How To Develop Coping Strategies
Coping with the signs of mental illness can be a real struggle. Good coping strategies are essential to tide over this crisis. When it comes to developing coping skills, there are no right or wrong strategies. Each patient needs to find their own ways to cope. What works for someone doesn’t always work with the next guy. Since the problems we face are unique, our coping strategies too need to be unique. It is, therefore, impossible to suggest specific coping strategies that everyone should develop.
Even so, there are certain strategies that work for almost everyone. Don’t worry if they don’t work for you. Don’t force yourself to do things that don’t help. It will aggravate your pain and make the condition more stressful. The following are merely suggestions. See if they work for you and if they don’t, it doesn’t mean that you can’t cope with your condition. Rather, it just means that you need to find another solution.
Put together a collection of various coping strategies that have worked for you in the past. When bad feelings like anxiety or depression prop their ugly head up, you can use these strategies to fight them.
Find People You Can Trust
This is a very important coping strategy for the mentally ill. Many mental patients suffer from a terrible condition called isolation. Most of them have little or no interaction with the world outside. They detest company because they are afraid of getting judged. Some people believe that this isolation is a type of coping strategy. But that is not exactly true. Everyone should be able to find at least one person they can confide in. This could be a friend or a relative. Having someone to share your feelings with will do wonders for your emotional health.
Replace Your Negative Coping Strategies With Positive Ones
All of us have at least a few coping strategies. Some of these are negative and do not aid our wellness. Actually, they can make our situation worse. Sometimes even positive strategies can have a negative impact on your wellness.
Some people, for example, enjoy listening to loud rock and roll music. Most songs in this genre have an anger based theme. While it is okay to listen to this type of music when you are feeling well, it can make you angrier when you are already angry. This is a good example of a coping strategy creating even more trouble. If you have an anger problem, you should stay away from activities and hobbies that make you even angrier.
Seek Professional Help
It is okay to feel sad. Occasional bouts of anxiety, anger, and depression are normal as long as they do not interfere with your day to day activities. But if your regular coping strategies do not work, feel free to consult a therapist.
They have worked wonders for many mentally ill persons. When you are feeling low, write down those affirmations that make you feel better. Affirmations like ‘I am a good person and I deserve love and respect’ are particularly helpful. While going through a stressful period, pull out your portfolio of affirmations. They will help you focus on positive thoughts about you and the world.
Develop A Hobby Or An Interest
This could be anything that you enjoy doing. For some, it could be reading or writing. It doesn’t really matter what it is. Finding an activity that you enjoy doing can help you channel your energy in the right direction. It may also help you overcome feelings of loneliness.
According to psychologists, everyone can learn coping skills and improve their wellbeing. When it comes to coping with psychological illnesses, building resilience is the key. You must be able to cope with just about anything that life throws at you.
Try To Solve The Problem
Find out what you can do to overcome what has happened to you. Don’t seek sympathy. Yes, sometimes it feels good when people sympathize with you, but it won’t help your case in the long run. Get rid of the victim mentality. There is no point in telling people how bad your symptoms are. Rather try to solve the problem. This strategy will be more helpful in the long run.
Try to control your emotions. This can be hard, but if you stay calm instead of reacting violently, you will feel that you are in greater control of the situation. Keep in mind that when we get angry, we lose control of the situation. Anger controls our thought processes. Try different coping methods to keep yourself calm. When you can control a particularly dangerous emotion like anger, you will not have much difficulty controlling other negative emotions.
Breathe deeply to control your anxiety. Our breathing tends to become quick and shallow when we are anxious. This deprives our cells of oxygen. Deep breathing itself can have a calming effect on your body and mind. Inhale through the nose and breathe deeply into your stomach. Try to stay relaxed physically. Take a warm bath and do some stretching to relieve tension in your muscle.
Keep in mind that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. So maintain a positive attitude towards everything. When you are facing a challenging situation, think about something relaxing. Imagine being in your favorite place or floating in the water. Such thoughts will make you feel happier.
It Is Your Life
Everyone faces problems. Of course, some experience more problems than others. It is still possible to get over them. Just because you had an unhappy childhood, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to be unhappy all your life. A lot of children coming from dysfunctional families go on to lead happy lives as adults. If you have had a bad experience, make sure that it does not affect your self-esteem.
These are some of the different coping strategies. At least some of them should work for you. If they don’t, that is fine too. Try to develop other strategies that might help.