A psychologist has studied the ways in which we think in a way that helps us to cope with stress and anxiety.
“We tend to think about ourselves and our experiences as if they are our fault and we are responsible for the stress and stress causes,” said Professor John T. Smith, a psychologist and director of the University of Western Australia’s Institute for Anxiety Research and Development.
“The idea is that if you are stressed, you are a victim, and that if your behaviour is bad, you need to change it.”
Professor Smith has been working with university students and their families to develop the theory behind this new understanding of self.
“This is about thinking about what happens in your life as if you have been the victim of your own thoughts,” Professor Smith said.
For more on stress and mental health, watch the video below: A study by the University’s Institute of Anxiety Research & Development found that about one in five Australians suffer from anxiety, and the majority of people feel it affects their work, family and friends.
Research suggests that stress affects your mood, and can affect how you react to situations, said Dr Jennifer A. White, a lecturer in clinical psychology at the University.
Dr White said the concept of victimhood is a useful way to think and act towards those who suffer from mental health problems.
She said that people can be reluctant to seek help, and people can take on too much responsibility for the health of their families and friends, so they can feel vulnerable.
Professor White said we tend to feel guilty about our actions.
But the research suggests it’s not always the behaviour of the perpetrator that is our fault, but the thoughts we carry around in our minds that create a cycle of anxiety and stress.
What is a victim?
Professor Smith said people who suffer anxiety and depression have been “victims” of the “tragedy of the commons” and we need to acknowledge that.
He said we often try to blame others for our problems, but we need help to break that cycle.
“We can’t get away with being a victim of our own mental health,” he said.
“Our behaviour needs to be looked at and analysed to see if it is contributing to our own condition.”
He added that when we are feeling vulnerable and insecure, our brains are telling us to try to escape.
The researchers found that people who were feeling stressed and anxious were less likely to take action to alleviate the stress.
But the researchers also found that while it was important to take control of our thoughts and behaviour, it wasn’t always the perpetrator’s fault.
“The perpetrator is often in the loop in a sense,” Dr White said.
“He or she can have the responsibility for creating the problem and can take steps to change the behaviour.”
Professor Adam J. Wilson, the chair of the department of psychology at Western Sydney University, said that while there were many factors that contribute to stress, it was not always easy to identify the triggers and avoid triggering feelings.
His research found that when people are feeling anxious, they were more likely to say they were trying to escape, but they also reported feeling more negative thoughts about themselves.
“It is not a one-size-fits-all, it’s a bit like a family of five,” he explained.