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Developing Healthy Coping Mechanisms

As we do the work to figure out our unhealthy behaviors, patterns and coping mechanisms, we can also be creating new healthy ways to cope that are self-affirming rather than self-destructive. We’ve created coping strategies over the years to deal with our trauma, our woundedness and our fears, but these strategies not only don’t heal our pain, they compound it. They manifest as our addictive behaviors, toxic thought patterns, depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges. To heal on a deep level, we can develop new ways of coping that allow us to empower and strengthen ourselves as we recover.

Writing

Writing is a powerful, therapeutic tool to express ourselves, release pent up emotions, and allow our energy to flow rather than remain stuck within us. The emotional blockages we create stifle our progress, keep us small and afraid, and hinder our recovery. Writing is a way to work through these blockages. Try writing in a journal, exploring creative writing such as poetry or songwriting, or jotting down notes and lists for yourself. Writing is a means of investigating our fears, our traumatic experiences and our recurring issues. We can use writing to instill in ourselves renewed hope and optimism, knowing that every time we process our pain in a healthy constructive way, we are helping to heal it.

Breathing

Our emotional responses to difficult subjects are very often reactive. We respond with anger, frustration, anxiety, worry and panic. Our ways of coping often reflect these emotions, and we act on them in explosive ways, such as yelling or screaming. These not only don’t help us to cope with the difficulties at hand, they compound their negative energy and make them worse. A simple way we can diffuse these responses is to breathe, consciously and intentionally. We can count our breaths, practice breathing exercises, or meditate by bringing our attention back to our breathing whenever our mind wanders. Giving our energy to our breathing allows us to align our minds, bodies, hearts and spirits because our breath is the mechanism that connects all of these things within us. When we are in emotional distress, we can allow all of the heightened energy within us to calm down naturally and find balance within us by breathing, giving us a healthy way to cope with even the hardest challenges.

As we are healing, let’s find coping mechanisms that are healthy and productive, that help us to move forward in our recovery rather than hinder our progress. Let’s believe in ourselves and our ability to heal!

We’re here to help you find the healthy coping mechanisms that work for you. Call (800) 871-5440.