Are Your Coping Skills Productive for Better Health?
By Stepy Kamei
Life can be challenging at times, there's no doubt about that. However, having a reliable toolkit of coping mechanisms on hand can make a big difference in determining how well you overcome and persevere through these challenges. What exactly is a coping skill, and how do you develop the ones which are positive and productive to improving your overall health and wellness? Simply put, a coping mechanism is a healthful habit you can rely on during times of stress or distress in order to mindfully and safely get through the challenge. We all develop coping skills from childhood, but some are healthier than others. It's a good idea to keep on reading to assess your current skills, as well as pick up some new ones!
Unproductive Coping Skills
It's important to know what an unproductive coping mechanism looks like, so you can see if you have picked up any over time that you will be better off letting go. Generally speaking, an unproductive coping skill may help relieve some anxiety in the short term, but will more than likely not help you out in the long term. Blaming yourself or longing for things to be the way they used to be are classic forms of unproductive coping because they ultimately allow you to absolve responsibility for the present and future. Overindulging in unhealthy food is another common unhelpful coping technique many of us use in order to temporarily comfort ourselves -- but this is detrimental to our health.
Productive Coping Skills
Fortunately, there are an abundance of positive coping skills you can rely on to get through a rough time. Many people find that writing in a journal or picking up a creative hobby, such as painting or playing an instrument, can provide a meaningful and lasting form of relief and positivity. You may want to consider trying out a yoga class in the evenings, or listen to a guided meditation before bed to help you stay mindful and calm.
It's always important to practice self-compassion as well, as hard as it may be at times. Remember that you're doing the best you can every day. Of course, if you're continuing to have a hard time, be sure to consult with a licensed mental health professional if you find that stress, anxiety, or negative thoughts are overwhelming you.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hoboken, N.J.