Are You Experiencing Uncomfortable Emotions? Try These Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Having a rough day, running behind the timeline, getting dumped by your date, not reaching the goals on time, having a hard time finding motivation are all part of life. We all go through these tough times almost every day. What do you do to survive such rough days?
How do you handle such stressful situations? Managing stress provides us the ability to deliver our best in our relationships, workplace, and more. Luckily, there are healthy coping skills that help us to minimize, tolerate, and deal with stressful situations positively.
Almost everyone is aware of healthy coping skills, but wait here is a drill… not all coping skills work, and not all coping skills serve benefits. Then, how do we know which one is best for us?
Well, here is another drill…there are two types of coping skills:
- Emotion-focused coping skills
- Problem-focused coping skills
Keep reading this blog to discover your own personal list of coping skills…
Emotion-Focused Coping Skills
Emotion-focused coping skills can be taken into use when you need to balance out your emotions or feelings. It comes into the picture when the situation is not under your control or you don’t want to change the situation.
For example, if you have recently lost a pet, it would be important for you to take off your emotions and feelings (herein, we cannot change the situation however; we can focus on our emotions to take care of our mental health).
Problem-Focused Coping Skills
Problem-focused coping skills come into the picture when there is a need to change the situation by removing the negative thoughts, stress, or anxiety related to it.
For example, if you have lost a job, you might want to search for a job but in order to find a better job, you will have to keep your negative thoughts and stress in control first. Moreover, if you are having a hard time in a relationship, you might want to end the relationship with your partner so that you can focus on your emotions and take care of your mental health.
It’s not like we have given a guideline for using coping techniques, it’s totally up to you. You can decide your own coping skills accordingly.
Clearly, there are two types of coping skills built for every situation…let’s take a closer look at situations for better understanding:
Situation 1: Reaching your goals
Suppose, you wish to reach an XYZ goal by the end of the year and now you are stuck somewhere. In order to reach your goals on time, you have created feedback on several areas wherein you are lacking. At first, you thought that things are going well, but now according to the feedback, they are not on the track. Now, you are feeling frustrated, angry, and anxious.
A. Problem-Focused Coping
Herein, problem-focused coping skills teach us to break down the activities into small groups and improve our performance. They ask us to make a plan and work on it with confidence and our abilities.
B. Emotion-Focused Coping
Herein, emotion-focused coping teaches us to take a small break, distract ourselves, get away from negative thoughts, build resilience, and then bounce back. Focus on our emotions, think clearly about our goals, and then proceed further.
Situation 2: Overcoming an addiction
Suppose, you wish to overcome any addiction but you are unable to do it since so many things are already piled up. You had a rough day with your partner and now you want to go back to the addiction. How are you going to cope with this situation?
A. Problem-Focused Coping
You sit comfortably and tell yourself that “it’s okay to feel this way and you are not going to touch that addictive thing no matter what.” In order to fix the situation, you distract yourself with funny videos or cooking classes.
B. Emotion-Focused Coping
You decide to take a hot bath to make you feel better. And then, you read some books or communicate your feelings and thoughts with a loved one, friend, or family member.
Conclusion: There are several coping skills designed for your stressful situations. It’s totally up to you which you want to proceed.
Differences between Emotion-Focused Skills and Problem-Focused Skills
|Applies when you wish to change a situation.||Applies when you need to take care of your feelings|
|Example: Seeking help from an authorized person, finding resources to change the situation, and more.||Example: Self-care, talking to a friend, listening to music, and more|
List of Healthy Emotion-Focused Coping Skills
- Clean the house
- Practice yoga
- Drink tea
- Spend time in gardening
- Do a little pep talk
- Cook a meal
- Draw something interesting
- Go for a walk
- Cuddle with your pet
- Listen to some good music
- Practice gratitude
- Engage in a hobby
- Play a game
- Read a book
- Take a good hot bath
- Try aromatherapy
- Reframe your thoughts
- Journal your thoughts
- Try some anti-stress games
- Take the help of any relaxation app
- Watch funny videos
- Use progressive-muscle relaxation
List of Healthy Problem-Focused Coping Skills
- Talk to a friend or family member
- Take the support of your loved one
- Focus more on problem-solving
- Establish healthy boundaries
- Work on stress management and time management
- Walk away
- Cut out toxic people from your life
- End unhealthy relationships
List of Unhealthy Coping Skills to Avoid
Coping skills like listening to music or reading books benefit us, meanwhile, there are some unhealthy coping skills that increase our emotional pain. Therefore, it is always best to avoid such coping skills before they start becoming toxic in our life.
- Drinking alcohol or substance use
- Overeating or emotional eating
- Venting about everything
- Unnecessary ranting
- Overspending time in video games, gym and more
- Avoiding your emotions or feelings for too long
Pick what’s best for you! That’s it, readers…I hope this blog helps you in understanding different types of coping skills and helps you in building your own healthy coping skills for fighting uncomfortable emotions.
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Thanks for reading.
More power to you!