Kateryna Lazor: Peace is paramount

We present to you an interview with Kateryna Lazor, an investor, businesswoman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Department of Psychology, laureate of the all-Ukrainian rating of successful women «‎TOP-100. Women 2021».

We talk about the psychological influence, the impact of tension in the country on a human’s state, how expertise in socio-psychological issues affects personal life, and we also discuss the need for comprehensive development of a person.

Kateryna, you are faced with social and psychological problems by the nature of your work. Tell me, what topics do people most care about right now?

Today we live in a certain online media mode that forms our agenda every hour. And, let’s just say, at the moment it is the most stressful. Every piece of news on TV, telegram channel or on the Internet carries anxiety and nervousness, which affects the psychological and mental state of the Ukrainian community. In such an atmosphere, it is extremely difficult not to panic and remain a critical-thinking person.

Then tell me, what should a person subjected to psychological influence do?

I know from my own experience that stopping watching the news is an unrealistic task. It is important to understand where your control zone ends: what you can influence and what you cannot. Thus, the issue of endless viewing of the news feed will disappear by itself. The next step is to try to abstract. There are many effective tools for this: breathing practices, prayer, meditation. In addition, a little tincture of valerian will certainly delicately relax your nerves. I will also say that having a personal «‎Plan B» is another source of your mental and psychological peace.

What consequences of such pressure on the psychological level do you see?

When there are emotional and psychological pressure and threat to life, a person will not feel safe anymore, which is one of the basic needs and therefore it affects other areas of their life. The level of anxiety tends to the maximum, the questions of priorities are shifting, where the issue of saving life comes to the fore.

Do you think there should be some psychological support from outside?

I believe that such support is necessary as well as first aid. I’m not the only one who thinks so, given that psychological support can be obtained not only in the Ukrainian Red Cross Society but also at the Ambulance Service, as well as at the State Emergency Service. By the way, in the US, health insurance partially covers the cost of psychological services. I consider such a policy justified and quite logical because after going through a crisis, a person or even a whole society can then cope with the psychological consequences of the crisis experienced for years.

Despite the growing psychological stress in our country, life does not stand still and Ukraine also continues to take part in the Paralympic Games, the future Eurovision Song Contest. Is it correct?

We are now witnessing the Paralympic Games, where Ukraine took a worthy second place after the host country. Ukraine also participated in the World Exhibition of World Achievements — Expo Dubai — a symbol of industrialization and movement into the future. I considered it my duty to attend such an event, and to be honest, Ukraine was represented at a very decent level.

In our pavilion, IT innovations, investment projects, space developments and many other impressive projects with real possibilities for further application were presented. Such ideas impress and inspire a grandiose future which certainly awaits us. We must remain an active participant in international processes in order to be a worthy partner of the leading countries.

Do you think it’s right that a country, inside and around which there is such tension, is exhibiting on such an international platform?

I think this is a logical and correct decision since our actions shape the face of the whole country. And our position in the international arena depends on whether we panic or solve problems clearly and deliberately as they come.

What did you like most about the Expo?

First of all, I liked innovation.

I can say that this is «‎psychology in the picture», everything is so clearly thought out. Everything that you see around is amazing and makes it speak for itself. Such events set the pace for the development of the world community, and one cannot but like this.

Do you think it is possible to continue to develop comprehensively and think about creative, innovative aspects within the framework of psychological and emotional pressure?

I think it needs to be done. A person cannot stand still: they either develop or degrade. And when a person finds themself in a difficult, crisis situation, the best way to survive is to keep moving, to develop themself and their capabilities. After all, all the trials that we go through are sent to us not as punishment, but as edification. Having found the right way out of a situation that we do not like, we will gradually evolve and discover new potential in ourselves. By the way, in psychology, there is such a motivational formula: «‎not because of, but despite». When we move beyond limitations, we become stronger.

In conclusion, what can you say about people who found themselves in the most difficult life situation? How did people show themselves, how did they help others?

A person is manifested not by words, but by deeds. And our nation has shown itself to be maximally united, maximally collected. Charitable assistance is being provided, humanitarian aid is being collected. Now everyone is for each other and this shows us as people of great service. And everyone understands: Peace is paramount!


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