When things are causing us to feel stressed and overwhelmed, we often try or do something in order to feel better, these are our coping strategies. Coping strategies can be used with anger, stress, sadness, worry, grief, problems, and more. The coping strategies we use can be healthy for us and sometimes unhealthy for us. But how do you know if it’s healthy or unhealthy?
Unhealthy coping strategies tend to make people feel better in the moment; however, they can lead to long term negative consequences. Some common unhealthy coping strategies are:
Drugs or alcohol
Healthy coping strategies often do not provide people with instant relief, but they do lead to long term positive outcomes. Common healthy coping strategies are:
Talking About Your Problems
Using Social Support
So when you decide that your unhealthy coping strategies are no longer working, make the switch to healthy ones. Ask yourself, what healthy coping strategies might I be willing to try? What barriers might prevent me from using the healthy coping strategies? Sometimes we need to feel uncomfortable in the short term in order to have long term success.
By Keli Gwost MS, LPC
March 18, 2020