Dealing With Problem The Healthy Way
We all face setbacks and disappointments from time to time. The key to getting through a crisis or finding a solution to a problem lies in coping positively, and using resources that are available to you. There are a number of common strategies that people use to cope with stress in their lives, but when the situation turns unmanageable, the resulting stress can reach overwhelming or traumatic levels. Each of us has our own way and pace for dealing with problem.
Positive Coping Methods
Positive coping actions are those that help to reduce anxiety, lessen other distressing reactions and improve the situation in a way that does not harm the individual. Here are a few pointers:
- Involve family and friends. Let them know if you feel overwhelmed or if the blues just won’t go away. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and get counsel from people that you trust and respect, whether it’s a wise elder, your doctor or the head of your religious organization.
- Make contact with self help groups and support organizations that help people with serious mental illness and related problems.
- Practice relaxation methods. These can include muscular relaxation exercises, meditation, swimming, stretching, yoga, prayer, listening to quiet music, spending time in nature and so on.
- Increase positive distracting activities. Positive recreational or work activities help distract a person from his or her memories and reactions. Artistic endeavors have also been a way for many to express feelings in a positive and creative way. These endeavors can help improve a person’s mood, limit the harm caused by certain mental disorders and can help a person rebuild his or her life.
- Use the computer to get information about your illness, and to contact and exchange views and experiences with others who share your experiences.
- Volunteer in your community. It’s important to feel like you have something to offer to others and that you are making a contribution. This can help you regain a feeling of connection and importance.
- Stay in touch with your spirituality, if you find that comforting. Be optimistic about the challenges that lie ahead.
Negative Coping Actions
Negative coping actions help perpetuate problems. They may reduce distress in the short term, but in the long term, negative coping actions may be the short cut to damage. Actions that may feel immediately helpful but that can cause later problems include things like drinking excessively, smoking or using drugs. These habits can become difficult to change. These are behaviors to watch out and to avoid.
- Isolation – feelings or worthlessness and despair, tinged with a feeling that people are talking about you and judging you, might lead you cut off contact with close friends and keep interaction with colleagues or family to a minimum.
- Workaholism – an inability to deal problems in other areas of your life, say a divorce or problems coping with death, might lead someone into over compensating by throwing themselves into work, which they see as a salvation from real life.
- Violent behavior – Those who are suffering from mental health issues might pick fights or intimidate others as a coping method.
- Unhealthy eating – developing an unhealthy obsession with food, or attempting to exert control on life via excessive dieting might lead to eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
- Self destructive behavior – mental health sufferers might try to find relieve in engaging in self destructive behavior, like inflicting injury on themselves (self harm) or in acute cases, attempting suicide.