Positive Coping Skills

Let’s start this one off by being completely and one hundred percent honest, I barely do any of the recommended positive coping skills. I have never been officially evaluated, I was given anxiety medication when I was pregnant with my last child because of the symptoms I described. Based on my research and my family’s mental health history , chances are that this generalized anxiety disorder thing has my name written all over it and that’s okay.

I’ve learned more about anxiety than I need to know because I experience it so much. Every single day actually and I’m trying to do better. It’s actually progressed into full-blown panic attacks recently and I have to adapt to now learn how to cope through them.

So I’m not here to tell you to go get in therapy and get yourself fixed. I’m here to tell you some positive things that I have found work for me.

Identify the Trigger

One of the biggest tips I can give you is to identify what triggers you. Even if it sounds dumb to say, “Yeah my kid touched me and that triggered me” whatever, as long as you know what set you off. One time, I got mad because my kid accidentally spilt the cereal everywhere, and there I went off on my little angry tangent and I couldn’t breathe. However, was it really because my kid spilt the cereal or was it underlying issues that were triggered because of that minor mishap? So before you do anything, try to identify what set that panic off? Anxiety for me is non-stop, everything is a trigger. However, I have to identify when it goes wrong and I explode, why did that happen?

Writing

If you haven’t checked out the EXPRESSIONS page, I highly recommend you head over there ASAP. Writing for me has to be the healthiest thing I do. I release everything that is bottled up in my head, no filter, and I feel so much better afterwards. If you’ve never done it, just try it, especially if you don’t want to go to therapy. If you’re like me, I personally do not want to sit and talk to someone about the issues I know I have, especially when I know what I should be doing, I just don’t want to take the time to do it.

Crying

Don’t knock this until you truly experience a cry that makes you feel so much better when you’re done. I had to research this because it became a pattern that crying is the FASTEST way to release the overload. I know it sounds crazy and crying is seen as such a weak thing to do, which is why I try not to cry in front of people, but a quick five minute session in the bathroom does just fine! MedicaNewsToday published an article about the benefits of crying and there are some resources within the article to point you to literature on the benefits of it. However, there is also an article on crying that dissects what crying could really mean for humans, which is really interesting. Check it out!

Taking a Break

So this contradicts something I said in my Negative Coping Skills” post, but when I refer to taking a break, it doesn’t mean go take five minutes to breathe in and out and hope you calm down. Taking a break for me means DISCONNECTING from the world. Social media drains me. Helping others drains me. Work can be draining, social interactions, all of it. So escaping to a new place, with water preferably, and nature surrounding me, is my escape. I take a break and disconnect and that clears my mind. I spend time with my children and I pretend nothing else matters for that day! Don’t make any excuses, just go and do it! Find that place where you feel the happiest at and stay there a while!

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

This is a type of therapy that I am still learning more about. Essentially, it’s a self-paced thing, something you can learn to do, but it is supposed to help you get through some of those triggers that happen in your life. The biggest thing with this therapy is that it aims to help you stop suppressing some of the traumas. There are therapists out there who can help you learn this but you can also teach yourself.

Clients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives.”

-Psychology Today

To find a therapist near you, CLICK HERE

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This type of therapy focuses on making changes within yourself by refocusing your thoughts to in turn change the way you feel. It is similar to the above treatment in the sense that you still have to deal with your shit. However, there are strategies to make it easier along the way.

“CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that are held (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.”

-Ben Martin, Psy.D

Medication

Of course, there is medication that you can use to treat anxiety. Medication can help alleviate some of the panic you feel and help you slow down a little to live life. Talk to your doctor more about your symptoms of anxiety or other disorders to ensure you are being proactive to get better. If you are against medication, no worries, there are obviously plenty of ways to cope. You just have to find out what works for you!

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