Everyone develops ways of dealing with stress and emotional problems, whether consciously or unconsciously, and those habits become known as coping mechanisms. When someone is trying to get through a situation or feeling that they cannot handle, they might turn to a coping mechanism to escape, release stress or numb their emotions. Coping strategies can be healthy or unhealthy depending on what the individual is using to handle their stress. An unhealthy coping mechanism will either be ineffective in resolving the problem or make the situation much worse. Coping mechanisms like substance abuse may temporarily ease problems, but in the end, these unhealthy habits only serve to complicate a person’s emotional issues.
Solving Problems with Better Coping Strategies
When people use drugs or alcohol to cope with their stress, they put themselves at risk for addiction. Becoming dependent on drugs causes physical health risks and negatively affects your mental well-being. Escaping from life through substance abuse leaves all your problems unsolved and only creates more complications in the end. For people in recovery, it is vital to learn healthier coping mechanisms to avoid their usual habits of dealing with stress. Substituting destructive ways of coping with more positive and useful tools can help anyone to not only deal with stress but also improve their lives by eliminating harmful habits. Dr. Pauls’s center for mental illness is a place for people to develop and efficiently start using new coping mechanisms that will benefit them rather than harm them.
Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Finding support from friends, family, and therapists while discussing problems honestly with them.
Living a healthier lifestyle of sobriety, proper nutrition and regular exercise to reduce anxiety.
Using relaxation techniques like deep breathing to soothe stress.
Developing some spiritual practice such as meditating or praying to focus positive energy.
Approaching problems in a new way, being more proactive and recognizing your ability to resolve them.
While receiving treatment, people struggling with addiction can begin using these kinds of strategies any time they are experiencing stress or other difficulties. The first few months of recovery can be a time of continually changing emotions, and people may find it hard to handle their feelings without turning to substance use to numb their pain. Learning to talk to people openly and honestly about personal problems is one of the most important ways to cope with recovery. Our treatment programs offer therapists, counselors and support group meetings which will all provide the opportunity to practice healthier coping strategies. Therapy is a safe place to be vulnerable and receive valuable feedback or advice on how to resolve sensitive issues. The tools a person uses in treatment can help them become more skilled at utilizing positive coping mechanisms throughout their recovery and after they complete treatment.
In many cases, people with mental health problems may develop destructive coping mechanisms like substance abuse because they are overwhelmed by the symptoms of their illness. Dual diagnosis treatment can be a relief to them as they learn to cope not only with their substance abuse problem but also with their mental health issues. Dr. Paul’s By The Sea offers a place where people can face their unique challenges and learn to solve life’s problems without the use of drugs or alcohol. Patients can connect with supportive professionals and peers that will help them regain their motivation and strength to overcome anything.