External and internal conflict: effects on mental health


Dealing with external or internal conflict can take a toll on our lives. You can’t walk away from internal conflict, but we can walk away or remove ourselves from external conflicts.

We can’t get a restraining order or talk to human resources on how our brains think or feel. But we have professional counselling through counsellors, psychoanalyst’s and psychologists.

We have GP’s and psychiatrist’s for medicinal paths. As for external conflict we have our own skills, the legal system and human resources (HR) with both personal life excluding HR and workplace. Emotions and differing level of skills and thought can create conflict withing the workplace.

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The Conversations:

Personal skills of inner conflict resolution

Every day, we deal with our own inner conflicts, cognitive dissonance. Emotions and thoughts telling us to be fearful and thoughts of being useless or worthless.

Brain fade and overthinking are both an issue when it comes to stress. We can either zone out or overthink conflict, causing unwanted stress. Brain fade and overthinking causes us to not deal with it and we attempt to ignore rather than resolve.

Workplace external conflict resolution

Workplace conflict usually entails someone finding their technique better than yours or the speed and or skills in workplace tasks. Bullying can result from differences in standards and polices. Workplace conflicts can occur within and outside the workplace, you’re still representing a company outside the workplace when interacting with colleagues.

Resolving conflict techniques

Internal conflict such as an emotion, thoughts, the worrying and fear of everyday tasks and interactions within life. As we learn in emotional intelligence, developing stable emotions is key to solving conflict.

Having a mental illness such as chronic stress, anxiety or depression with another ailment or just by themselves causes conflict by themselves. Making life harder than it has to be in resolving both internal and external conflict.

Firstly, resolving with and bully or just plain angry person is all about agreeing with them via paraphrasing words.

Denying conflict allows it to grow into an ongoing problem, as fear is the bigger issue. Talking and listening, finding a solution to the problem, is key.

The Science:

How our mental health is affect during our life’s from from varying sources is well documented in psychology, neuroscience and behaviour science.

Early childhood

In early childhood, the relationship and bond with the mother is important in the growth of social intelligence. The bond between mother and child between the ages of 1 and 9 are important in social development, reducing conflict with peers.

When a parent tries to falsify a child’s actual experience, this leads to internal contradictions of the child. Being truthful and honest with children leads to development a healthy mind. Its important to avoid internal conflict now and later in life.

The child unconsciously learns by experience, and promoting autonomy increases this resilience. Developing a positive relationship with young children’s conflict is about closeness, honesty, promoting autonomy, this allows for building resilience.


The internal and external conflicts in adolescence can lead to mental health issues through stress and anxiety from both internal and external sources. Biology, puberty transition Education, emotional intelligence.

Parenting Gifted children and Social intelligence. Gifted children were found to perceive their social functionalities and physical health statuses worse than those of normal intelligence. The gifted are generally self-isolating and are less adapted towards their well-being.

Giving emotional intelligence more weight to overall well-being of an individual rather than focusing on academic skills. Development in adolescence has an effect on cognitive development, with vulnerabilities of being exposed to stress exposure.

When put under pressure during the ages of puberty, it can lead to chronic stress. Causing internal and external conflicts and mental health issues. Also, anxiety can have substantial effect in cognitive and behavioural impairments in dealing with conflict.

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Conflict in adulthood become even more complex as we have more freedoms and responsibilities. Similar to adolescence, the stress of anxiety are a major issue in mental health on dealing with internal and external conflicts.

In adults, chronic stress from conflict in their lives have a negative effect on mental and biological health. Brought on by stress and anxiety with personal or work life.

In some cases PTSD can develop having devastating consequences on one’s life. As with all conflict, stress and anxiety are a major factor with all ages and has an effect on our decision-making skills. Our cognitive abilities become foggy as the stress builds.

Overthinking and Brain fade: Stress

Overthinking can be from anxiety but can also mix with stress causing the mind to overthink. Causing mental health issues such as anxiety and stress and possible ADHD behaviours.

Other health issues of physiology are also common are stomach aches, gastrointestinal, chronic headaches sensory sensitivity and social withdrawal.

For children, spending time in nature reduces the mental health problems in behaviour and emotions. Spending time with nature, especially during COVID-19 lockdowns, has shown a reduction in mental health problems in children.

Brain fog is when stress is affecting your processing and body, as your body is now secreting a hormone(s). Brain fog is caused by trauma and depending on the level of trauma I may have a long term mental health problems.


Conflict is never easy at any age, but we can put some effort in to reducing it. As from the research conflict either internal or external cases health issue, biological and mental.

However, the quicker we can resolve the conflict and allow life to flow, the less stress we endure. At the same time, we need to respect ourselves and the other individual(s) in each conversation.

Inner conflict takes time and planning and occasional professional help. As does external conflict and gaining skills to develop conflict resolution skill to accomplish peace.


Bowlby’s Legacy to Developmental Psychology

Conflict Resolution Skills That Can Prevent Bullying

Emotional and Behavioral Characteristics of Gifted Children and Their Families

Giftedness and the Importance of Proper Identification

Neuroscience of Anxiety in the Bright Brain

The Impact of Stress on the Structure of the Adolescent Brain: Implications for Adolescent Mental Health

Adolescent anxiety disorders and the developing brain: comparing neuroimaging findings in adolescents and adults

The Impact of Stress on Cognition and Motivation

Lockdown wellbeing: children who spent more time in nature fared best

Brain activity patterns after trauma may predict long-term mental health


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