With almost 40 degrees Celsius on the thermometer, it's important to keep a cool head. If it weren't for the anger in your stomach because the air conditioning on the bus failed. Well, at least the other passengers share the sweaty fate, because as the saying goes: A suffering shared is a suffering halved. But is that really the case?
Psychological expressions accompany us in many situations in life. They can provide comfort, give us words for feelings we otherwise wouldn't be able to name, and illustrate what's going on inside us. Sometimes we just say proverbs to ourselves without thinking about the actual meaning. This can quickly lead to misunderstandings, especially in a psychological context. That's why we've taken a closer look at six idioms related to the human psyche.
One appointment follows the other, household tasks pile up and free time often becomes scarce. We live in fast-moving times. As time pressure increases, stress increases - and it can cloud the senses. This makes it all the more important to keep a cool head. Or, to put it another way: Approach tasks and decisions calmly and pragmatically. However, the head does not have to be cool in the actual sense of the word. However, people who fail to regulate stress actually run the risk of their brain being overwhelmed. The release of the stress hormone cortisol puts our body on alert, which in turn causes blood pressure to rise and breathing to become faster. After a stressful situation, we therefore need the opportunity to regenerate. Otherwise, our stress system could overheat at some point - which, in the worst case, leads to changes in the brain.
By the way: Heat can also prevent us from keeping a cool head. At temperatures above 25 degrees, the risk of suffering a depressive episode increases, as Trevor Harley, psychologist at the Scottish University of Dundee, reported in an interview with the British Daily Mail. "When outside temperatures rise, the brain has problems with complex tasks. What is more worrying, however, is the increased risk of suicide or self-harm." At temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, our brain can swell, leading to typical heat symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and nausea.
The annoying neighbor who pokes at you for the twentieth time when you actually want to watch TV in peace, the friend who consistently behaves without understanding or even just the thread who just doesn't want anything to get into the eye of the needle: if we just get annoyed about things long enough, then At some point anger comes.
Physically, the unloved feeling actually makes itself felt in the stomach area, in the form of a feeling of pressure. This especially happens when we swallow anger instead of acting on it. Of course, we shouldn't cut things short in the office if we don't like something. So sometimes it's not appropriate to let our anger out - but at some point the anger has to come out of the gut again. Because: Suppressed feelings do not disappear into thin air, but are guaranteed to express themselves again. And then they often come back with double force; or even in the form of psychosomatic complaints or depression. By the way: Along with sadness, fear and stress, anger is one of the most common causes of psychosomatic illnesses.
Anyone who has problems should talk about it. This is advice that almost everyone has probably received at some point. But can suffering really be halved when we share ourselves with another person? Psychology professor Tom Brinthaupt from Middle Tennessee State University also asked himself this question. In several studies he was able to prove that we actually feel better when we talk about worries and fears.
According to a study by the two social psychologists Rajagopal Raghunathan and Kim Corfmann, the type of exchange also matters. Accordingly, it helps us most if we share our suffering with people who are close to our hearts and, in the best case, share similar views.
There are people with whom we understand each other blindly, share common memories, values and interests and feel great sympathy. Everything just fits. Some would say: The chemistry is right. And she really does. Because – as disappointing as it may be for some romantics – chemical processes in our bodies basically decide who we like or who we fall in love with.
When choosing a partner, our nose often decides who we like at first. We subconsciously perceive the gene pool of our counterparts through our sense of smell and thereby unnoticed select the partners with whom the chemistry is literally right in order to have healthy offspring.
The loss of a loved one is one of life's greatest crises. Those who suffer from heartbreak often talk about a broken heart. The organ cannot literally break, but “broken heart syndrome” has been known in medicine for a long time. The phenomenon is triggered by severe emotional stress and causes symptoms similar to those of a heart attack, such as shortness of breath and heart pain. Heart dysfunction occurs primarily in women after menopause - exactly how this occurs has not yet been clearly researched. But the fact is, the heart is not really broken.
Who doesn't know it: someone in the room starts laughing and a little later everyone present laughs with them. Laughter is a wonderful element of human communication. It relaxes us, we are in the here and now and it makes us happy. And laughter is proven to be contagious. Psychologist Ilona Papousek from the University of Graz explains the phenomenon as follows: "When we observe other people laughing, the regions of the brain that are active when we laugh ourselves activate. This prepares us to laugh along."
By the way, you can even infect yourself with your laughter: by simply grinning at yourself in the mirror for a while. It doesn't even have to be a real laugh, because at some point the whole thing turns into a real laugh anyway. Either because you find yourself pretty funny at the moment, or because your body is signaling to your brain, "Hey, now we're laughing!"
Source: University of Mannheim, study / Monaco University, Australia, study / Daily Mail, Great Britain, report
Do you have suicidal thoughts? Telephone counseling offers help. It is anonymous, free and available around the clock on 0 800 / 111 0 111 and 0 800 / 111 0 222. Advice via email is also possible. A list of nationwide help centers can be found on the website of the German Society for Suicide Prevention.
The number against grief is also available for children and young people from Monday to Saturday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. - the number is 116 111.