Oftentimes when we hear someone say that they’re coping, we automatically think that this is not a good place to be in and the person must immediately move past this stage. As we touch on the importance of coping skills, we find that’s not the case at all.
Coping is a very important skill that can help individuals deal with problems, big or small, in a healthy and non-destructive way.
The definition of coping in psychology is making a conscious effort to resolve issues so that you could conquer, reduce or tolerate situations that cause stress or conflict in your life. Having a healthy coping mechanism allows us to face our problems instead of avoiding them with potentially harmful habits like smoking, drinking or emotional eating.
Outlined are tips on the importance of coping skills
Learning to cope even with the smallest problems can prepare us for bigger tragedies that come our way. Finding ways to deal with problems in a healthy way has numerous benefits including:
- Facing Problems Head On: When we’re faced with problems, it’s very tempting to just run away from it and pretend it’s not there. But coping lets you face those problems head on so you can get past it instead of letting it languish without a solution and potentially become a bigger issue than it already is. Coping can work like a bridge that allows you to move forward.
- Avoid Developing Unhealthy Habits: When we’re going through tough times, it’s easy to turn to unhealthy habits to avoid dealing with our problems. Without a healthy coping mechanism, we might turn to drinking, smoking or binge-eating and a plethora of other harmful actions just so we wouldn’t have to face our problems.
- Keeping Our Emotions in Check: Problems can cause anger and frustration and those are understandable emotions. When we don’t try to cope with our problems though, we let these negative emotions fester and boil underneath that it could lead to eventually lashing out and potentially damaging relationships as well as our psychological well being. Having a way of coping healthily helps keep these emotions in check and knowing that while we may feel anger and frustration, we can move past it and don’t have to let it get the best of us.
- Being Better Able to Deal with Death and Illness: Death and illness are realities in life that we have to face at one point or another. Coping lets you better deal with these very difficult personal tragedies.
Coping Through Empathy and Self-Awareness
So how can you better develop your coping skills? Try some of these practices:
In healthy coping, the first thing you must do is recognizing that there is a problem and accepting that it will not simply go away. This allows you to start dealing with issues immediately instead of avoiding it – and often we turn to hazardous habits when trying to avoid our problems.
With self-awareness, you can examine your own emotions. You are able to tell that you’re feeling hurt, angry, or sad. And with empathy, you’re able to tell yourself that these emotions are okay and you know that others deal with these emotions as well.
Be Kind to Yourself
Being aware of our emotions needs to be followed up with being kind to yourself. Know that there is nothing wrong with feelings like pain, anger, or sadness. Give yourself compassion and self-nurture so that you can rise up and move forward.
Learn to Work With Your Emotions
Our emotions don’t have to inhibit how we function on a day-to-day basis. We have to learn how to feel these emotions and not try to stomp them by distracting ourselves. Instead, we work with them. Perhaps you’re feeling sad that a project you’ve been working on for a long time did not find success. Give yourself time to grieve but know that you can still move forward even when you’re still grieving. Try moving onto a different project or perhaps tinkering on the old one to find which areas could be improved.
Share your thoughts on the importance of coping skills in the comments.