Mental health therapy is intended to help you cope with some of life’s biggest challenges. Learning to mitigate powerful thoughts and feelings, govern emotions and pursue concrete, positive life goals are some of the first few steps toward successfully managing every aspect of your mental health.
Many people don’t know what a coping mechanism is. Essentially, a healthy way to adapt to the environment around you is a coping mechanism; it means investing deliberate effort into life’s issues in an attempt to manage and master challenges that come your way.
When you take the time to visit with your mental health therapist, you can expect to discuss healthy coping strategies to help you overcome the mental health challenges that you’re currently facing. Coping strategies offer concrete, definitive ways to establish order and manage concerns.
Coping skills help you stay sane, while you connect to the world around you. Here are a few of the coping skills you can expect to learn when visiting your therapist with depression, anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder or other mental health challenges:
Support from trusted peers
Surrounding yourself with a comfortable, non-judgmental support system can help you maximize your chances of successfully managing mental health challenges. Talking about a stress-inducing event, trigger or tendency with friends, family members or peers can help you externally process the situation in a positive manner.
The alternative to reaching out to your support team is instead attempting to mitigate mental health challenges on your own. And trying to handle 100% of the mental health issues you’re facing can increase your risk for relapse and self-destructive tendencies. Reduce the effects of stress today, when you reach out to trusted peers instead of attempting to handle issues in isolation.
Being aware of what you’re feeling in the moment can have an immense effect on how well you cope over time with mental health concerns. And that’s exactly what mindfulness offers. Meditation allows you to focus on the present and mindfulness helps you relax and focus through a combination of breathing practices, concentration and attention to what you’re thinking and feeling from one second to the next.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to the topic of mindfulness, think simple. In your attempts to be fully present in, and aware of, the present moment, there are a few obvious steps you need to take. Make sure that when you practice mindfulness you do so away from distractions like a cell phone or television. You’ll also need to familiarize yourself with meditation, one of the pillars of mindfulness that entails exploring your headspace in a safe way. Ultimately, meditation brings a curiosity which mindfulness needs, where clients are free to train their attention in order to distance themselves from mental health challenges.
Writing down your thoughts
Done the right way, formal or even informal journaling can transform the way you see yourself and your challenges with mental health concerns. In fact, journaling for mental health doesn’t ever need to be a stressful or lengthy behavior. The only thing that matters is that you document relevant feelings, thoughts, emotions and actions on paper, in a way that helps you track progress and process your experiences.
Sometimes, journaling for mental health means keeping track of actions. Especially if you’re looking to journal in order to track progress over time, it could be helpful to organize your thoughts and actions by day or hour. Other individuals want to maintain a mental health journal as part of artistic expression that’s helping them cope. You don’t have to be a professional writer to draft a poem, song lyrics, short stories or even a letter to a real or fictitious individual. Whether you’re journaling a list or a letter, the important thing is that you’ve taken the time to write down and process your thoughts.
The help you need to cope with mental health challenges today
We understand how much of a difference constructive coping techniques can have on your mental health outlook. Take steps toward productively managing mental health issues today, when you connect with one of our therapists after reaching out online. Or, call (610) 644-6464, to speak with a member of The Light Program team and discover the coping mechanisms that are right for you.