You might think that when someone says, “I’m coping,” that it’s not such a big deal.
You’d be wrong.
The art of coping is highly underrated, and our inability to cope with difficult feelings can lead to major problems, including health problems, work procrastination or worse!!
How can not being able to cope lead to such major problems?
Well, let’s say that you’re bored and lonely, but don’t know how to cope with those feelings in a healthy way.
You might try to avoid these problems with distraction, food, TV, smoking, drinking.
I know, because I’ve done those things myself …. many, many times.
These aren’t such a big deal now and again, but frequent use of these coping mechanisms leads to eating way too much, smoking or drinking too much, inactivity (from watching too much TV or being online too much).
And these all can lead to long-term obesity and related health problems, even death from an obesity-related disease like diabetes or heart disease.
What would be a better way to cope?
If you’re bored, you might cope by learning something new, or giving yourself a new challenge.
If you’re lonely, you might try to exercise, write, teach yourself a new skill, or meet new people.
Those are just a few examples that worked for me 🙂
So you see, how you cope can be the difference between a good life, and a sick one.
We all have unhealthy coping mechanisms, and finding better ways of coping will help us procrastinate less, eat healthier, exercise, and be happier.
When you find yourself facing difficult feelings, your first reaction might be to avoid thinking about the feelings.
Suppose somebody close to you has got really sick or worse still, passed on – you really can’t bear to face the pain, so you cope with it by avoiding …. finding ways to numb the pain or distract yourself.
You’re running away from the problem.
If you see yourself doing this, it’s a good time to hit pause.
Just acknowledge to yourself – “I’m avoiding.”
Now instead of avoiding, you have the choice to turn toward the pain, and say, “I’m hurting.” Or “I’m angry.”
And it’s OK to feel these things.
Next, you can deal kindly with the pain, with the boredom or guilt or grief or anger or loneliness.
These are all very difficult, and it’s OK to feel them, and it’s OK to comfort yourself with kindness, compassion and love.
Wish for your own happiness.
Stay with the feeling you’re having … explore it.
Say you’re feeling overwhelmed with a project, instead of avoiding the project and procrastinating, try staying with this feeling of being overwhelmed.
It’s not a nice feeling, and you will want to run.
But be curious — what’s it like to just feel overwhelmed without running?
Face the feeling with an attitude of openness.
Be open to uncomfortable feelings, and as always, you’ll find that it’s not comfortable, but you’ll be OK. You develop a trust that everything will turn out fine.
It’s not pleasant, but it’s fine.
Curiosity means that we don’t instantly decide this is a horrible experience and try to run away — it means we decide we don’t really know what this will be like, and we’d like to find out more.
It’s a learning stance, instead of one that assumes we know what things will be like.
That’s just the start — as you learn to cope with self-compassion, staying, and curiosity, you will find that you can deal with anything life throws your way.
And come out smiling.
Today my RAK was to keep the momentum going on my fundraising efforts for Jamie’s Journie and I finally got to meet the wee fella himself…. Jamie hasn’t been keeping the best recently so it was lovely to finally get say hello.
It’s amazing what #teammilliondollar have achieved so far and I’m really looking forward to our Halloween Coffee morning. I’m organising a Spooktacular Pumpkin workout for that mornings session – fancy dress of course and if you’re there you get to take your pumpkin home with you!!
P.S. I think you’ll like day 100 🙂