Everyone has coping skills they learned at a young age to deal with difficult emotions. You developed them out of necessity–to protect yourself and feel better. But some ways of coping are healthier than others.
For example, drinking every time you feel stressed out or sad, could be something you learned from the adults around you. But you can learn healthy life skills that promote wellbeing instead of making life tougher with these seven to start.
Talk to Someone You Trust
Perhaps one of the simplest approaches to coping and dealing with your emotions is by reaching out to someone else. Finding someone you can talk to, so you can share how you feel gives you an outlet. This person should generally be patient, kind, and not one to gossip. For many people, just being able to verbalize their feelings and thoughts can help a great deal.
An art form like painting, drawing, or playing music can help you express how you’re feeling tangibly, so you process these difficult emotions. The process of creating some kind of work of art is an excellent way to make your thoughts and feelings clear to yourself. It can also be an outlet to release pent-up feelings and explore fantasies.
Set Some Healthy Boundaries
Learn to say “no” when those around you are pushing their feelings and desires on you. If you’re not accustomed to being assertive, then this can take practice.
Care for an Animal
Caring for an animal like a hamster, dog, cat, or horse can improve your sense of wellbeing. However, you must find balance here to avoid blurring boundaries.
Nourish Your Body
Nutrients, as well as physical activity, can impact your life in profound ways, such as:
- How your body/mind manages stress
- Energy levels
- The severity of mental health conditions, especially anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, and insomnia
- Overall health and quality of life
Coping skills take mindful determination. But they are the game-changer you need when struggling with mental health and addiction challenges.
Spend More Time in Nature
In Nashville and the Mid-South, in general, natural beauty resides all around us if we take time to look. From the many greenways and parks to bodies of water like Percy Priest Lake. Even if there is no park near you, visiting any kind of green space can help you feel more connected to the world.
Scientific studies have even shown that just seeing trees can improve mental health. And it’s even better if you can spend some time around greenery, breathing in the fresh oxygen that plants “breathe” out. These kinds of coping skills enrich your life quickly. But unlike other quick fixes like drugs and alcohol, they don’t make things worse in the long-run.
Nourish Yout Mind and Spirit
Your body needs vitamins and exercise to function. Your mind does as well. Spending more time with positive people, engaged in positive activities, or viewing more positive things can lift your spirits. It can eliminate negative self-talk and help you stay focused on making healthy choices that don’t involve using a substance of choice.
How to Learn Coping Skills
Developing these skills takes practice. But like anything in life, the more you practice, the easier it gets. The Integrative Life Center gives those with addiction and mental health challenges a safe place to develop healthy coping skills and improve their life. These include therapies like:
- Nutrition therapy
- Art and music therapy
- Equine therapy (caring for horses)
- Mindfulness meditation therapy
Is the way you’re coping only worsening your situation? Learning healthier ones can help. Please give us a call at 615.455.3903 to find out about our programs.