Life can be tough. Sometimes it feels like it’s all just a rush; a whirlwind of ups and downs. And when the downs keep on coming in waves, it’s so easy to let stress, anxiety or depression take over. It gets hard to cope – and that’s when we need coping mechanisms.
Coping mechanisms, also known as coping strategies, are things people consciously do to manage stress.
It’s basically the direct opposite of defence mechanisms: things people unconsciously do to deal with stress. Like denial, repression, projection… You know, that stuff we so easily tend to accuse others of doing, but rarely notice in ourselves.
Defence mechanisms are hard to manage, but coping mechanisms, on the other hand, are not so hard to manage (because we’re actually conscious of them).
We all have coping mechanisms. Playing computer games, gymming, drinking, over-eating or under-eating, practising yoga, listening to loud music, smoking, hitting things…
And, obviously, not all these ways to cope are good for us.
It’s vital to distinguish between good and bad coping mechanisms. Exercise, for instance, is a good coping mechanism; while drinking is a bad coping mechanism.
In this article, I’m going to provide examples of good coping mechanisms that’ll help you live life happier.
Have a positive mindset
Having a positive mindset is as simple as thinking happy thoughts. But how? The key is to check your thoughts on a regular basis, filtering out negative, harmful thoughts.
Write down your feelings
Pent-up feelings are bad for your mental health. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up; release them by writing them down. It can be a blog, a diary or journal, a list, or even letters. Find whatever works for you. 🙂
Don’t even get me started on the countless health benefits of exercise. Not only does it boost your mood, but it also reduces your risk of getting depression or anxiety.
Listen to music that makes you happy
Listening to calming or uplifting music can go a long way towards reducing stress or depression. Take some time to listen to your favourite album or some
Here’s a list of my favourite happy songs: http://thehappyblog.co.za/playlist-19-happy-songs/
Manifest & attract
Manifestation starts with meditation. During meditation, the idea is to reach a state of bliss, and then you visualise the things you want in your life. By holding on to the feeling this visualisation gives you, you’ll eventually attract those things.
Go for a walk
Getting some fresh air and a bit of exercise will always do you good. If you have a dog you can take along on your walk, even better! Not only will your dog offer good company, but it can possibly also protect you.
Read a good book
One of the best things about reading is that you can’t have a thought at the same time. As long as it’s a good book that really holds your attention, reading is the perfect escape from life’s stresses. Bonus points if it’s a self-help book!
Colour or paint
Colouring or painting can really calm your nerves. It does this by refocusing your attention away from your stress. Plus, it also stimulates creativity!
Go to your happy place
It’s really good to have some happy place you can go to when you’re feeling down or stressed. Whether it’s your bedroom, a cosy coffee shop, the beach or a friend’s place, find your spot. When things are crazy, sometimes simply relocating yourself can do wonders for the mind.