The reality of life is that it is not always smooth sailing. You are bound to encounter obstacles, hardship, and stress. As much as we try, we cannot control everything. What you can control, however, is how you cope.
To manage stress and difficult emotions, you need coping skills in place. Healthy coping skills help you through obstacles by building resilience and positively impact your emotional well-being in the long run. You get to decide how to cope and you have two decisions; healthy or unhealthy coping skills.
Healthy Coping Skills
Healthy coping skills may or may not feel good in the moment, but they are always beneficial in the long run.
- Physical Activity – Any sort of movement produces endorphins, a chemical that reduces stress and pain.
- Relaxation Techniques – Deep breathing and meditation all reduce stress levels and improve mental well-being.
- Journaling – Writing down your thoughts and feelings helps to see the problem from a different perspective. Putting words on paper helps calm the body and mind, thus decreasing stress levels.
- Music – Listening to music evokes certain emotions and helps to calm and soothe your mind.
- Dance – Dance is a creative expression that reduces stress through movement and boosts self-confidence.
- Art – Drawing, painting, and knitting are only a few of the many creative activities that have long term benefits. Pleasure hormones (dopamine) increase, while stress hormones (cortisol) decrease.
- Nutrition – When stressed, the necessity for eating nutritious foods increases. Eating well will help fuel your body and build resilience for the obstacles ahead.
- Time Management Skills – If the stressor is around deadlines and tasks, learning time management skills will help mitigate stress levels.
- Support System – Reaching out results in receiving support from others. It is always better to be in the support of others than to struggle alone.
- Seeking Professional Help – Don’t try to solve your problems alone. There are plenty of professionals trained to help you with your particular challenge.
It takes time and practice to form healthy coping skills. It may be helpful to begin by scheduling these in. If you want to make changes in your life and implement healthier coping skills, reach out! In my next blog, I discuss unhealthy coping skills.