Most of us are coping within our daily lives. The question is how well are we coping? How good are our coping skills? Life shows us that we can cope in many different ways but some of these ways are constructive and others are damaging.
Damaging Coping Behavior:
- Hide from reality and the truth of your situation by denial and rationalisation.
- Be drawn into addictive behaviors, such as drinking, drug-taking, gambling, eating.
- Disconnect yourself from friends and family to prevent feeling negative emotions.
- Pretend and cover over your true feelings as you tell people, ‘everything is fine.’
- Wallow and blame others for your situation.
Constructive Coping Skills:
- Directly connect with your problem, be willing to think about it and spend time figuring out your options – not wallowing, but constructive contemplation.
- Take responsibility for the problem, don’t look to others to solve it, don’t wait around and don’t blame others for your situation.
- Be open about your problem with someone – be willing to ask for help and be willing to receive valuable advice and support.
- Revisit various scenarios that you had previously anticipated in relation to possible job loss in this fragile economic climate.
It is fine to close down for a short while, the emergency strategy for coping. But if closing down becomes a way of life then we are venturing into damaging coping behavior. In fact, we’re not coping well at all, and storing up problems for the future. You will not only have the initial problem you are escaping from but then further problems down the line. Burying your pain usually has a downside as this pain may need to resurface at some point. Also, disconnecting from a problem – numbing ourselves to negative feelings – usually results in numbing ourselves to positive feelings too. This has far reaching consequences for our long-term emotional happiness.
On the other hand, if you take responsibility, are open and engaged with your problem, include others, look for help and talk honestly about what is happening to you, then you have a better chance of successfully coping with your problems and not causing yourself further harm. However hard it seems initially, let your feelings be seen and give voice to what has happened to you. By positively coping in this way you may well prevent deeper pain and suffering in the longer term.
Working with an effective counselling professional one-on-one can often be helpful in improving your coping behavior or at least give you some one you can voice what is happening to you. If you would like to book an appointment, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a confidential chat.