Why having healthy coping skills is helpful

In Blog by Celine Elise Alvarez1 Comment

Coping skills, what are those? Coping skills are about how you deal with what life throws at you, how you manage your stress, anxiety and internally how you respond to these challenges. So what is a good coping skill vs. a not so great one? Check out these 3 ways that you can gauge your coping skills.

Life is not what it’s supposed to be. It’s what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference. ~Virginia Satir
1)Are your coping skills helping you or harming you?

Sometimes we have coping skills that help us in the short term like watching TV, playing video games, drinking alcohol, smoking pot or eating junk foods as a way of self soothing. This gives us a quick fix for the moment but just distracts from the actual issue. When we try to use something outside of ourselves to soothe a problem it just creates a bigger problem. The only way to deal with problems is to face them and make friends with them. Accept them for who they are.

When we wish for something different and try to deny the current situation we keep ourselves stuck. If the feelings are currently overwhelming it is okay to put them on pause, as long as you revisit the feelings at a later date. It is when it becomes a pattern of avoidance that we get into trouble because then we are not dealing with difficult situations. Avoidance can likely lead to dependence on external things to make us feel better, which can lead to addiction. Learning to breathe, meditate and write about our problems can help us to externalize our feelings, gain clarity over them and to sit with them.

We have two strategies for coping; the way of avoidance or the way of attention. ~ Marylin Fergeson
2) Are you angry, denying that anything is wrong, attacking others to manage your feelings?

When we use anger, denial or attacking others as a coping skill with out acknowledging the core feelings of sadness or fear, then we are distracting ourselves from the actual issue. We are using these feelings to manage the ones that we are afraid of the ones that will make use feel vulnerable and exposed. This way of coping is unhelpful because it does not allow us to see the true issue. We are having reactionary feelings to the situation. Reactions are a defense mechanism which is usually not seen as a positive coping skill.

When we are willing to look at why we are mad, what we want to deny or  why we attack others we can learn what we are distracting ourselves from. When we stop with the distractions and drop into gaining clarity and actually examining how our ego has gotten hurt we can learn a lot about ourselves and how we relate to others.

3) What are positive ways of coping?

So are you ready to learn new ways of coping? Check out this list:

  1. Breathe Deeply
  2. Practice Meditation
  3. Use affirmations to change the way that you are thinking
  4. Write in a journal and let all the feelings out
  5. Dance out the feelings
  6. Make art work about the feelings
  7. Color in a  mandala or a coloring book to provide containment for feelings and relaxation
  8. Reach out to trusted friends to  gain support
  9. Accept yourself and your feelings.
  10. Work on practicing self compassion
  11. See your mistakes LIFE LESSONS. Be grateful for them.
  12. Go for a walk for 10 minutes outside and practice being mindful and grounding.
  13. Take a bath to relax
  14. Eat a healthy meal
  15. Communicate your feelings in a kind and considerate way
  16. Do yoga
  17. Scream into a pillow
  18. Take a break
  19. Listen to music
  20. Allow yourself to cry

DOWNLOAD THIS LIST HERE

Now take a 3×5 card write down some of the ways that help you to cope from this list or maybe you feel inspire to write some of you own. Having positive coping skills is all about a balance of enjoyment, self soothing and facing yourself.

How do you cope? Please comment below Need help with learning better coping skills? Please feel free to reach out to me for a a free phone consultation contact me at 323.515.2278 or celine@innergrowththerapy.com.

Have a blessed day.

Best,

Celine's Signature

 

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