Surge Capacity: The Psychological Mechanism to Deal with Acute Stressors

The Psychological Mechanism to Deal with Acute Stressors (Image Source: Shutterstock)

What is Surge Capacity?

We’ve all experienced that familiar feeling when faced with an emergency. Suddenly, you are running on adrenaline so that you can deal with the threat at hand. This response comes from the fight-or-flight region of the brain which helps you make decisions that guarantee your safety.

Surge Capacity: Have you reached yours? │ Show Me Hope — Tri-County Mental Health

You’re Feeling Overwhelmed Because Your Surge Capacity is Depleted

When the global COVID-19 pandemic hit across the world in early 2020, we were all thrown into a new normal. Quarantines, curfews, and travel restrictions took effect. Working from home was fun. We were doing alright. After all, most humans were born for moments like these. We found ways of surviving and making the most of that traumatic experience.

A Lot of Us Are Stressed Out About Being Stressed Out. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Coping Skills: Dealing with Psychological Stressors and a Depleted Surge Capacity

I am an anxious person at my core. Old traumas still lurk under the surface. I have kids at just about every age and stage (eight, ten, fifteen, and twenty), so everything worries me! And living with greater peace on a day-to-day basis is massively important to me. Learning to read my own body’s signals to notice when I’m in overload has been a saving grace. I can feel a layer of tension that tells me it’s time to stretch. I can feel a pressure in my head that tells me to take deeper, longer breaths. And I can feel an ache in my heart that tells me when it’s time to communicate my needs more clearly and ask for support.

Old Traumas Still Lurk Under The Surface. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Change Your Expectations

No doubt you want to feel like you can do anything and everything. It’s a great feeling because it lets you feel in control even when the walls are crumbling around you. But, in these uncertain times, you need to be kind to yourself. Lower your expectations and come to terms with the fact that things won’t always go your way. Switching to a “glass-half-full” kind of mentality will help renew your surge capacity.

Focus on What You Can Do

You’re currently surviving on a burst of energy trying to navigate the new territory of uncertainty. At some point, that adrenaline bubble that you rely on will burst. Riding on this kind of negative energy space for so long may lead to feelings of anger and burnout. To recover, you need a period of self-care and downtime.

You Need a Period of Self-Care And Downtime. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Learn to Say No

Embrace the idea of saying no sometimes. Saying no is the best way to help you concentrate on other things you say yes to.

Have a Strong Support System

When your surge capacity has maxed out, having a solid support system in your life can do wonders. Spending some time with people who matter supports your emotional and mental health. Having the right people in your life is also a powerful tool when learning how to cope with anxiety.

Spending Time With People Who Matter Supports Your Mental Health. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Focus on the Now

Obsessing over a better outcome when a stressful situation is dragging out is entirely normal. Paying attention to the now and appreciating the positives can help you deal with acute psychological stressors.

Focus on Interests that Make You Whole

Rather than focusing on everything out of your control, find new interests and reconnect with hobbies that make you feel whole. The important thing is to find ways of dealing with depression and the ability to cope with anxiety. It is the only fuel you need when your surge capacity has depleted. Take a walk, discover the benefits of yoga, or go dancing.

Find New Interests And Reconnect With Hobbies. (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Practicing Self-Care Despite a Depleted Surge Capacity

When a traumatic event seems never-ending, all we crave is the sense of control we once had. It can leave anyone feeling helpless, depressed, and anxious. But you can find that sense of control in the little things, like self-care, to get you through the uncertain days. Knowing that you are not alone can be a source of relief. Practicing patience will help you focus on things you can control. These little things add up to a strong resilience to face anything that life throws your way. Whether a global pandemic or a traumatic event, you can get through it.



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