When you are experiencing a difficult time or high levels of stress, how do you get through the hard stuff? Do you have a strategy to overcome your stress and anxiety? So often we can learn unhealthy ways to cope with our hard times or persistent problems, so we turn to drugs or alcohol for relief. But that relief can be temporary, short-lived, and lead to more problems down the road. We can feel that our temporary escape is the answer, but unhealthy coping skills lead to substance abuse, anger or violence, and many other dangerous behaviors.
Two of the most important coping skills for improved wellness are the ability to manage stress and the ability to relax. If you cannot achieve these skills, a trend of negative thinking usually takes over and drug and alcohol use increases.
Here are some helpful tools to develop in learning how to cope with the hard stuff in your life:
Think about the big picture
Stress and anxiety can cause us to lose focus on what’s actually happening around us. We can get so wrapped up in the current problem that we forget to think about how big it really is. Try asking yourself if this problem really has any importance in the long run? Will it matter in a few months from now? A few years? Sometimes looking at our problems with an objective point of view can change our perspective.
Talk to somebody
Nothing can help more in gaining an objective point of view than seeking out the opinion of another person. A trusted friend or family member can often be the key to helping us unburden our problems and see them from a different perspective. If you don’t know how to talk to somebody follow the 5 steps to talking to somebody you trust.
Hard times and stress cause negative emotions that can deeply affect us. We can often think of nothing but the negative of a situation when it happens to us. But try to find at least one positive in the situation that you can concentrate on. Is this helping you learn a valuable lesson? Is it shaping your character or relationships in a positive way? This can be a very hard step, but it can improve the more you practice.
Just do something
There is an old saying, “The simplest answer is to just act.” When stress and difficult times surround us, we feel tempted to hide from our problems. We want to draw the curtains, crawl back into bed and simply do nothing. The problem with that is it doesn’t help us positively cope and find solutions. Try making your everyday tasks your achievable goals. Break your to-do list down into manageable tasks and celebrate when they are completed.
If stress and difficult situations have created a substance abuse problem in your life, it’s important to be honest about it. An addiction requires lying and overtime that lying can become easier and easier, especially to yourself. This can often cause you to avoid other people to avoid judgment or past stressful situations, which leads to isolation. When you distance yourself from others you are in much more danger of letting negative thoughts like sadness and fear build up.
Are you escaping your stress and difficult times through bad coping skills? Often serious cases of trauma or PTSD go unnoticed and untreated because of unhealthy coping skills that never get real help. If you or your loved one struggle with choosing healthy coping skills to deal with your problem, Rock Recovery Center in West Palm Beach, Florida can help. If you need advice on next steps, call our 24 hour helpline now or chat with us live.