How superheroes can help you manage stress
I recently attended the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science conference in Montreal and attended a workshop on Superheroes. I learned about how identifying with our own personal superhero can help us to view ourselves in a balanced way. Yes I am a bit of a nerd. I love science, nature, science fiction, mechanical things and I admit I’m somewhat of a technophile. So when the conference I attended had a workshop on the relevance of Superheroes in the therapy room I couldn’t miss it.
After completing post-secondary, Janina Scarlet began her work in mental health with war veterans. She was a child survivor of the chernobyl disaster. After moving to the USA she encountered bullies and after watching x-men she found solace in identifying with Storm. She has side-effects of the radiation exposure that make her extra sensitive to barometric pressure. In her work with veterans she discovered that we all desire to be heroes in one way or another. Almost all of her clients related how much they ” wanted to be a superhero. . . . . . But failed.” She often asked them to consider Superman who had phenomenal strength but even he had a weakness – kryptonite.
Our deepest fears can be strongly rooted to our personal kryptonite. The things that we value most, want to protect and hold close are often linked to our softest spots. It can be our deepest desire to be strong and protect those we love but still there is a vulnerability within. That doesn’t mean we can’t be a superhero. We can because when we have awareness of our kryptonite we can strengthen ourselves through a combination of things. Taking care and letting go.