When difficult things happen to us, we tend to deal with them in different ways. Although each individual has their own way to cope with the curveballs of life, the manners in which some individuals cope with their stressors are not always the healthiest. Alcohol, excessive sexual behavior, illicit/prescription drugs, over/under-eating are just a few of more unhealthy ways that people cope with their stressors; unfortunately, in certain cases, these coping mechanism are also the most popular because of their numbing ability, alleviating the person from any need to get to the core of their stressor(s).

Here are a few healthy ways to cope with life stressors:

TALK ABOUT IT - Believe it or not, talking out your pain is a lot easier than you think. Most people assume that keeping emotions bottled up is the best way to deal with an issue but it’s actually one of the worst things that you can do. Coping turned inward can lead to external pain, internal disease(s), and misplaced anger. If seeing a counselor is what you feel you need, see one; if crying on your best friend’s shoulder helps you relieve your pain, cry away; if journaling is how you speak, then write away. Do whatever you need to do to get that energy out of your system, but GET IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!

GET ACTIVE - Studies show that exercise not only helps get you in PHYSICAL shape, it also helps with one’s MENTAL health. Kickboxing, boxing classes, gun ranges, yoga, or anything that requires a large amount physical energy are great examples of things one can do to relieve themselves of negative feelings such as anger, frustration, confusion, and pain. Plus, you’re doing something that allows you to PROPERLY vent your feelings versus spewing them on others.

STOP WITH THE “STINKIN’ THINKIN’” - During the 1950s a therapist named Albert Ellis created a catch phrase that correlated with his therapeutic theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, called “stinkin’ thinking” which speaks to how people tend to think negatively about themselves or their situation. His belief is that one’s thoughts become feelings (in this case, your coping mechanism) and those feelings ultimately become who you are. Unfortunately, the fact that you are how you feel is very true. Here’s the fortunate news: THESE THOUGHTS CAN BE CHANGED!!!!!! By simply looking at the POSITIVE versus automatically giving energy to the negative of a situation, you can virtually change how you choose to deal with life’s difficulties.

GET THE SUPPORT THAT YOU NEED - Support groups were created for the sole purpose of helping someone cope with their difficulties that are filled with individuals who are suffering in the same manner in one way or another. The advantage of these support groups: SUPPORT, which is a necessity when coping with difficulties such as grief.