs and those of others becomes determined more by gender.

'Going to HSE Seemed Like a Great Way to Pursue My Interests’

September 4, 2019 was a day of firsts for the School of Psychology and the Centre for Cognition and Decision Making. Zachary Yaple, who was born in the United States and grew up in England, defended his dissertation, 'Neurophysiological Correlates of Risky Decision-Making'. His defense marked the first PhD to be prepared at the Centre for Cognition and Decision Making and the first PhD to be awarded to an international student by the Doctoral School of Psychology.

The Brain Processes Words Placed on the Right Side of a Screen More Quickly

When reading words on a screen, the human brain comprehends words placed on the right side of the screen faster. The total amount of presented information on the screen also affects the speed and accuracy of the brain’s ability to process words. These are the findings of HSE researchers Elena Gorbunova and Maria Falikman presented in an article that was published in the journal, Advances in Cognitive Psychology.

The Campaign Against Bullying

Educators do not always deal with student aggression in the most effective manner. Sometimes teachers resort to severe and unsystematic methods that only make the bullying worse. According to researchers of the HSE Laboratory for Prevention of Asocial Behavior, the problem requires a comprehensive approach: aggression prevention programmes need to be incorporated into educational policy, and, in turn, schools need to foster supportive psychological climate and trust between teachers and students.

Work That Kills: The Danger of Nonstandard Working Schedules

More than 64% of employed Russians work evenings, nights or weekends, and this is one of the highest figures among European countries. Andrei Shevchuk and Anna Krasilnikova were the first to study the extent of nonstandard working hours in Russia and its impact on work-life balance.

HSE Scholars Propose New Method for Measuring Individual Well-being

Their initial tests were carried out with football fans, by measuring their emotional state. It turned out that, on average, uncertainty about a match result can increase the probability of unhappiness by 13.6%. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Emotions from Touch: What Textures Bring Happiness, and What Cause Anger

Touching different types of surfaces may incur certain emotions. This was the conclusion made by psychologists in a recent empirical study. Previously, emotional perception was generally studied in relation to visual and audial modalities.

What Do Digital Traces Have to Offer for the Study of Psychological Wellbeing?

The round table on ‘Psychological Wellbeing in the Digital Age’ brought together a range of scholars and one industry professional to talk about how a user’s digital footprint—or ‘digital traces’—can be used to discern a person’s psychological state, predict their behavior, and, potentially, even improve their psychological wellbeing.

The Anxiety of Exposure: Why We Suffer from Imposter Syndrome

Researchers from the HSE Perm, in collaboration with an American colleague, confirmed the theory that impostor syndrome fully mediates the link between perfectionism and psychological distress

Abusive Supervisors: The First Study in Russia to Examine Abusive Supervision

Abusive supervisors who undermine and bully employees cost U.S. corporations an estimated $24 billion annually. Evgenia Balabanova, Maria Borovik and Veronika Deminskaya are the first researchers to study the problem in Russia.