We know that mental and spiritual health contributes to our overall wellness. How we achieve and practice wellness is entirely individual, too. There are so many choices about help these days that you don’t have to look far for options. It is necessary to have techniques at your disposal, such as coping skills, to deal with everyday life and to live a life full of good and balanced wellness.
Coping skills are skills we have that help us to minimise stressful responses and to deal with difficult life situations. If you think about your behaviour now and how you respond to an overload of work, or an offhanded remark, you can see if you have good or bad coping skills.
Coping Skill Examples
Good coping skills:
- Civil discussion
- Going for a walk
Contrastingly, bad coping skills:
- Substance abuse
- Firing back with anger
- Sleeping too much
These examples are a combination of problem-based and emotion-based coping skills. Problem-based skills are useful to employ when you have to change your situation. Emotion-based skills are likely to help when your feelings are of primary importance, but you are unable to change your situation because you don’t want to or are unable to.
Depending on the situation, you may even be able to use a combination of both of these skills. For example, if you have a school or work assignment but are overwhelmed by the project
- Ask for an extension, knowing that the extra time will help you finish the project without additional strain (problem-based)
- Have a hot shower to soothe your body and get back to it, knowing that you are capable (emotional-based)
Since problem-based coping strategies usually require us to collaborate with someone else to fix the situation, a lot of us will use the emotional-based method to get through a challenging situation. While this isn’t always right, or the best thing to do, in particular in working and home environments that depend on a collaborative environment to function, emotional-based coping skills will help you quickly.
Having excellent and practical coping skills contribute to your overall wellness!
Top 10 Emotional Based Coping Strategies
Meditation is a powerful tool that takes time and practise! You can’t meditate once and expect it to heal you immediately. Meditation can be assisted with free Guided Meditation and apps such as Calm. The purpose of meditation is to slow down your mind and ground yourself. In that safety, you are better able to handle the conflict. Meditation is necessary for overall mental and spiritual health.
Buy a book, grab a pen and write it all out! Every single thought that comes to your mind is valid and useful in understanding your reaction/s. There is no right or wrong to journaling, and you shouldn’t worry about grammar, expression, handwriting style – nothing. Just, let it all out as it wishes to be expressed. Later, you can reflect on it.
Exercise has been proven to ease anxiety and depression because it releases feel-good endorphins. By moving your body, you can lift your negative mood, improve self-esteem and cognitive function. It isn’t easy to keep a regular exercise routine, but it is essential to allocate time for exercise, even if it is 20 minutes three or four times a week.
Bathe with Aromatherapy
Water is a powerful cleansing tool, and in conjunction with aromatherapy comes the expression, ‘there is nothing a bath can’t fix’. Different essential oils assist in reducing stress, anxiety and alleviating tension. A soothing bath can calm your mind and help you focus on finding a solution for what is causing your troubles.
Positive Self Talk/Affirmations
Counteracting negative self talk with positive self and affirmations help us to reduce frustration, anxiety ad depression. This takes some time too. We have to make it a regular habit, so our subconscious minds believe it.
A gratitude list helps you to focus on all that you have in your life, even though it might feel like it is falling apart. A simple list of 3-5 items a day can bring the biggest of smiles to your face. Journaling, meditating, affirmations and gratitude list are part of my morning routine. Thirty minutes in the morning helps me to have a good outlook on the day, and excellently cope with all the conditions life throws at me.
At first, you might feel like a fool. It will get better. Grab a hairbrush, pretend you’re the lead singer and get dancing! Similar to how exercise and movement motivate feel-good endorphins, a dance party is a sure-fire way to get your heart pumping and body shaking. A lot of people with anxiety don’t want to be seen exercising in public, so this is an excellent alternative to movement in a private space. Plus, it’s fun!
Commune with Nature
Take your shoes and socks off and sit in a park or go for a walk along the beach. Allow your body to connect to the solid foundation of the earth. This reminder is powerful, and grounds you quickly.
Vent to Friends (Healthily)
Always ask your friend if they are in the headspace to listen to your venting. It is important not to project your own pain onto others when you can help it. Grief is different from anxiety. When you’re able to, talk through everything. In this situation, the friend is like a live journal. I find it helps for the friend to listen and not offer an opinion – usually you’re talking, and rambling will find a solution, anyway.
Treat yourself to a delicious, nutritious meal (or dessert)
Chocolate fixes everything. Not everyone likes chocolate (I don’t understand, but I respect it), so a favourite meal that is delicious and nutritious will always boost your mood. It is in the fact that we don’t survive without food that connects us all despite our differences. Food is potently healing.