Life’s Potholes: 3 Ways to Cope

Life! It often leads us into places that are not what we envisioned for ourselves. We have problems in relationships, challenges with our health, we lose jobs, and say good-bye to friends and family that move away or pass on to the other side. It’s life. The road is paved for smooth travel sometimes while at other times,  it turns into gravel and potholes that cause us to crash or swerve, spiraling out of control. Read on to find out how to handle the pothole’s of life.

The key to prevent us from spiraling out of control or into taking a nose-dive into depression and anxiety is to learn and practice coping skills. Coping skills are a set of tried and true positive ways that one learns to deal with life’s potholes. Three quick ways to handle difficult situations are “reframing,” “removing,” and “remembering.” These work beautifully during times of crisis and long-term situations.

1. ) Reframing

Reframing is simply changing your perspective about a situation to give it meaning that is more beneficial to you. Events are only good or bad if we see them that way. When reframing, try to think of how you would like to feel given the situation and then change the perspective of one aspect of your situation to give you that desired feeling. Think of this as “finding the silver lining” based on your desired emotion.

P. Jae \Spēks\!
The key thing to prevent us from spiraling out of control or into taking a nose-dive into depression and anxiety is to learn and practice coping skills.

2.) Removing

Another method of coping with difficult situations is “removing”. In some small way, try to remove yourself from what’s occurring. This is not to be confused with avDon't Forgetoidance from major occurrences or feelings by way of substance abuse, for example*. Removin
g is helpful in situations that aren’t life-threatening. It’s taking yourself away from a situation causing feelings and emotions that are harmful in order to calm-down, regroup, or develop a strategy to move forward. Think of it as taking a “timeout”.  🙂

3.) Remembering

The third way to deal with difficult situations is to remember past occurrences. By remembering how you handled a similar situation you may feel a release of some or all of your negative emotions. You may use these memories to reinforce such affirmations as “I can get through this” or “this will get better”. When remembering ask yourself these questions: How bad was it, really, the last time this happened? How did it feel once the situation was over? What lessons did I learn about this situation and can I use what I learned in this one? Remembering how tough you were, how you managed to save money, or the resources that you tapped into could provide clues for this current situation.

Take Away

Coping skills are ways that we have learned to deal with the potholes that are unexpected, seen too late, or unavoidable. We all handle these stressors differently whether positively or negatively. Add these three coping skills to your toolbox and try one the next time you find yourself .

*Note: In any emergency situation, call 911 or your local Crisis Hotline at 2-1-1. Seek counseling or a trusted friend when you find yourself in over your head and unable to function at work, in relationships, and with your own thoughts. There is no shame in saying, “I need help”. You’re worth the time and attention!! 😉

 

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