5 Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Tragedy strikes us when we are least expecting it. You do not have time to prepare or understand what is happening, and your whole world can turn upside down at the blink of an eye. This can lead a person down a dark road of self-medicating through drugs and alcohol, self-destructive behaviors, and bursts of violence or anger. A person’s instinct is to do whatever it takes the numb the pain and hide from their own feelings – but this is not the answer and there are ways you can cope that are healthy and constructive.
Depending on the trauma you are trying to cope with, there are various ways that you can manage your emotions that are not destructive to you or the ones around you. That is not to say that the road will be easy, but healthy coping can save you from more problems piling up in your life.
- Seek Help
One of the hardest things for a lot of people to do is admit that they need help. Sometimes we are not able to analyze our decisions because we are too close to the flame. If you are struggling with a mental health condition, it may be time to look for the opinion of a mental health professional.
Both therapy and medicine – whether alone or combined – can allow a person to handle their feelings in a healthy manner. A therapist can help you dive within yourself to find where emotions are stemming from and what triggers cause you to want to jump to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Seeking help is not a weakness, but rather a strength – a commitment to yourself to make sure that you are living a healthy lifestyle.
- Find Support
You are not alone. No matter how alone you may feel inside your own head, there is someone that cares about you deeply and wants the best for you. Positive relationships are essential when you are going through a hard time. Surround yourself with people that have the best intentions in mind and want you to succeed and work past your current hardships.
This may also be a time where you distance yourself from people who cause you extra mental strain. It is not selfish to put yourself and your mental health first. There are also plenty of support groups that you can join where you can discuss what you are going through with people that have gone through similar things. There is power in community, and being able to share your experiencing with trusted peers can take weight off your chest you didn’t even know was there.
- Change the things you can, accept those you cannot
It is easy to sit with your thoughts and dig yourself into a rabbit hole of “what if’s”. A part of the coping process is acceptance. This is acknowledging that there are some things in life that you simply have no control over. Once you admit this reality, you can focus on the things that you do have control over. It may take some time to get to this headspace, but with the proper support, treatment, and determination you are bound to reach peace.
- Take you mind off things (in a healthy way)
One of the reasons people look to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping is because they think that it makes their problems disappear. This cannot be further from the truth. Not only do they not disappear, but you also create more problems down the line if you fall victim to addiction.
Instead of looking for escape in drugs and alcohol, try to take your mind off things in a healthy way. Yes, that doesn’t mean your emotions don’t exist, but no one should have to sit in a state of emotional anarchy every second of every day. Instead, you can take up a hobby, go exercise, meditate, read a book, get lunch with friends – the list is endless.
- Be kind to yourself
Coping is a very personal experience, and there can be setbacks in the process. This is why you need to have a positive mindset and give yourself a break. You already have outside variables that are causing you mental strain, there is no reason you should add more. Give yourself space and time to recover and be prepared for the highs and lows along the way.
If you would like to talk to a mental health professional about healthy coping mechanisms, give us a call today. Mental Health Center at Destination Hope has certified mental health professionals that are dedicated to getting you to the happiest and healthiest life possible.