Psychological tension (also: psychological tension) is a generic term for various states that are related to a level of activity in the nervous system . The term is used in particular in everyday language as well as in sports psychology and is partly used in work psychology . In the medical context, psychological and at the same time physiological reactions in animals and humans are included under the term stress .
The suspense that occurs in readers or viewers is used as a literary or dramaturgical means. Colloquially, mental tension or excitement is called a thrill , which plays an essential role in roller coasters and extreme sports , for example . In connection with appearances in front of an audience there is talk of stage fright .
Tension and tension release
- an attitude of tense expectation or apprehension, fear or insecurity, nervousness , motivation and joy , a guilty conscience or a feeling of dissatisfaction
- mental stress
- Use of drugs , including everyday drugs such as coffee , use of medication .
Due to the complexity of the processes in humans, feedback effects are possible under these factors.
According to Gestalt psychology , unfinished actions or unsolved problems, possibly unconsciously, remain as psychological tension. The emotional state of cognitive dissonance is also attributed to psychological tension. In industrial psychology, emotional tension is associated with intuitive and creative processes.
Edmund Jacobson observed that mental tension and stress in people go hand in hand with physical tension. Medicine knows numerous stress reactions as the body's reaction to stressors . Increased psychological tension (psychological overexcitation ) can lead to tension and thus to less than optimal results in sports, for example. Excessive tension also leads to decreased learning performance. In addition, mental tension and stress are held responsible for a wide variety of diseases and disorders. For example, persistent psychological tension can result in musculoskeletal disorders .
In the salutogenesis approach he developed, Aaron Antonovsky assumes that resources , and in particular a high sense of coherence, allow people to cope with stressful situations and potentially harmful tensions.
People are aware of the approximate extent of their own psychological tension through self-perception as inner tension, without the individual necessarily having a complete picture of existing tension. Psychotherapeutic treatments aim to raise awareness of problems or tensions or to solve them. The acupuncture and numerous esoteric approaches and Scientology invoke that would be solved by special techniques unconscious tensions and blockages.
Stress reduction can also be brought about through behavioral or cognitive strategies. Also, relaxation techniques such as Controlled breathing, biofeedback , progressive muscle relaxation or autogenic training lead to a reduction of tension. In Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) methods, so-called “neurogenic tremors” are intended to dissolve psychological tension and trauma. Sports activities and heat applications such as bathing or taking a sauna enable you to “switch off” mentally and then regenerate in the event of acute tension. Tension may fade away on its own after a while; Laughing and crying also relieve tension.
Criticism and lack of measurability
There is no defined procedure for operationalizing (making measurable) psychological tension. An indication of the psychological tension can be found in physical rest, for example by measuring the pulse rate . The respiratory rate and blood pressure can also be influenced by psychological tension. The postulated functionality of the controversial lie detector , which measures reactions that may be due to nervousness or other emotions, is based on such relationships .
A single parameter "psychological tension" can only insufficiently describe the multitude of possible psychological and mental processes and states. For example, extensive physical and psychological relaxation, but at the same time a high level of vigilance and concentration, are required before achieving sporting performance .
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