Hi everyone! This video is going to be about coping mechanisms, as well as ways of channeling negative coping mechanisms into positive ones. Coping is mainly what we do to lessen stress, anxiety, depression, anything negative that is troubling us. It is generally conditioned within us, and the more we do it, the harder it becomes to break the habit. I have a video all about the conditioned response, habits, and phobias that goes into much greater detail so I’ll have an annotation and a link in the description. [Conditioned Response] The conditioned response is the fundamentals of our personality and how we are.
We all have different ways of coping. But many times, it can be negative. Some common negative ways of coping are self-harm and cutting, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive traits, dissociation, perhaps to the point of maladaptive daydreaming where one spends more time in their mind versus the outer world, or even avoidance where one flat out avoids things that cause them anxiety and stress. Things such as avoiding social situations and instead being in isolation. Bullying other people is even a coping mechanism. For instance, someone being bullied at home may project the abuse being done to them onto a classmate at school. Or, if you’ve had a bad day at work, you may come home and be aggressive and angry towards your family to get out those emotions of what you are feeling. Check the description of this video for various resources of videos I have done that can help in more specific areas.
All these negative coping mechanisms are detrimental to the person because they are preventing them from addressing the root cause of the issues and overcoming them. They can often see these negative forms of coping as shameful. It helps them release these negative emotions, that is the benefit, since denial and repression is even more detrimental, but ultimately it’s not helping them. There are so many ways of coping. But, they don’t always have to be negative. There are plenty of positive ways that I’ll discuss now.
Positive Ways of Coping
There are plenty of positive ways of coping with the situation, and while they may be harder to implement and condition, versus more self-destructive methods, the benefit they offer are that they allow you to release negative emotions efficiently so you feel better about yourself afterwards.
First and foremost, you need to discover what your current coping mechanisms are and why. What are you doing to cope with stress and anxiety, and furthermore, what made you start developing that way of coping? Understand yourself and why you are doing what you are doing. For instance, if your coping mechanism is cutting. Let’s say it started as just a little cut here and there whenever you would feel depressed. It soon wasn’t enough, so you began cutting more frequently for things not just related to depression. You cut to the point of bleeding and scarring. You feel a release when you cut which makes you feel better in the moment.
However, you have conditioned this in your mind. Cutting yourself is then linked to a stress reliever. You feel down, you cut. It’s conditioned, you conditioned it. Now that you are aware of it, understand why you are cutting. In this case, it’s because of stress, anxiety, depression. Then understand why you are feeling that way which is leading you to the cutting. You cannot treat the reaction, cutting, without understanding and addressing the root cause of the behavior. You have to understand why you are doing it, how it originated, and then work on reconditioning the habit to something positive.
After that, you have to work on finding positive ways of coping. The primary thing you want to do is recondition the trait to something positive. You need to find a positive outlet to let out stress, anxiety, anger, depression, whatever is going on that is causing you to cope in a negative way. You need to get out those negative feelings and emotions in a positive, constructive way. One of the most common things I hear from people I communicate with is music. Listening to music you enjoy that will lift your mood and get you out of feeling bad will help. You just don’t want to listen to depressing music or music that would make you dwell in those negative thoughts and emotions. You want something that will help you and not cause you to feel even worse.
However, music is not the only way of going about this. You need to find what works best for you to release those negative emotions. Meditation helps me a lot. I can be super depressed and after meditating it’s all gone. It has been the most beneficial at stabilizing my emotions, but also helped me learn to regulate my emotions. I do not have extremes anymore due to meditation. I can still get moody and emotional, but I have much more control over it than I did. Relatedly, find various relaxation techniques that work for you and will aide you in relaxing. I will have a video dedicated to this so there will be an annotation and a link in the description. [Relaxation Techniques]
Next, help from others can be greatly beneficial. Talk about what is troubling you with someone else that will not judge and be supportive, who will not only listen to what you have to say, but also provide ways you may not be aware of to cope. Perhaps find some support groups and people that are like minded and learn and grow from one another’s experiences. Peer support can be highly beneficial.
And lastly, and most importantly, don’t neglect yourself and stay healthy. Not only your physical health, but also your mental health. By acting on negative coping mechanisms and impulses, you are putting your physical and mental health in jeopardy. Realize that what you are doing to yourself is unhealthy, or what is going on is unhealthy for you. Understand where you want to be with good health and makes attempts to achieve those goals of being healthy. Again, not just physically healthy, but also mentally healthy. Cutting, for example, is mentally and physically unhealthy. Understand this and learn to respect and embrace who you are to better your life and get to where you want to be, in a healthy manner.
So in conclusion, we all have different ways of coping. Many times it is something negative until we learn to get control over it and condition a positive trait to replace it. Ultimately, by making goals for your success, you can achieve what you want while having positive coping mechanisms to aide you in recovery instead of doing more damage to you.
I’m interested in your thoughts so feel free to share how you cope and what works best for you. Thank you for watching and I hope this video was helpful and informative!
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Finding ways of coping with my own negativity and self-hatred was quite a battle. Even with various coping mechanisms, it can be a challenge. However, I’ve learned quite a bit about myself and how I use to cope which allowed me to employ helpful methods to get to a positive space.