It is perfectly natural for people to experience stress, sadness, and other challenging emotions. However, when individuals don’t have healthy coping mechanisms, negative feelings can harm their physical and mental health. Those who turn to drugs or alcohol may experience even more adverse effects on their well-being. Learning to deal with life’s challenges positively can reduce stress and give people greater control over their lives.
If you or someone you care about needs addiction counseling in Dallas, Fort Behavioral Health is ready to welcome you into our non-judgmental, supportive community. Our inpatient and outpatient programs take an evidence-based approach to substance use disorder treatment. Reach out to our staff today at 844.332.1807 to learn how we can help you or a loved one recover.
What Are Coping Mechanisms?
Coping mechanisms are strategies for managing difficult situations, handling stress, and adapting to life changes. It’s important to note that coping mechanisms can be either positive or negative. The latter may be detrimental to a person’s short-term or long-term well-being. One of the most common examples of a negative coping mechanism is drug or alcohol use, as individuals may use these substances to distract themselves from the root cause of their stress
On the other hand, healthy coping mechanisms can help people manage mental health issues and deal with day-to-day challenges. These include problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies. Problem-focused coping involves addressing the source of stress directly by figuring out ways to remove it or lessen its impact. Examples include:
- Breaking down an enormous task into smaller chunks
- Talking through conflicts
- Asking for support
Emotion-focused coping focuses on addressing one’s emotional reaction to a stressful event or situation rather than attempting to change the problem itself. Examples include:
- Listening to music or going for a walk
- Speaking with a therapist
These healthy coping mechanisms can promote wellness and reduce the risk of a relapse for people in active addiction recovery.
How Are Healthy Coping Mechanisms Different?
It’s important to remember that coping mechanisms can differ in effectiveness. Each person is unique and must find methods that best suit their situation and emotions. Healthy coping mechanisms are actions or behaviors that help a person manage stress and difficult emotions without causing harm to themselves or others.
Compared to unhealthy coping methods, such as using drugs or alcohol to numb or distract oneself from uncomfortable feelings, healthy ways of coping can have lasting effects on mental health. These strategies provide an outlet for managing distressing thoughts or feelings, making individuals less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol. People can direct their energy towards something productive rather than destructive by engaging in positive activities such as:
- Creating art
- Making music
- Writing or journaling
Developing better habits reduces stress levels and allows for self-expression, which can be incredibly healing during times of difficulty.
Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms at Fort Behavioral Health
Start developing better habits and treating the root cause of a substance use disorder by contacting Fort Behavioral Health. Our mission is to teach clients the skills they need to live healthy, independent lives. Learning healthy coping mechanisms in our care can help you break free from addiction and experience lasting recovery.
Our evidence-based therapies and treatments help individuals find the coping strategies that work for them. Some of our programs that may be part of your customized treatment program include:
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Somatic experiencing programs
- Trauma therapy
- Motivational interviewing programs