- Mental Health
About Life and Coping Strategies
About Life . . . Living A Good Life
"There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by." - Annie Dillard
Life is supposed to be lived well and not to be overcome. What caused us stress is the way we react to challenges that surely come our way. We all want to live a good life . . . free from any stress and anxiety. Yet, an image of a perfect life, one that has no challenges at all, is more of an illusion than a fact. It is a fantasy that some humans chase to no avail. It is the chasing that usually causes the stress. The ups and downs of experiences are a sign of life. Flat line is a sign of death (mental, emotional, spiritual or even physical). It is the little ups and downs of life that make it worth living.
However, what happens when the challenge is regarded as too overwhelming? Every normal person of right age and mind must have surely met and hurdled, one way or the other, some sort of a personal crisis in his lifetime. This is simply because a good life happens only when challenges are properly handled at the right time. As much as we are able to, no one should allow a life’s situation to reach a crucial turning point and its highest tension before some direct intervention is applied .
It is the person's reaction to an emotionally stressful event, a radical or traumatic change as perceived that will determine if that person's life headed towards an improvement or deterioration. Failure to properly handle the crisis could spell a disaster, while, a proper handling could mean further growth and development. Early on, any potential explosive situation should call for the skillful administration of some coping strategies.
Humans has the power to transform. Depending on the person’s perception and reaction, the crisis situation can, therefore, be transformed into either a life changing opportunity or tragedy. A coping device or strategy can definitely help anyone in turning the crisis into a challenge that can be met head on and, thus, could greatly increase its chances for a successful and early resolution.
Some coping strategies that can work . . .
Everyone is free to deal with a challenge in any way the person knows best. But, how about you? What do you usually do to cope with problems? Is your approach effective? Let me share with you this coping strategy which I perform personally and have adapted based on the lessons I learned from various books and lectures. When confronted with vicissitude in life, try doing these . . .
Take hold of yourself by pausing momentarily and focusing on what is happening within you. Be still. Relax your body and mind by becoming aware of your in breath and out breath. Slowly, take a deep breath from your diaphragm . . . breath in and out for a minute or more. Silence your mind, As much as you are able to, just allow any thought that will come, good or bad, to just come and go, like clouds in the sky. Step back, and let your inner self watch the, thought or feeling that may arise. Not allowing them to have control over you, instead, let your being take control by staying quiet inside. Just watch with no judgement, nor labeling and resistance to whatever you encounter. No denial of feelings or thoughts, recognize and acknowledge that they exist but don't criticize and give no interpretation.
Another coping strategy is to reverse and dissolve any negative thoughts and disastrous feelings (especially self pity, fear or doubts) by appreciating who you are and that you are still breathing . . . being thankful that you are still alive. Repeat your affirmations until calmness and gratitude fills your being.
You may also want to pray the scientific way of praying, as follows:
Step 1: Recognize that there is a power greater than you are. . . God, Super Intelligence, Universal Power . . . or by whatever name you call it. This God is super powerful, infinite, all knowing and is love. You are connected with this greater power and that it will respond to your pleadings.
Step 2: Acknowledge your oneness with this power who is God. Yes, it lives and moves within your being. Wherever you are and wherever you go . . . God is with you. God is on your side. Accept this truth and enjoy the feeling that it evokes.
Step 3: Dialogue with God. Decree and affirm what you desire (not what you do not want in life).
Step 4: Be in the habit of counting your blessings. Thank God for all the good in your life. It is better if you can put into writing your gratitude list. Be especially thankful that you can forgive yourself and gladly release people who may have hurt you to their highest good and greatest joy. For your own peace of mind and happiness, let go of all your hurts and resentments.
Step 5. Letting go and letting God. Be mindful that we have a God who always says ‘yes’. Trust God and believe that Divine Love is doing its perfect work in your situation
Now, to lighten up, try to find out what is funny about the situation.
Move that energy. Emotion means energy in motion. Energy stuck in the head causes anxiety. Still the mind, recognize/ face the feeling (without recalling or further adding to the story) and allow the energy to move through the body. Get busy. Do more work, even if it may only entail walking, or working out in the gym or at home, doing household chores, or any activity that will stimulate your physical energy positively and productively.
Stop owning the negativities in your life like disease or sickness. Instead, be responsible and be thankful for your health and wealth regardless of physical manifestation.
Enjoy the support of your friends and family. Reach out and be accepting. Do ask for help if you need one and learn to accept and appreciate genuine help if offered to you. It is God’s hand reaching out to you.
After all, we are all Easter people, regardless of our religious belief or unbelief. If we choose to, we can have our personal resurrection and the chance to conquer any crisis. There’s no other way but to be renewed when we are able to truly experience our oneness with the power within us and allow it to do its perfect work in our particular situation. We hold the key to our heart, emancipation and joy.
Have a realistic view of life. Watch this video based on Mother Teresa's meaning of what life is all about.
More Coping Strategies
- Start any activity with a breathing exercise and smile inside you, and smile with your whole body while doing the exercise. Appreciate your breath, it is your life. Love life.
- Adopt and foster a positive outlook in life, a "can do" attitude. Do some healthy positive self talk. Stay in the present. Avoid dwelling in the past nor in the future.
- Take this opportunity to love yourself by pampering yourself with praises and special treats like spa and massage, and / or beauty parlor.
- Pick an encouraging quote or quotes and have them ready; repeat them often to yourself as affirmation. For example: "Challenges are part of living a normal life. I allow challenges to come and go. This too shall pass." Or, "All is well. Everything is going perfectly fine."
- Take a break, go watch TV, listen to sweet and calming music, or watch a funny and entertaining movie.
- Read self-help books, novels, or any book that will help you stabilize your emotions and mind.
- Go out with and talk to a friend or to a life coach, but listening only to good advice. Avoid negative people, negative, sad or violent news, and negative talks.
- Do some yoga exercises, or praying and meditating in a way that is best suited and comfortable to you.
- Chill out. Engage in your favorite sports like basketball, soccer, etc.; and hobby, such as, gardening or cooking, yet, never devour too much food just to compensate.
- Give unsolicited but honest praise or words of encouragement to someone. Go out and help someone in need without expecting any return nor favor from the same person.In other words, do some charitable works or work of love.
- Keep a journal. Write down your inner thoughts and feelings in a notebook or piece of paper. Continue writing until you feel okay.
- Make a separate gratitude and/or happiness journal, doing it daily. List down the blessing received that day. List down the happiest moments in your life during the day.
"Life is like an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."— Ralph Waldo Emerson