We are pretty big fans of movies here at Southeast Psych. We are also fans of psychology. We’ve got a blog series called More Than a Movie, where we take a look at some life lessons you can learn from the big screen. I recently saw Gravity (and loved it) and these are the 6 lessons I learned.
- Take a deep breath, but not too deep: When you find yourself in a stressful situation, try to calm yourself down. Deep breaths will help lower your heart rate and reduce anxiety. By getting your body to a more balanced state, you will feel much more relaxed. Also, if you are in a space suit and your oxygen supply is limited, quick, rapid breaths use up way more air.
- Let Houston worry about it: Early on in the movie Dr. Ryan Stone asks if they should be worried about the debris headed their way. Captain Kowalski responds with, “Let them worry about it down there.” Basically, if it is out of your control, worrying about it won’t do anything for you. Houston already had the situation on their radar and there was nothing the astronauts could do that mission control couldn’t.
- Stick to the routine: When everything went wrong up in space and communication was lost with mission control, they kept going through the same routine they knew. Captain Kowalski keeps talking to Houston even though no one is talking back. This allows him to stick to what he knows and let his training do the work. By doing the same old routine even in the worst case scenario, he can remain calm and stay focused.
- Don’t forget your training: When you are struggling to find the answer, you may be surprised to how much you already know. If you can focus and think back to what you have learned in the past (whether it was at NASA or that one community college course you took in the summer) the answer could be something you already know.
- Stay relaxed any way you know how: This is especially true in stressful situations. Captain Kowalski was a space veteran and had done space walks countless times before. He would frequently tell stories to Houston that were completely unrelated to the mission. This was his way of keeping cool, and it worked.
- Never give up: There is always another plan or another idea that can be improvised. If you think you’re out of options, think harder.
“It’s time to stop driving. It’s time to go home.”
More Than a Movie: Star Trek
More Than a Movie: The Great Gatsby
More Than a Movie: World War Z