There are two main categories of coping mechanisms: emotion based and problem based. Emotion based coping focuses on working on your feelings and emotions. It is helpful when you can’t or don’t want to change the situation you are in. Problem based coping focuses on changes the situation you are in. It is helpful when you want to remove something from your life that is negatively affecting your emotions. Both methods can be used for many situations, so it is important to choose which is best for you.
Healthy Emotion-Focused Coping
Coping can sometimes help temporarily distract you from what is causing negative emotions, however, it is important to eventually deal with those feelings or they will continue to affect you negatively. There are many coping mechanisms that can change your mood. Try finding healthy habits that you enjoy. For example, blogging about wellness topics and doing the research has really helped me cope. Other activities good for coping are reading a book, exercising, enjoying a nice day outside, cooking, and cleaning. Check out my sources for more ideas.
Healthy Problem-Focused Coping
Another way of coping is to eliminate the source of your stress. This may mean changing your behavior or taking action. One of my favorite problem-based coping mechanisms is a to do list. A to do list helps you plan what needs done. It helps you slow down and realize it’s not as bad as you think. Another coping method is to walk away from situations causing you stress. This could something as drastic as quitting your job or walking away from a friend…or it could be something as simple as stopping a task you can’t seem to accomplish.
Unhealthy Coping Methods
Drugs and alcohol may temporarily make you feel better, but they won’t solve your problems. Substance abuse as a coping mechanism can also lead to problems with drug and alcohol abuse. I am not going to lie, I tend to use alcohol as a coping mechanism. I am trying to work on finding better ways to cope.
Overeating as a coping mechanism leads to an unhealthy relationship with food. Binging as a coping mechanism is definitely something I struggle with. I have, however gotten a lot better.
Overspending is another unhealthy coping mechanism. Overspending what you can afford may make you feel better for a moment, but then if you overextend your budget you will feel worse in the long run.