Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Healthy Coping Mechanisms: 7 Things to Try for a Stress-Free Life 

Challenges and adversities are part of life, but dealing with them can be stressful, overwhelming, and exhausting. In this post, we will examine some healthy coping mechanisms and strategies to help you navigate your emotions in stressful situations. 

There are various moments in our lives where we feel stuck, isolated, or depressed. Whether it’s a loss, a breakup, or an accident, many people manage to cope with their emotions and overcome the challenges without a scratch. 

Have you ever wondered how these people navigate their emotions in tough times and see adversities as opportunities to grow? Because they have discovered healthy coping mechanisms that help them effectively manage stress and view things from a positive perspective! 

It is very important to have strong coping skills, as they make you more resilient in the face of challenges. To prepare your mind for a potential crisis, try practicing these 7 healthy coping strategies that will help you surpass hardships and obstacles. 

1.   Exercise and Fitness Routine 

There are countless studies that have evaluated the influence of body movement on mental health. Exercising can be an excellent coping mechanism, as it helps release endorphins in our bodies. 

If you experience fatigue, lack of concentration, and poor cognitive health during stressful times, being active and moving your body can help overcome these effects. 

You can try different types of physical activities–depending on your preferences and health. For instance, running, cycling, or doing high-intensity workouts can be ideal if you prefer going a bit hard on yourself. Otherwise, you can consider setting up a walking routine or doing yoga and pilates. 

Remember, the key is to remain consistent with your fitness routine. Being active doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym and sweating for hours. It can be as simple as doing a 10-minute walk every day! You can start small and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your physical activity. 

2.   Journaling 

Many people find journaling helpful when they are dealing with some kind of stress or adversity. This technique allows you to express your thoughts on paper without any fear of being judged or criticized! 

A study also found that journaling for at least a month can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and help people build resilience.

You can choose to journal your emotions and thoughts the traditional way–meaning using a pen and paper or you can use the notepad on your mobile. No matter what method you choose, try to express yourself in a way that makes you understand your thoughts, feelings, and emotions better. 

Journaling is a fool-proof way to gain insights into your life and make necessary and positive changes! 

3.   Finding Creative Outlet 

If you are struggling to build resilience and stability in your life, finding a creative outlet to express your feelings can be an excellent idea. Many people find engaging in creative activities helpful when they are dealing with a stressful situation. 

Creativity helps our brain to rewire and make sense of emotions and experiences. Whether you like painting, writing, sketching, or photography–all these outlets can help you reduce anxiety and feelings of self-doubt. 

One of the broader benefits of engaging in creative activities is gaining a sense of accomplishment and self-love that enhances problem-solving skills. 

4.   Breathwork 

When we are anxious or stressed, our breathing tends to pick up a few paces, giving our brain an alert signal that puts us in fight or flight mode. This state is often so distressing that people end up making unhealthy and damaging choices. 

That is why, experts suggest working on slow breathing whenever you are stressed and anxious. When you breathe slowly even in distressing times, this can send the message of safety to your brain activating the rest and digest mode. 

One of the ways you can practice breathwork is through belly breathing or deep breathing. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Sit down cross-legged or lay down flat on your back 
  • Put one hand on your stomach and one on your chest 
  • Inhale deeply through your nose 
  • Hold your breath for a second or two 
  • Exhale from your mouth

5.   Learning Gratitude 

Gratitude isn’t an old-school thought process, but an effective frame that can help you become stronger in the face of difficulties. Practicing gratitude will allow you to see challenges from a new perspective while realizing that your life is not all about these hardships. 

Depression and anxiety can take such a toll on our minds sometimes that it becomes crucial to remind ourselves about the blessings we have. Constantly practicing gratitude will help you get through adversities with a positive mindset, knowing that your life is not about a single distressing event. 

6.   Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness are excellent tools to relieve stress and anxiety and promote positive thinking and self-awareness. Mindfulness is a technique that includes paying attention to your feelings, bodily sensations, and emotions–allowing your brain to go into a serene state. 

Meditation, on the other hand, is a powerful technique that allows a person to focus on an activity, thought, or environment to achieve a mentally present and calm state. 

Both strategies are proven to help anxious people and can help mitigate negative emotions. 

7.   Creating a Structured Routine 

We humans tend to rewind stressful events and remain stuck on things for far too long. Constantly thinking about things that didn’t go our way can only make us more depressed, anxious, and sad. 

So, what can you do to effectively shake off those negative thoughts and prevent overthinking? Meditation, journaling, breathwork, physical activity, and all the strategies we discussed above can help you deal with negative emotions–but only when you build a consistent schedule! 

Try to set aside specific time for exercise, meditation, journaling, etc. in a day to encourage positive thinking. 

Final Thoughts: Healthy Coping Mechanisms

You should consistently practice healthy coping mechanisms to prepare yourself for an emotional crisis. Build a routine with strategies you find helpful and religiously follow it to achieve a calm and mentally clear state! 

Finally, you can also get help from a professional if things are getting a little too much. Getting help for your mental health isn’t a sign of weakness. In fact, it is a strong move that shows you prioritize self-care over everything else. 

learn more: Elevate Your Mental Fitness for Optimal Well-Being