When you have been working with people for as long as I have, you can't help but notice similarities between them. Often there are personalities, characteristics or backgrounds that people have in common. Today I want to talk to you about certain coping strategies that people use that seem to correlate with feeling really bad.
At the beginning of each therapy I ask people to fill out 2 questionnaires:
- One measures the diversity and severity of symptoms and complaints.
- The other looks at the coping mechanism people have.
Coping mechanism (or strategies) are a set of tools we use to cope with stressful events and problems. The different strategies are: active coping, avoidance, palliative coping, passive coping, asking for help/social support, reassuring thoughts.
So when you're confronted with a problem how do YOU react to it? Be honest! What is your favorite, first to go strategy? Everyone has different tools in their toolbox and every person has his or hers preference for one or more of them. One coping strategy isn't necessarily better than another. It depends on the situation. For instance: if the whole world is burning, you're probably not able to do anything about it. Active coping will get you nowhere and it's ok to sit down with a cup of coffee and wait for the apocalypse to pass. BUT, when you have a stash of unpaid bills lying around, it's probably better you take action and solve that problem.
What I noticed, is that people who experience different and severe problems and issues, are the people that have passive/avoiding coping styles. They tend to feel stressed out, depressed and anxious. I think this has something to do with the fact, that they are likely to feel overwhelmed, out of control and stuck. Nobody wants to feel stuck! We all want to have grip on our life. We don't like feeling hurt and victimized.
So when you find yourself doing absolutely everything you can to avoid problems, escape strain, confrontation and disappointment, you're temporarily relieving pain or alleviating a problem without dealing with the underlying cause. You'll spiral down in a vicious cycle of feeling frustrated and seeking distraction. This will cause you to lose yourself and even allow emotional, mental and physical ailments to find fertile ground in your body and life.
So, in order to feel good (about yourself), you need to take charge of your life! It's essential to make conscious decisions and choose your path. At the same time you have to know when to let go: people who have an overly active attitude to coping with problems, get burnt out trying to fix everything.
You need to feel when to follow through and when to let go.
You don't have to jump on each and every problem you encounter. Some things will naturally dissolve and won't need your attention. So prioritizing your actions is also important.
The basis for it all is your intuition. I want to invite you to stop overthinking things. Always doing the sensible thing won't guarantee you to become happy, free and vital. Following your inner voice will!!!
Stop thinking, start doing! And if you need help with changing your mindset from I can't to I can, if you want to learn to listen to and trust your gut feeling, if you feel paralyzed by fear and if you're serious about taking action, please contact me! I have the best program to help you get unstuck, breakthrough your limiting beliefs and create the life you love.